UF Haiti Travel Policy

In light of some improvements on the ground in Haiti since the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake and a compelling interest for the University of Florida to be more of a presence in Haiti, the University of Florida is amending its current policy with regard to travel and work there.

The revised rules, effective May 15, 2011, are as follows:

  • UF faculty, staff and other non-student personnel are free to make their own informed decision whether to travel to Haiti, as long as the traveler has medical and evacuation insurance coverage for such travel.  No International Center Dean’s approval is required.
  • UF Travel to Haiti by graduate students is permissible under the same policy guidelines as those for UF faculty and staff (see above).   It is expected, however, that graduate students’ travel to Haiti is limited only to travel necessitated by compelling academic reasons and with the approval and guidance of their faculty mentor, department chair, and/or dean.
  • UF Travel to Haiti by undergraduate students is not generally permitted except as part of a formal group sanctioned by the university and with compelling academic reasons for such travel. A faculty member or similar responsible group leader must accompany such a group in their travel. Such travel must be approved in advance by the Dean of the International Center, Dr. Leonardo A. Villalón (lvillalon@ufic.ufl.edu or 273-1536) and must satisfy all risk management precautions normally applied to undergraduate travel to countries with posted U.S. State Department Travel Warnings. The process for meeting these precautions is mediated through Dr. Susanne Hill, Executive Director of the UF International Center (shill@ufic.ufl.edu or 273-1500)
  • UF strongly urges UF-affiliated individuals intending travel to Haiti to review and take with utmost seriousness the Haiti travel warnings posted at: http://travel.state.gov/; http://www.cdc.gov/; http://www.who.int/en/.  The American Embassy’s ability to provide emergency consular services continues to be limited; access to basic services is also extremely limited, especially in Port-au-Prince; medical services are often unavailable and frequently inadequate; there are shortages of food, water, transportation and adequate shelter; and there are many other serious dangers to life, health, safety, and property.  The University urges travelers to exercise caution and good judgment in such travel. All travel to and through Port-au-Prince should be avoided insofar as possible. Because of the risk of cholera and other diarrheal diseases, all travelers are strongly encouraged to carry with them an appropriate course of antibiotics (such as doxycycline 300 mg [single dose]) and several packets of oral rehydration sugar/salt powder which can be mixed with water to make oral rehydration solution; anyone having severe diarrhea for more than several hours must seek immediate medical attention at a hospital or cholera clinic.  Travelers are also strongly advised to take prophylaxis for malaria.  Antibiotics and malaria prophylaxis may be obtained through Student and Employee Health on the UF campus, or through the traveler’s clinic at the Alachua County Health Department.
  • All travel under this policy must be registered at the UF International Center travel site per standard university policy.

Under this policy “UF Travelmeans travel and any travel-related program or activity by any member of the UF community: (a) that is required or run by UF; or (b) that is financially supported by any account of UF, a UF Direct Support Organization (DSO), or other UF affiliate--or that has financial support arranged or facilitated by UF or a UF DSO or other affiliate; or (c) that involves use of any equipment, supplies, materials or other resources of UF or any UF DSO or other affiliate. 

However, “UF Traveldoes not include personal travel, meaning travel undertaken: (d) without the requirement, coercion, financial support or resources of UF or any UF DSO or other affiliate,
and (e) where the travel is undertaken in the traveler’s sole discretion, on his or her own time and in his or her personal capacity (e.g., on vacation or leave of absence or where Haiti is the traveler’s home country and the trip would be made anyway).  A traveler’s personal decision to do some work while on personal travel, without funding or resources from UF or a UF DSO or affiliate, does not convert personal travel to UF Travel or violate this policy.  As used, “equipment”/”resources” do not include a UF laptop computer or PDA assigned generally (i.e., not especially for the trip), but do include UF cameras and other equipment.

Anyone who travels to Haiti in violation of this policy or on personal travel is, by making the trip, agreeing that UF is not responsible in any manner or on any basis whatsoever for the trip, any travel-related program or activity, or the traveler’s well-being.  Anyone who travels in violation of this policy—or assists, coerces or specifically encourages a violation of this policy by another-- is subject to discipline under UF regulations.

Contact Information:

Dr. Leonardo A. Villalón
Dean, UF International Center
Phone: (352) 273-1536

Vanessa Fayo
Executive Secretary
Phone: (352) 273-1536

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