Original Issuance Date: April 2008
Last Revision Date: January 12, 2021
1. Policy Purpose
This policy provides information about expectations for University of Wisconsin System faculty and academic staff when they are participating in study abroad or study away.
2. Responsible UW System Officer
Associate Vice President, Office of Academic Programs and Educational Innovation
The policy affects UW System institutions, UW System faculty, and UW System academic staff.
The policy exists to provide guidance to UW System, UW System institutions, UW System faculty, and UW System academic staff regarding UW System faculty and academic staff when they are participating in study abroad and study away programs.
Study Abroad: Education abroad or Study Abroad is defined as any of a number of opportunities by which students can complete part of their degree program through educational activities outside the United States. The standard length of Study Abroad has been programs with a duration of a semester or a year, but it also more frequently includes short-term programs and faculty led programs between semesters or in the summer. Study Abroad programs can also include volunteering or work abroad (including internships), classroom study, research, and service learning.
Study Away: Study Away is an opportunity for students to study at locations separate from their home campus in order to gain valuable experiences in different areas of the United States and the U.S. territories. Study Away programs can also include volunteering or work (including internships), classroom study, research, and service learning.
6. Policy Statement
- The institutions of the UW System recognize the value of faculty and academic staff developing global and competence in diverse cultures. These institutions encourage and support activities abroad for professional development, teaching, research, and service to the host countries and in diverse domestic settings. The UW System recognizes that these activities vary not only in purpose, but also in duration, type of arrangement with the host country or domestic setting, responsibilities to the home institution, and funding source.
B. The Responsibilities of the Faculty and Academic Staff
- Faculty and academic staff for both programs abroad and study away:
- Are governed by the same policies that define faculty and academic staff rights and responsibilities on the home campus.
- Should be sensitive to the customs of the host country or domestic host location and act in accordance with the laws of the host country or domestic host location.
- Should be willing, upon return to the home campus, to provide the broadest value to the institution of the time spent abroad or through study away.
C. The Responsibilities of Institution and the System
- The home institution should consider incentives to encourage its faculty and academic staff to participate in programs abroad or study away programs. These incentives may include, but are not limited to:
- Priority in considering faculty who include work abroad or study away in a sabbatical.
- Recognition to the home department for services provided by faculty or academic staff abroad or through study away.
- Tenure, promotion, and merit processes which appropriately recognize the value of accomplishments abroad or through study away.
- Acknowledgement and provision for an allowance/differential for the cost of living abroad or study away.
- The home institution should provide orientation and training for faculty or academic staff with program duties abroad or through study away.
- The home institution should seek to extend the same rights, responsibilities, and protections of academic freedom that apply on the home campus.
- The UW System and its institutions should consider ways to reduce disincentives for faculty and academic staff to accept professional assignments abroad or through study away. Such measures may include, but are not limited to:
- Modification of current policies to ensure inclusion of faculty and academic staff abroad or in study away in the merit/reward process.
- Provision of partial replacement funding to academic units that release faculty or academic staff to administer or teach in study abroad or study away programs.
- Guidelines for the evaluation of service abroad or study away to give equitable consideration for personnel matters regarding tenure, promotion, seniority, and merit.
D. Safety and Welfare of Faculty and Academic Staff
- All programs, domestic or international are responsible for monitoring and disclosing to faculty & staff U.S. State Department Consular Information Sheets, Public Announcements, Travel Warnings and site available health care options.
- All programs, domestic or international will also advise participants on essential health and safety considerations, including the Center for Disease Control Travel Information: Health Recommendations and Wisconsin Department of Health Services, personal responsibilities, unique overseas legal proceedings and other significant issues of concern related to the destination.
- Recommend that faculty and staff while on study abroad be required to obtain the accident and health insurance and medical evacuation and repatriation insurance offered through UWSA (currently CISI) and these expenses be considered a reimbursable travel expense. This should also be considered if the experience is located near international border where participants may be required to spend a period of time in another country.
- Requirement of an emergency response plan be in place for all associated travel under this policy.
E. Host Country/Domestic Location Considerations
- UW institutions are urged to encourage and help support, when possible, their faculty and academic staff who undertake research, teaching or administrative work related to their University responsibilities in all regions of the world or domestically.
- To promote the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, there shall be no restrictions placed on the destinations of faculty or academic staff who engage in legitimate research or teaching, participate in technical assistance projects, consulting, or academic conferences, or engage in similar activities appropriate to their professional development.
7. Related Documents
Guidance for SYS 146, University of Wisconsin System Faculty and Academic Staff Abroad Guidance Vehicle Use and Driver Authorization Pages by Institution
SYS 145, Development and Operation of Off-Campus International Educational Programs for University of Wisconsin System Students
Guidance for SYS 145, Suggested Study Abroad Program Checklist
SYS 145.A, University of Wisconsin System Uniform Statement of Responsibility, Release, and Authorization to Participate in Study Abroad and Exchange Programs
SYS 147, Admission and Delivery of Services to International Students and for the Employment and Delivery of Services to International Faculty and Academic Staff at UW Institutions
8. Policy History
Revision 1: January 12, 2021
First approved: April 2008
9. Scheduled Review