University Business May 2018 - 13

RISK MANAGEMENT

Study abroad policies
take hard look at safety
As global collaboration increases in
higher education, so do concerns about
violence abroad. In response, colleges
and universities are strengthening international travel policies in an effort to
keep their community members safe and
accounted for overseas.
Destination: Known
Risk management teams now work
across departments to improve travel
protocols. Washington University in St.
Louis' International Travel Oversight
Committee-a team of senior emergency
management, legal, risk, administrative
and travel officers-meets every two
weeks to review travel proposals.
The committee researches current
events in proposed destinations to assess
safety, and also reviews the places the
traveler will pass through. "Especially
in the last few years, there is a changing perception of areas thought to be
safe and those that are not," says Dedric
Carter, the committee's chair. "Some
areas that weren't indicative of significant
risks now are."
Having a staff member trained in
international travel insurance is also
helpful in operating a safe study abroad
program, says Joseph Finkhouse, associate director for health, safety and security

LEARNING TO LOOK-Boston University students participate in its Venice
Studio Arts Program.

with Boston University. Medical and
evacuation insurance is available to the
university's traveling population.
Real-time location information
Some higher ed institutions have set up
registries where travelers create profiles to
document flight information and other
trip details. Boston University's International Travel Registry identifies the
location of all travelers in real time, and
sends them alerts of incidents that may
affect their activities abroad. Travelers also
receive pre-trip country and city briefings.
Washington University requires

WOW!
Major cuts-The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point announced plans
to eliminate 13 majors, phasing out classic humanities programs such as
English, history, art, sociology and political science over the next few years.
Courses will still be taught in those subjects, and minor degrees will remain for
a few. The reorganization reflects an effort to address "fiscal challenges"-
including a $4.5 million deficit over the next two years-by expanding 16
job-oriented programs, including business, chemical engineering, computer
information systems and graphic design. The university expects to begin laying off tenured faculty in 2020. -Ray Bendici
www.universitybusiness.com

students to create a travel profile on the
school's MyTrips portal. Registration
is needed to receive course credit and
expense reimbursement. The university
recently expanded its registration site to
include faculty, post-grad researchers and
other members of the community.
"We [in academia] need to be in
places where there are the greatest needs,
and we need tools to keep us safe in
those places," says Carter. "We're not creating a boogeyman, but looking at real
data and events so we are able to respond
in the best way we can."
-Stefanie Botelho
DATA POINT

90

-Total number of locations
to which Boston University students
and faculty have traveled
Source: Boston University

May 2018 | 13


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