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/Areas Under a U.S. Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 Travel Advisory 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 Advisories: 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 and Travel Advisories are vital parts of this program. An overall Travel Advisory level is issued for each country, but levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country. Travelers are encouraged to check not only the overall country level alert, but also regional or local areas within the country, which may differ from the overall country level alert. Travel Advisories apply up to four standard levels of advice, describe the risk, and provide clear actions U.S. citizens should take to help ensure their safety.
- 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 students or members of the general public shall depart from the United States on University-sponsored international travel to a U.S. Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 country, a "Reconsider Travel" or "Do Not Travel" area within a Level 1 or Level 2 country or a CDC High Risk Warning country. If a U.S. Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 Travel Advisory or CDC Warning is issued after departure, the guidance provided by the U.S. Department of State or CDC shall be followed by participants in the affect area until the senior international officer on the pertinent campus 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
Travel waiver requests should be submitted at least six weeks prior to travel to ensure review and determination of the request in time for travel to occur.
A waiver to the prohibition on University-sponsored international travel to countries/areas 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 CDC High Risk Warning countries.
- An administrator or faculty leader of a University-sponsored international travel program to a U.S. Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 country/area or a "Reconsider Travel" or "Do Not Travel" area within a Level 1 or Level 2 country or an administrator on behalf of a student seeking to participate in a faculty-led or 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 Informed Consent and Release of Liability form signed by each participating student or member of the public acknowledging that s/he has been advised of the details of the Travel Advisory. In the case of a participating minor student under the age of 19, 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.
- When approved, waivers are given only for the travel specified in the approval; travelers must re-apply for subsequent trips to the same country/area.