Policy on Travel to CDC Warning Countries

Effective Date: January 1, 2015
Revision Date: First Version
Responsible Office: Reves Center for International Studies

I.  Scope

This policy applies to all student (undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree), faculty, staff, and scholar travel that is affiliated with the College of William & Mary, including the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (the university).  Travel is university-affiliated where it is sponsored, organized, supported, or recognized by the university, and when any of the following occurs:

• travel is funded by the university, whether through public or private funds; 

• travel is part of a university international program – a program organized and administered by the university;

• travel is part of a program or trip administered by another institution or organization under an agreement with William & Mary;

• students receive university academic credit for work conducted during the travel; or

• travel is organized by the university, such as trips organized and led by members of the faculty, acting in their official capacity.

This policy covers any participant in an affiliated William & Mary program or third-party study abroad program; any contractor or William & Mary affiliated partner group that may be traveling to and from the travel warning countries; any employee of William & Mary, including executive, professional, professional faculty, operational, and classified staff positions.

II. Purpose

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Travel Warning Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel informs travelers about current health issues related to specific destinations.  The university strongly supports internationalization initiatives including international travel by students. The university also recognizes the risks to safety and security of students, faculty and staff engaging in such travel, particularly the risks outlined by the CDC when it issues a Level 3 Travel Warning.  This policy establishes the circumstances under which student, faculty or staff travel to countries subject to a CDC Level 3 Travel Warning is permitted.

III. Policy

A.   Prior Approval for Travel to CDC Level 3 Travel Warning Countries Required.  Without receiving prior approval through a special review process by the University Travel Warning Review Committee (the TWRC), students, faculty and staff will not be able to transfer credit, register for study abroad, participate in university-affiliated travel including for research, or use university-based funding for travel to a country under a CDC Level 3 Travel Warning Level.  Approvals are granted by the TWRC. 

All travelers should contact the International Travel and Security Manager at the Reves Center for additional information on how to petition for approval to travel to a CDC Level 3 Travel Warning country.  The Reves Center encourages W&M personnel to report non-WM related travel to these countries to the International Travel and Security Manager.

The TWRC includes the Vice Provost for International Affairs, the Director of Global Education, the Reves Center’s International Travel and Security Manager, and the University Chief Compliance Officer.  The TWRC will consult with University Counsel and the relevant academic Dean(s) as appropriate. The committee will consider the following factors in assessing individual and group petitions and making its decision on whether or not to support the travel:

 The specific details of the Travel Warning as this information relates to the proposed travel;

• Any federal regulations affecting William & Mary support for the proposed program abroad;

• Recommendations and warnings from expert faculty;

• Security briefings and limitations to evacuation coverage by a contracted security company;

• The academic and personal preparation of the student(s), faculty or staff applying for travel to a Travel Warning country, including prior language study, regional studies, international experiences, and preparatory actions;

• The level of onsite support to handle emergencies. Emergency preparation includes information about the specific destination, mode of daily transportation, emergency response plans, and responsiveness and emergency plans by onsite coordinators;

• The academic, service, or research learning necessity of such travel at this time.

B.  Travel Warnings Issued After departure.  Should a Level 3 Travel Warning be issued while a participant is already in the subject country, the Travel Warning Review Committee will convene to assess the situation and make appropriate recommendations and decisions based on concerns for the safety and security of W&M participants. Depending on the above-defined factors, the TWRC may recommend immediate departure and suspension of the program (if applicable).

IV. Approval and Interpretation

This policy was approved by the Provost.  Questions regarding the application of this policy can be answered by the Vice Provost for International Affairs.

V.  Related Policies

Policy for Student Travel to Travel Warning Countries