International Educator - January/February 2018 - S9

scomb University and is the outgoing elected president
for the University Risk Management and Insurance
Association (URMIA).
Lipscomb, a small religious college in Nashville,
encountered such a crisis when one of its athletic teams
was robbed at gunpoint on a bus in South America. The
incident triggered a planned crisis response from the
university's on-the-ground partner.
"No one was hurt thankfully, but they had all of their
belongings stolen, including their itineraries," Hargis says.
"What we did at that point was call in our security advisers who had a person on the ground in that particular
city. They came to the hotel and met with the team and
moved all of them to a different hotel." Lipscomb did not
recall the students back to Nashville. Instead, the security
adviser the university worked with created a new itinerary for the students.
"We try to not have a knee-jerk reaction to things,"
Hargis says. "That doesn't really accomplish what we're
trying to do." At Lipscomb, where the mission emphasizes humanitarian trips, Hargis often finds herself
sending students where other universities might not go.
"I'm always kind of envious: The response from my
peers is, 'we just don't go to any places on [the State
Department's travel warning list],'" says Hargis, who has
handled risk at Lipscomb for 13 years. "We go to quite
a few countries on the list. There have been times we
pulled trips or canceled. But we try not to make that our
first response."
Hargis tries to minimize risk by working with
partners on the ground. An outside security firm also
assesses the situation before trips begin. The scariest
trips, Hargis says, are not those to higher-risk areas but
those with partners the university has never worked
with before. It's a bit out of her comfort zone and she'll
scrutinize those programs more, she says. But, then
again, the point of international travel is often to step
out of comfort zones.

Managing Fear Along with Risk
The space between comfort zones and the fears of
parents, students, and administrations has become a
familiar spot for risk managers. In a world of so much
information, handling fear-not just risk-has become a
part of the job.
At Campbell, trips to Tanzania stalled after Ebola
spread in West Africa in 2014-despite the fact that the
country was on the opposite side of the continent. "We
just couldn't argue with parents past that," Waldron says.
"It was so much of a conversation about how big Africa

was. We decided it was an uphill battle."
Hope at the University of Kentucky heard similar
questions about whether studying abroad in Cape
Town, South Africa, was safe. He notes, "Paris is closer
to Sierra Leone than Cape Town."
"There was a number of really significant world
events that turned people's attention toward safety
abroad, toward risk management, and instilled a lot
of fear in people," he says of recent years. Sometimes
managing that fear and anxiety becomes an important
part of the job.
"People don't always understand the magnitude of the
world," he says. "That's something that we work on a lot:
Not only to manage risk-I never want to minimize that
there are risks. There are always risks when you travel. But
to educate folks about what risks are most likely to affect
them and to mitigate fears that may not be so realistic."
"There's a difference between risk and fear," he says,
"and helping people to understand that distinction is
part of our job."
JENNY ROGERS is a journalist in the Washington, D.C., area.

Best Practices
■■ Work with trusted, vetted partners on the ground.
■■ Build redundancies.
■■ Stay up-to-date on all travel warnings and international safety

briefings.
■■ Consider personnel who might be falling through cracks such

as noncredit traveling students, graduate researchers, and
faculty.
■■ Conduct site visits as needed.
■■ Conduct predeparture orientations with students and staff.
■■ Predetermine crisis management roles and plans.
■■ Debrief after travel to assess what could be done better.
■■ Reach out to other international health and safety professionals
for tips. Know where other universities are going.

For More Information
NAFSA Resources on Risk Management
http://www.nafsa.org/findresources/default.
aspx?catId=806591

Overseas Safety Advisory Council
http://osac.gov

University Risk Management and Insurance
Association (URMIA)
https://www.urmia.org/home

R I S K M A N AG E M E N T * J A N.+ F E B .18

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

9


http://www.nafsa.org/findresources/default.aspx?catId=518258 http://www.osac.gov https://www.urmia.org/home

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - January/February 2018

From the Desk of
Frontlines
In Brief
Global Spotlight: Malaysia
Quick Questions
Feature: Recruiting Farther Upstream: U.S. Institutions Are Exploring New Opportunities Among International High School Students
Feature: CASE STUDY: The Business of Global Engagement
Feature: Middle Class Rising: As the Number of Families with Discretionary Income Grows, So Do Prospects for More International Students
Education Abroad
International Student Affairs
International Enrollment
International Education Leadership
Forum
In Focus
Feature: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Results
Advertiser Listings & Index
International Educator - January/February 2018 - BB1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - BB2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 4
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 5
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 6
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 7
International Educator - January/February 2018 - From the Desk of
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Frontlines
International Educator - January/February 2018 - In Brief
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 11
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 12
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 13
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Global Spotlight: Malaysia
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 15
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Quick Questions
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 17
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Recruiting Farther Upstream: U.S. Institutions Are Exploring New Opportunities Among International High School Students
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 19
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 20
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 21
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: CASE STUDY: The Business of Global Engagement
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 23
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 24
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 25
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Middle Class Rising: As the Number of Families with Discretionary Income Grows, So Do Prospects for More International Students
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 27
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 28
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 29
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Education Abroad
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 31
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Student Affairs
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 33
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Enrollment
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 35
International Educator - January/February 2018 - International Education Leadership
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 37
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Forum
International Educator - January/February 2018 - 39
International Educator - January/February 2018 - In Focus
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Cover4
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover1
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover2
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Feature: Minimizing Risk, Maximizing Results
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S5
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S6
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S7
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S8
International Educator - January/February 2018 - S9
International Educator - January/February 2018 - Advertiser Listings & Index
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover3
International Educator - January/February 2018 - SCover4
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