The University of Northern Iowa engages in a variety of international activities, including faculty-led academic programs, direct enroll study abroad programs, exchange programs, research, service, outreach, athletic competitions and recruitment. This policy aims to support the safety of those undertaking UNI-sponsored international travel, support compliance with external and internal requirements, and ensure the effective stewardship of resources.
The University of Northern Iowa is committed to the health and safety of its students, faculty and staff, complying with external and internal travel requirements, and ensuring the effective use of university resources. To achieve this, individuals undertaking UNI-sponsored international travel must undertake the following steps outlined in this policy.
UNI-sponsored Employee International Travel
Employees are responsible for ensuring that they have the necessary approval before undertaking any UNI-sponsored international travel. University resources and sponsorship cannot be utilized without completing the approval process outlined in this policy. Failure to abide by this policy may result in disciplinary action.
At least 30 days prior to their departure, employees seeking to engage in UNI-sponsored international travel are required to seek approval through UNI’s electronic travel management system (ProTrav), complete the UNI Travel Registry, register for the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program if they qualify, and be enrolled in the university’s travel insurance plan.
Employees may be required to secure additional insurance as prescribed by UNI Risk Management.
Travel Related to Sponsored Projects and Grants
If an employee’s travel is related to a sponsored project or grant, the employee must contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs prior to travel to ensure international travel is permitted under their sponsored project or grant. Any travel permitted under a sponsored project or grant must still be approved by the university as outlined in this policy.
Data Security and Export Controls
If an employee must take a UNI electronic device abroad for purposes of communication, data transfer and/or data storage, they must contact IT Information Security prior to travel to discuss their data needs while abroad so proper precautions are taken. Employees may not take their regularly-assigned UNI laptop or devise on their travel without the explicit permission of the Information Security Officer or designee.
Employees intending to travel internationally with laptops, research equipment, and other high-tech items falling under federal export controls laws must comply with government restrictions associated with international travel. Federal law stipulates the penalties for non-compliance. Refer to https://rsp.uni.edu//export-control-travel-handout for more information on Export Controls and tips.
Regions with State Department Travel Advisories of Level 3 or Level 4
Employees shall not be required to undertake UNI-sponsored travel to a region of the world that is under a travel advisory by the U.S. Department of State of either Level 3 or Level 4.
If an employee chooses to undertake UNI-sponsored travel to a region of the world that is under a travel advisory by the U.S. Department of State of either Level 3 or Level 4, the employee shall seek an additional review of their trip from the university’s International Travel Oversight Committee (ITOC). The ITOC will undertake a risk assessment and make a recommendation regarding the trip to the employee’s division head. The division head (or their designee) may choose then to authorize the trip, and in such a situation, the UNI-sponsored travel or stay may be terminated or revised, as appropriate.
Faculty may petition a decision through the faculty petition process as outlined in the faculty handbook.
International Study Programs
Employees traveling as part of an International Study Program should contact the Study Abroad Center and review UNI’s International Study Programs Policy. This policy compliments and does not replace UNI’s International Study Programs Policy.
UNI-sponsored Student International Travel
Student Travel for Academic Credit
UNI students taking part in UNI-sponsored international travel for academic credit must make use of the Study Abroad Application Portal. Study Abroad Center staff will then enroll the student for travel insurance and the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
Student Travel for Non-Academic Credit
At least 30 days prior to their departure, UNI students taking part in UNI-sponsored international travel for non-academic credit must make use of the UNI International Travel Registry. Study Abroad Center staff will then enroll the student for travel insurance and the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
Student Travel to Regions with Travel Advisories of Level 3 or Level 4
If during the course of UNI-sponsored international travel, an individual student intends to travel to or be staying in a region of the world that is under a travel advisory by the U.S. Department of State of either Level 3 (Reconsider Travel) or Level 4 (Do Not Travel), the Study Abroad Center, in coordination with the ITOC, will make a determination if the student’s travel or stay is authorized, and in such a situation, the UNI-sponsored travel or stay may be terminated or revised, as appropriate.
Faculty-led Study Abroad Programs to Level 3 or Level 4 destinations are not permitted.
Students with Employee Status
Students who are also employees of the university shall follow the UNI-sponsored Employee International Travel section of this policy if the nature of their UNI-sponsored international travel is related to their employment and not their academic studies. If a student’s UNI-sponsored international travel is related to both their employment and academic studies, then both the UNI-sponsored Student International Travel and UNI-sponsored Employee International Travel sections shall apply.
Travelers must report as soon as possible significant problems and situations that involve their health or safety, or that of other university community members in their party, to UNI Public Safety at 319-273-2712. UNI Public Safety will contact the appropriate parties authorized to manage such situations. These situations can include hospitalization, incarceration, assault, kidnapping, theft of personal funds, natural disasters, etc.
For support navigating other extenuating circumstances abroad contact:
- For students, report incidents to the Office of the Dean of Students.
- For instances of discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct, report incidents using the reporting form posted at equity.uni.edu or safety.uni.edu. This policy compliments and does not replace UNI’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
It is ultimately the responsibility of the traveler to understand and account for the risks associated with their travel. Individual travelers should take into account their own health, experience, and limitations when deciding whether to travel and how to stay safe while traveling, especially to higher-risk destinations. Travelers should abide by all university policies and procedures, as well as any relevant US and international laws governing international travel.
International Travel Oversight Committee
The ITOC shall be comprised of: (1) three members from the UNI faculty nominated by the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs; (2) a representative from International Admissions; (3) a representative from Study Abroad; (4) a representative from Office of International Engagement; (4) a representative from Student Health; (5) a representative from University Counsel; and (6) the Director of Risk Management.
The Director of Risk Management shall chair the ITOC.
International Travel Oversight Committee, approved January 12, 2023
University Council, approved February 13, 2023
President and President’s Cabinet, approved February 27, 2023
[Last reviewed and/or updated 2/2023, 3/2019, 10/2015]