Effective date of policy: August 1, 2021

Expiration date: Ongoing

Keywords: Overseas travel, risk assessment.

Scope

This policy applies to sponsored travel by Gallaudet University and the Clerc Center (collectively the University) employees, students, and contractors. “Sponsored travel” means that which is funded fully or partially by the University, or is part of an academic, work, or collaborative endeavor that is affiliated with the University, regardless of funding source.

Policy Statement

The purpose of this Policy is to provide broad guidelines and establish procedures related to sponsored international travel. It outlines the University’s enhanced procedures for assessing risk to safety and well-being of its travelers. The University will adhere closely to the travel advisories issued by the US Government. Division chiefs will be supported in their decisions on travel requests through analysis provided by pertinent offices. All decisions regarding sponsored international travel are made on a case-by-case basis, and Gallaudet University reserves the right to revoke any travel approval and recall travelers at any time for any reason. Travelers are responsible for complying with this Policy and other applicable University policies.

For personal international travel, the Gallaudet community is encouraged to embrace the spirit of this policy, which is intended to protect their health and well-being.

For sponsored international travel, all approved travelers are required to review and abide by the following requirements and procedures:

  1. COVID-19 and country specific vaccinations will be required of all sponsored travelers, except in very limited circumstances, including an approved exemption. Travelers must submit proof of vaccination to [contact info] no more than X days prior to travel. Exempt individuals will be required to execute the appropriate waivers before being allowed to travel.
  2. Any student who intends to travel out of the country under University sponsorship must go through the Education Abroad team in the Office of International Affairs at abroad@gallaudet.edu and abide by the Education Abroad deadlines for each semester.
  3. It is the joint responsibility of the traveler and the University to diligently review the best available health and safety information about travel destinations prior to approval. In deciding on travel requests to travel outside the United States, the University, like many universities, relies heavily on the travel risk advisories from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). See https://travel.state.gov/.
  4. The University will not sponsor international travel for those who are in an unsafe position vis-à-vis coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The CDC stated in July 2021, “... international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants.” For COVID-19 advisories, see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html
  5. The University will require that adequate health insurance (which may include emergency evacuation coverage) is in place for its sponsored travelers. Insurance coverage may include a combination of that provided by the University to employees, personal health insurance, and added-on travel insurance. Students (who must work with Education Abroad on travel plans) must add travel health insurance when traveling abroad through Gallaudet University.
  6. Travel may be permitted to countries with State Department/CDC advisory levels 1 or 2. If the threat advisory is raised after travel is approved, the University reserves the right to withdraw its approval.
  7. Permission to travel to Level 3 advisory countries requires a waiver from a division chief, and will now be strictly enforced.
  8. Travel to countries with advisory levels 4 or 5 is prohibited.
  9. Sponsored travelers will be required to sign a general liability release.

    To help ensure protection of intellectual property, the federal government requires universities and research institutions to implement concrete export compliance measures for specific nations, such as: (a) travel to a foreign country in an official capacity to attend or present at conferences or other events, or to meet with foreign researchers, educators, or other professionals; (b) foreign nationals employed as researchers taking part in a sensitive activity on campus, e.g., a study that is deemed classified by the U.S. government; or (c) the university enters into research agreements or contracts with a foreign entity. See traveler questionnaire for specifics.

  10. The University, at its sole discretion, may change the program at any time including the itinerary, travel arrangements or accommodations. The University, at its sole discretion, may cancel the Program at any time and require Participants to return to the U.S. if overseas, if the University determines that conditions at program location pose a heightened potential of danger to the Participants.
  11. The University expects sponsored travelers to comply with its emergency procedures and take steps prior and during their trips to ensure their safety, which may include but are not limited to, possessing numerous means for contact, communicating itineraries and any amendments with Gallaudet and appropriate parties, signing up for traveling alerts, and completing orientation. The Office of International Affairs will have on file an Emergency Action Protocol that covers emergency communications and assembly of travelers and situations up to and including cancellation of the program. Each traveller will be instructed on these procedures and be provided with updates to these procedures as well as timely information relating to given situations when they arise.

Procedures

The review and approval of international travel requests is managed by the Chief of the relevant University Division (Division Chiefs), in consultation with the Office of International Affairs (OIA). Offices that may be consulted in the review of an international travel request include the Department of Public Safety (security planning), the COVID-19 Response Team (health-related), Campus Services Operations (insurance), Finance, and, if appropriate, the Office of the General Counsel (legal) and Human Resources.

For University Employees:

  1. The employee’s supervisor and unit director should review and sign the required travel documents. Each division will designate someone to review international travel requests.
  2. At least two months prior to the planned trip, the traveler should prepare the required information (listed below). The University may decline requests received less than two months prior to the date of travel.
  3. The supervisor will forward material to the Office of International Affairs (OIA) via intl.travel@gallaudet.edu. OIA will facilitate the review by pertinent offices, and make a recommendation to the Division Chief.
  4. The Division Chiefs will approve or deny the request, and will then inform the traveler or his/her supervisor. The university reserves the right to withdraw approval for sponsored travel at any time and for any reason, such as if risk to the site increases or funding is no longer available.
  5. If the travel is approved, the traveler should then follow University policy and procedure to reserve the tickets and lodging. The traveler may be obligated to take a pre-trip orientation.
  6. During the trip, it is important that the traveler stay in touch with the University, so that assistance may be rendered in the event of an emergency. The traveler will be informed about points of contact at the University.

Required information from all University employees:

All travelers must complete and submit the following documents:

  1. International Traveler Questionnaire,
  2. Travel Advance/Reimbursement Request Form,
  3. General Liability Release for university personnel

For University Students:

All sponsored travel requests for any purpose should first be approved by the student’s school director and by the Manager of Education Abroad and International Fellowships in OIA atl abroad@gallaudet.edu. Education Abroad’s online system has the necessary forms for students; see https://abroad.gallaudet.edu.

All traveling students (internship or study abroad groups) should be working directly with Education Abroad (EA), using the online application system at https://abroad.gallaudet.edu.

EA will provide all necessary forms to students.

More information may be required in future, as review of this area is underway.

Questions:

Please send inquiries to OIA via email, intl.travel@gallaudet.edu and ia@gallaudet.edu or visit the Office of International Affairs in Building 103.