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Requesting an Exception to the Travel Policy

Appeal Process: Request for Exception(s) to University Policy Prohibiting Travel

If a Travel Warning, Notice or Restriction (“Warning”) is in place at the time of the initial request for travel, a request for exception to the policy (and all supporting documents) must be submitted six months in advance of the intended travel date, or prior to any planning for the trip.  

Requests for exceptions in those circumstances when a Warning has been issued AFTER a trip has already been planned and approved or while a trip is in progress must be submitted in advance of any further planning for the trip and requires the prior written approval by either the Provost or the Senior Vice President (depending upon whom the appealing department reports) BEFORE proceeding, pursuant to the following appeal procedure:

Specifically, all requests for exceptions must be in writing and must be received by the Center for International Programs as soon as a Warning has been issued for any planned destination and before any departure. As soon as a Warning has been issued, no further fund-raising, recruiting, or marketing of any kind regarding the proposed travel for any planned destination can occur until the request for exception has been approved.
Requirements for Appeal
When filing a request for exception, a full description of the scope of the trip must be included (e.g., a trip to Mexico must include any information about all destinations that may be visited during the trip, including, but not limited to, destinations outside the primary country for any period of time.)

Requests for Exception must include all of the following:
  • a properly completed Request for Exception Form
  • a detailed itinerary, with dates and times of travel, as well as means of transportation to, from and among locations to be visited
  • documentation of program design elements that address in-country conditions and concerns described in the Warning
  • letters of invitation verifying that the program partners understand University concerns and are prepared to address them, including specifically how they will be addressed; and,
  • any other materials as needed to demonstrate reasonable care/safety will be in place during the travel proposed.

Review Process
Upon receipt of the Request for Exception and all supporting documents, the following will take place:
1. CIP convenes the International Travel Oversight Committee (“Committee”), which was appointed by the President and includes, but is not limited to, the Vice President for Financial Affairs, Vice President for Mission or their designees; the Vice President for Student Life/Associate Provost; the Director of Campus Ministry, and, when applicable, the Campus Minister, Immersion Programs; Director of the Center for International Programs; Assistant Director for Semester Abroad and Health & Safety; the Travel Manager for the University; the Associate Director for Athletic Business Affairs; and the Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management.

The Dean of the School or the Associate Dean of the School in which the travel is originating or is being sponsored and the Department chair coordinating the travel, the University’s Office of the General Counsel and the University’s independent Risk Manager shall not serve on the Committee, but shall be available to consult with and advise the Committee, as needed and requested.
The Committee shall be chaired by the Vice President for Student Life/Associate Provost, who shall convene the Committee as needed.

2. The Committee will review the appeal, request any further information, including but not limited to documentation needed to inform its deliberations and decision regarding the appeal. Such information shall include, but is not limited to:
  • Letter of invitation from the hosts addressing conditions in applicable Warnings and verifying commitment to safety and plan to address safety issues presented in the Warnings for the individual or group engaging in the international travel experience
  • Documentation that specifically addresses the points in the Warnings and explain how these points do not pertain to the intent of the project or impact it or how the project or trip design mitigates same
  • Descriptions of the exact locations to be visited/worked and housing to be provided, including geographic setting and safety overview
  • Factors that may impact the scope of the travel, e.g., what part of the country is the unrest leading to the Warning occurring (is trip localized and will it be so for entire duration?); age of participants (undergraduates or adult students); purpose of the trip (touring, academic study, mission focus); travel experience level of trip leaders and participants)
  • Description of Trip Leader and Adult Facilitator Responsibilities and who will serve as Trip Leader/Adult Facilitator and who will be the back-up Trip Leader/Adult Facilitator, as well as the type of training provided to both
3. CIP verifies that there is no exclusion under applicable insurance coverage and the scope of liability insurance with insurance broker’s Account Executive assigned to University (not medical, but liability).
4. CIP notifies the Provost or Senior Vice President, depending to whom the matter was presented for decision, of the Committee’s recommendation (including insurance situation). CIP’s and the Committee’s recommendation are advisory to the Provost or Senior Vice President.
Decision of Provost or Senior Vice President
If the Provost or Senior Vice President approves the Request for Exception, CIP notifies petitioner in writing, reflecting in such communication, as needed, any “conditions” or additional steps that are required such as notifying parents, purchasing an Emergency Assistance Program, etc. Upon approval of the Provost or Senior Vice President, CIP thereafter proceeds with the standard pre-departure process, plus assures that a Warnings Addendum is included as part of the standard University Travel Consent & Waiver of Claims.

In addition to the steps listed above, the Provost or Senior Vice President will confer, as needed, with the President of the University and others regarding the decision. The decision of the Provost or Senior Vice President is final.

In cases where exceptions have been granted, any changes in the circumstances on which the exception was granted, must be immediately brought to the attention of the Provost or Senior Vice President (depending on which of these approved the exception) by the director of the office sponsoring the trip, with concurrent documented notice to the Travel Office, CIP and area Dean and/or Vice President.