For Global Travelers

Global Risk Assessment Committee

The Global Risk Assessment Committee – Supporting Global Mobility

On September 28, 2015, the Global Risk Assessment Committee (GRAC) met for the first time after being charged into existence by former President Judy Genshaft. The GRAC will analyze risk and security conditions of proposed or existing international travel and programs in order to assess whether the risks inherent in the program or at the locations are unacceptable for participants and the University. In making the determination, the committee will consider:

  • The safety of the faculty, staff, and students
  • The University's ethical responsibilities to participants, in the spirit of academic freedom
  • The University's exposure to legal liabilities
  • The public relations issues relating to problematic program sites

The Global Risk Assessment Committee reviews all planned international travel involving students from any of the USF campuses to countries with a USF World Risk Level designation of 3 or 4. Risk Level 3 or 4 countries are under a Travel Advisory issued by the U.S. Department of State. A Travel Advisory of Level 3 indicates we should reconsider travel and a Risk Level of 4 suggests we should not travel. Student travel to a Risk Level 3 or 4 location is by default not permitted, and programs are suspended. Supervising faculty may apply for consideration of a waiver to this policy. Exceptions to this travel policy must be endorsed by the Global Risk Assessment Committee and approved by the Senior Academic Officer.

The Global Risk Assessment Committee may review other planned international travel involving students from USF that involve significant levels of risk - either because of the program design or because the location in country is designated Level 3 or 4 even when the country has a USF World Risk Level 1 or 2 designation. Some program designs, as well as travel to some Risk Level 1 or 2 countries, have significant risks due to health, safety, or security concerns. These risks may be identified by the U.S. Department of State, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Geological Survey, or other reputable bodies or individuals that express a valid concern about the program or the program location. Student travel on a program designed with significant risk or to a Risk Level 1 or 2 location is considered on a case-by-case basis and reviewed by the Global Risk Assessment Committee at the request of the Director of Education Abroad, Vice President of USF World, or her designee. If a review of the travel experience is requested the program is suspended. Supervising faculty may apply for consideration of a waiver to this policy. Exceptions to this travel policy must be endorsed by GRAC and approved by the Senior Academic Officer.
 
When conditions warrant, the Global Risk Assessment Committee may recommend to the Senior Academic Officer that a USF international experience or program at a particular location be suspended, or altered, prior to departure. He/She may also recommend that a USF international experience or program already underway be abbreviated or diverted and the participants removed from the country to a safe location or otherwise brought back to the United States.
 
An appeal for a waiver of the Global Risk Assessment Committee’s recommendation to the Senior Academic Officer may be made to the Senior Academic Officer by any faculty member, administrator, or program leader for an international experience or program that has not yet departed. For an international experience or program already underway, the decision of GRAC is final.

Global Risk Assessment Committee Members

The Global Risk Assessment Committee will consist of a Chair (past or present senior university official), appointed by the President and Provost, and representatives from the noted offices and areas below. A meeting will require a quorum of greater than 50% attendance of filled positions.

Other GRAC members shall include:

  • USF Vice-President for USF World
  • Representative from the USF St. Petersburg campus
  • Representative from the USF Sarasota-Manatee campus
  • Representative from USF Health delegated by the Assistant Vice President for USF Health International
  • USF Faculty Senate President’s Delegate
  • USF Faculty Council President’s Delegate
  • Assistant Vice President and Dean for Students
  • Assistant Vice President for Public Safety
  • Student Health Services Representative
  • General Counsel's Office
  • Emergency Health and Safety
  • Export Controls
  • Graduate School
  • Director of Education Abroad
  • International Risk and Security Coordinator

The Global Risk Assessment Committee may invite the following individuals to come in as visitors in order to provide additional information and recommendations:

  • Education Abroad Staff Member involved with the program
  • Program leaders or faculty advisors
  • Others with particular expertise with the particulars of the risk environment

Meeting Minutes:

For more information about the Global Risk Assessment Committee, please contact Preston Drane, International Risk and Security Coordinator.

Process of Petitioning for a Waiver of Travel Restrictions

If you are planning student-related travel to a Risk Level 3 or 4 Location, please follow the process as outlined here. If you are planning travel to a Risk Level 1 or 2 Location with country specific issues in certain locations identified by an asterisk (*) on the Risk Level Chart, please contact the International Risk and Security Coordinator to determine if a waiver is necessary.

Also, contact the International Risk and Security Coordinator to discuss your desire to plan student related travel to a restricted location. Based upon the planned departure date, your petition will be scheduled to be considered by the Global Risk Assessment Committee at a regularly scheduled meeting. If no meeting is available, the petition can be reviewed electronically by the committee.

Working with the International Risk and Security Coordinator, develop a petition. A nearly complete draft can often be provided at your request. Generally the petitioner need only complete the Program Summary and provide specific risk mitigating strategies. 

The petition should minimally include the following information:

  1. Program Summary
    1. What educational opportunities are planned?
    2. What other activities, excursions, etc. are planned?
    3. Why this location?
      1. Facilities – educational and housing
      2. Transportation
      3. Local Security – Police/Military/Guards
      4. Experience serving US students
      5. Relationships with USF
      6. References from others outside USF
    4. How is the desired travel activities set up to mitigate the risks?

  2. Risks as Identified by the U.S. Department of State
    1. Generally the IRSO can pull this from the Travel Warning and the OSAC Crime Report

  3. The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)
    1. The IRSO will request a security statement from OSAC

  4. Travel Health Notices Identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1. The IRSO can gather this is pulled from the CDC or Student Health Services Medical Director

  5. Steps to Mitigate Risks
    1. Attach any emergency orientation, training, and other materials the local partner produces, especially materials designed to be presented to students
    2. Adapt the general list of guidelines/restrictions used in past petitions to fit with this location

  6. Emergency Action Plan
    1. Attach a formal action plan the partner has produced
    2. From discussions with your partners (as relevant), discuss how they have handled incidents in the past

  7. Embassy/Consulates and Phone Numbers
    1. IRSO can pull from USDOS materials

  8. Hospital Locations and Phone Numbers
    1. IRSO can get this from our Insurance Provider – or ask the local partner for a recommendation

  9. Country Code for calling the country from the U.S.
    1. howtocallabroad.com

  10. Local Emergency “911” Equivalents
    1. This can be had from the USDOS

  11. Maps
    1. Use maps that can show how the location is associated within specific risk areas of the country
 

The petition will be mailed out to committee members in advance of the meeting. A representative of the student-related travel is encouraged to meet with the committee when they consider the petition.

If the petition is approved, it may be valid only for the travel requested, or up to 2-3 years for repeated travel to the same location. This is dependent on the request and nature of the travel. All approvals are provisional and will be subject to conditions: 1) That the destination is regularly reviewed by the USF World between now and the end of the program and 2) USF World reserves the right to recommend suspension when warranted by a change in safety and security conditions. Past successful petitions can be reviewed as requested.