- About Us
- About Our Faculty
- Faculty Handbook
- Faculty Development
- Faculty Resources
- Faculty of Arts & Sciences
- Schools, Programs, and Academic Services
- University-Wide Integrity
- Comments & Suggestions
|Date:||May 8, 2009|
|To:||Faculty, Students, Deans, Associate Deans, and Masters and Deans of the Residential Colleges|
|From:||Peter Salovey, Provost, and Linda Koch Lorimer, Secretary|
|RE:||Travel to Mexico with Yale funds or on Yale-sponsored programs|
Those of us working to develop Yale’s responses to the Swine Flu situation have been keenly interested in balancing the public health advice we are receiving with the educational opportunities we want to provide to our students. We have hoped not to make decisions regarding summer opportunities in Mexico prematurely, just as we have not wanted to delay communicating to students the implications for Yale-sponsored programs or use of Yale funds in Mexico this summer. We have benefited from colleagues in the Provost’s Office, the MacMillan Center, the College’s Center for International Experience, and the Deans of Yale College and the Graduate School among others in developing the decisions below.
Yale’s university partner in Mexico, Tecnológico de Monterrey, has recommended that the Bulldogs Internship Program and the Public Health in Action course scheduled to begin on May 30 both be postponed until the summer of 2010. We respect the enormous workload faced by Monterrey Tec and the uncertainty surrounding this situation and so have postponed both programs. The Yale College Center for International Experience is working with the 19 undergraduate students enrolled in these two programs to identify summer alternatives for them.
Other undergraduates are reminded of Yale’s International Travel Policy for Yale College Students, which applies to all undergraduates. It states in part:
“Yale will not fund, award credit for, or otherwise sponsor or support any international undergraduate academic or extracurricular project in any country for which 1) the U.S. State Department has issued a warning that orders departure of U.S. dependents and non-emergency personnel; recommends that U.S. citizens depart the country; advises U.S. citizens against all travel to the country; or recommends that U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to the country, or 2) the travel assistance organization MEDEX has rated the country a “5” (very high) level threat. This restriction will apply through the date of departure.”
The U.S. State Department alert issued on April 28 advises citizens to avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico. Thus, Yale funds cannot be used by undergraduates for projects or travel in Mexico until the State Department advisory is lifted. Undergraduates who have been planning to travel to Mexico this summer with Yale funds have at least two options. They can wait to see if the State Department travel advisory will be lifted prior to their departure date, a very “iffy” proposition, or they can explore alternate ways to use their Yale funds to pursue a different experience abroad this summer. Waiting a week or two before changing plans runs the risk of an undergraduate being closed out of alternatives in the event that the warning stays in effect into the summer. Therefore, we hope that every undergraduate who expected Yale funds to travel to Mexico this summer arranges immediately to consult with the Center for International Experience (firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-432-8761). In light of these unusual circumstances, the Center has the ability to approve transfer of awards from other units at Yale to summer experiences approved by the Center for International Experience.
The University’s International Travel Policy leaves it to the good judgment of faculty and graduate and professional school students to decide whether they should travel to Mexico in the circumstances we currently face. We strongly encourage Yale affiliates who are considering travel to Mexico with Yale funding to take seriously the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. State Department to postpone all but the most essential travel to Mexico until the advisory is terminated.
In addition, if any portion of your work receives support from a U.S. Government source, you should consult with your sponsoring agency to determine whether they are restricting use of federal money for travel to Mexico. At least one agency has advised that until the State Department travel warning is lifted, their funding may not be used to support travel to Mexico.
For faculty, as with graduate and professional students, the Yale travel policy is advisory but we strongly urge you to take the State Department warning seriously and consider shifting plans to travel to Mexico if at all possible. For faculty, in your role as mentor and advisor to students at all levels, we would appreciate your working with your graduate or professional students planning travel to Mexico to see if the trip is compelling at this time or whether it might be delayed. Students may consult with the associate dean of their school for additional assistance.
It is worth noting that countries other than Mexico are implementing responses that may impact travelers this summer. For example, the Chinese government has announced that all travelers arriving from affected countries, including the United States, will be segregated at specific gates and passengers will be screened. If there are one or more suspected cases of H1N1 on an arriving flight, passengers and crew on the flight will be quarantined at the airport pending decision on further steps. Read the warden message posted by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
If you are traveling abroad anywhere this summer, please check periodically for updates on the Yale Emergency Management website and the website of University Health Services. Remember too that if you register by filling out the Travel Form on the Yale and the World website to indicate where and when you will be abroad, the University will contact you in the case of an emergency. This, for example, was useful on such diverse occasions as the London Underground bombing and the evacuation from Lebanon.