With extra caution, ISU-sponsored international trips can resume

Ending a yearlong prohibition, faculty and staff can resume university-sponsored international travel -- with some added precautions.

Earlier this month, state Board of Regents president Michael Richards lifted a systemwide ban on university-sponsored travel outside the U.S. the board imposed in March 2020, allowing university leaders to set their own rules.

Visting scholars policy

A new draft policy on visiting scholars is available for public comment through April 11 in the policy library. The policy would establish a process for requesting, reviewing and approving prospective visiting scholars, along with the privileges extended to them during their stay and the responsibilities of their hosts. No new requests for visiting scholars are allowed until the new policy is effective, tentatively planned for May 1. 

New ISU guidance for traveling abroad, shared in a March 18 memo from senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert to deans and department chairs, establishes two requirements:

  • Since Jan. 1, 2020, registering an itinerary with the risk management office has been required for all ISU-sponsored international travel, under a policy that also defines what qualifies as sponsored travel. Because of the pandemic, all international travel is considered high-risk, which under the registration policy prompts an itinerary review by the risk management office. At least two weeks before departure, contact international risk manager Shaun Jamieson at intlrisk@iastate.edu or 294-6916 to schedule a consultation.
  • Faculty and staff must complete a new travel agreement form, which is approved by their supervisor. The agreement requires travelers to comply with all health and safety regulations of the host country, the U.S. and the university, including returning home at any time if directed by Iowa State. The itinerary review with risk management can help identify vaccine and quarantine requirements for destinations and upon returning.

A similar travel agreement is required for independent student travel that falls under the definition of university-sponsored -- such as research projects, student teaching assignments and competitions. The form must be approved by a student's college. 

Study abroad trips for the spring were canceled. A limited number of study abroad programs may be available this summer and fall, but decisions aren't yet final, Wickert said in the memo.