Guidelines for Travel Approval

Updated 12/10/2020, 3:55 PM

All travel, regardless of the source of funding, for university-sponsored business outside the State of Illinois is restricted and requires pre-approval from the Unit Executive Officer (UEO). Out-of-State and international university-sponsored travel may require a second level review. This restriction is in place for both financial considerations and to make sure that any travel is safe for both the traveler and for our community. It is expected that permission to travel will be granted in a limited number of circumstances.

Process

We recommend that each college establish a point person to handle travel decisions to ensure consistency and timeliness of decisions. The college point person can also serve as a resource to mitigate situations for employees or students who are uncomfortable with the pressure that they feel to travel.

In-State Travel

Procedures for authorization for in-state travel are based on historical guidelines for the unit. See the OBFS website for more information.

Out-of-State U.S. Travel

Requests to travel out-of-state should be made to the UEO of an employee’s home unit and should identify the dates, location, and rationale/justification for the travel, describing why it is essential university business, in no more than a few sentences. UEOs will decide whether to approve, deny, or forward the request to the next level (i.e., department forwards to college). The second level UEO will have ultimate decision-making authority.

International Travel

Requests to travel abroad should be made to the UEO of an employee’s home unit using the Faculty and Staff Travel Abroad petition. The petition identifies the location(s), dates, and rationale/justification for the travel, describing why it is essential university business in no more than a few sentences. It also identifies the U.S. Department of State (DoS) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel advisories, as well as destination quarantine and support, and advice to maintain well-being.

Upon completion of the Faculty and Staff Travel Abroad petition, employees will receive a copy of their submission to forward to their UEO. UEOs will decide whether to approve the request, forward the request to the next level (i.e., department forwards to college) or to deny the request. The second level UEO will have ultimate decision-making authority.

In addition to criteria below for all travel, travel abroad should consider:

  • Is the DoS Travel Advisory Level 3 or lower? Is the CDC Travel Advisory for COVID-19 Level 3 or lower? Travel to countries designated by DoS or CDC as Level 4 is strongly discouraged.
  • Is the traveler required to quarantine upon arrival at the destination? What other precautionary measures are required?

International Safety and Security will receive a copy of the Faculty and Staff Travel Abroad petition and provide the traveler with additional resources and actions if the travel is approved. International Safety and Security will also forward the form to Illinois Human Resources to monitor quarantine requirements upon return to Champaign-Urbana.

Criteria for Approval

  • Can the activity be accomplished virtually?
  • Is the travel strictly necessary to fulfill the university’s fundamental mission?
  • How will the travel be funded?
  • Is the traveler’s safety at risk?
  • Can the travel be postponed?
  • Current COVID-19 status of domestic Out-of-State travel location:
    • Does the location’s COVID-19 status resemble Restore Illinois phase 1 or 2? Travel to areas identified by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) as having high or rapidly increasing cases will generally be denied except in limited circumstances.
    • Cases in the U.S.
    • COVID-19 Forecasts: Hospitalizations

Traveler Consideration

  • The university will require all travelers to comply with travel quarantine requirements issued by the CDC or Illinois Department of Public Health. Travelers should acknowledge understanding of this requirement in the travel request.
  • Please also see the university’s COVID-19 website for new recommendations from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District for individuals who travel, including those who return to campus and for initial arrival on campus.