University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Executive Memorandum No. 25
Policy on University Sponsored Travel by Students, Faculty, Staff, or Members of the General Public to Countries Under a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Health Notice
In seeking to balance the benefits of international travel on educational, research, and outreach activities with the potential risks such travel might pose to students, faculty, staff, and members of the general public, the University relies on the guidance provided to travelers by the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings: The State Department’s Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management (ACS) administers the Consular Information Program, which informs the public of conditions abroad that may affect their safety and security. Country Specific Information, Travel Alerts, and Travel Warnings are vital parts of this program. Travel Warnings are issued when long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable lead the State Department to recommend that Americans avoid or consider the risk of travel to that country. A Travel Warning is also issued when the U.S. Government’s ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Health Notices: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the major operating components of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The CDC issues Travel Health Notices to inform travelers about current issues that may affect their health when visiting specific destinations. The CDC issues three types of Health Notices: Watch Level 1; Alert Level 2; and Warning Level 3. A Travel Health Notice at Warning Level 3 is issued when the CDC recommends that travelers avoid all non-essential travel to a destination due to high risk.
Travel by Students and Members of the General Public
It is the policy of the University of Nebraska that no university sponsored program of travel for students and members of the general public shall depart from the United States for a country for which the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Warning or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Travel Health Notice at Warning Level 3. If such a warning is issued after departure, the guidance provided by the warning shall be followed by participants in the affected area until the senior international officer for the University of Nebraska provides guidance and direction regarding the steps necessary to insure health and safety, including possible return to the United States.
Travel by Faculty and Staff
It is the policy of the University of Nebraska that any faculty or staff member seeking to travel under university auspices to a country for which the CDC has issued a Travel Health Notice at Warning Level 3 must first obtain prior approval for such travel by making a written request to the relevant University of Nebraska Chancellor. The Chancellor will make a recommendation on the request to the President, who will make a final determination.
Faculty or staff participating in non-university-sponsored, independent travel to a CDC Warning Level 3 country must report such travel to the Chief Academic Officer on their campus prior to departure.
All faculty and staff undertaking such travel, whether under university auspices or not, will be subject to appropriate screening and health monitoring prior to returning to campus in order to ensure the health and safety of the University of Nebraska community.
Waiver Process for Students
- A waiver to the prohibition on university-sponsored programs in countries for which the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Warning may be considered in exceptional circumstances and can be requested through the process noted below. No waiver will be provided for travel to countries which are under a CDC Travel Health Notice at Warning Level 3. An administrator of a university-sponsored program to a Travel Warning country or an administrator on behalf of a student seeking to participate in a non-faculty-led program benefitting the student’s curriculum of study may petition for a waiver to the policy by submitting, in writing, a written request to the cognizant Chancellor. The request should include a detailed explanation of why a waiver of the university policy is warranted, including the ability to avoid high risk areas, special circumstances and knowledge of the country in question or critical interests of the university. The request must include a University of Nebraska Waiver and Release Form signed by each participating student or member of the public acknowledging that he/she has been advised of the existence of a Travel Warning. In the case of a participating minor student, the Waiver and Release Form must also be signed by a parent or guardian.
- Upon receipt of the waiver request, the Chancellor shall convene a Review Committee to consider the same. The committee will provide a recommendation in writing to the Chancellor. Upon receipt of a positive recommendation, the Chancellor shall make a decision to support or deny the request. If the Chancellor supports the request, he/she will submit to the President a request for a waiver, including the original petition and supporting forms and related information.
- Upon receipt of the Chancellor’s request, the President shall consult with the senior international officer and/or other appropriate resources. The President’s decision to approve or deny the request shall be final and not subject to further review or appeal.