March 1, 2017
TO: Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM: Eric Mlyn, Chair, Duke University Global Travel Advisory Committee
RE: Required Travel Registrations for Graduate and Professional Students
Duke’s first priority will always be to keep our students safe when they are under our instruction or supervision, and with the increasing number of natural disasters and crises occurring internationally we now need to take additional measures to ensure the safety of our graduate and professional students abroad.
Since 2008, Duke has required all undergraduate students to enter their itineraries and contact information into the Duke Travel Registry whenever they go abroad on University funded or sponsored travel. It has been required for travel by graduate/professional students when traveling to any destination that appeared on Duke’s Restricted Regions List as well. A few of Duke’s graduate/professional schools and institutes required all of their students to register travel that the school/institute funded. In order to establish consistency and to ensure we can quickly identify and contact all students who may find themselves in need of assistance during an emergency situation, beginning today, all graduate and professional students will be required to complete the Duke Travel Registry for any trip abroad that is funded by, sponsored by, or entails earning credit to be transferred back to Duke University.
In the last year, we have had several occasions such as terrorist attacks in Paris, Munich, and Istanbul, as well as the Brussels airport bombing, and the recent earthquakes in New Zealand and Italy where members of the Duke community were in the affected areas but not found in the Duke Travel Registry. Duke has international partnerships with International SOS, CIGNA Medical Benefits Abroad, and other organizations to quickly assist members of the Duke community in times of crisis, including full-scale evacuation if necessary. However, our ability to quickly identify and provide support to our students in such circumstances is limited if we do not know they are in a location impacted.
The policy change is effective March 1, 2017, and assistance is available from the Global Administrative and Travel Support office for programs that wish to do batch uploads or want to request assistance with the registry. As with most institutional policies, compliance is ensured at the school/department level as that is where decision-making occurs when it comes to funding or coordinating student travel. The suggested method for managing student registrations is for faculty and staff to instruct students to copy them on their registrations or forward the registration confirmation emails so that funding/sponsoring units can confirm student’s travel is entered prior to their departure date.
An email will be sent to all graduate and professional students later this week and a story about this new policy will soon be posted on Duke Today. If you have any questions or need assistance with the Duke Travel Registry, please visit the Global Administrative and Travel Support website or contact Christy Parrish Michels, travel policy administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.