Emporia State University Travel Guidelines
Effective JULY 15, 2020
The ESU Guiding Principles should be applied to travel conducted on behalf or in support of Emporia State University in an official capacity and will be applicable to all campus activities for students, faculty and staff:
- The safe return and continued face to face instruction of ESU students, faculty and staff is paramount.
- High-quality learning. ESU will continue to deliver highest-quality learning opportunities for students.
- Look to experts. ESU will adhere to health guidance and benchmarks from university, local, state and federal entities and follow, to the extent reasonably practicable, discipline-specific guidance provided.
- Forward progress. ESU will take reasonable and prudent measures and will transition to the next stage when we have, at minimum, fulfilled guidance from state and local health officials.
- Additional steps. ESU may apply additional restrictions to provide a safe environment for our campus community.
- Recognize individual circumstances. ESU will work with employees and students who are members of vulnerable populations or who live with someone who is a member of a vulnerable population.
- Remote work. ESU will encourage and support remote work to the greatest extent possible for as long as necessary, with supervisor approval.
- Target dates and stages will be used to provide timelines and parameters to gradually return faculty, staff and students to campus. Each department will use the ESU Roadmap and associated planning tools to build individualized return to campus plans with department-specific timing.
In addition to the Guiding Principles for the university, the planning and management of all University-related travel must include an evaluation of the purpose, risk and value to the university. In addition, departments should utilize Center for Disease Control “Best Practices” for the campus community specific to travel guidelines and safe return to campus expectations.
The following are the top considerations regarding university travel.
1) Purpose and priority: What are the purpose of the proposed travel and its value to the university, its mission and strategic plan? How mission critical is the travel?
Decisions should be made in a manner that maintains student, faculty and staff safety while accomplishing their university assignment. Identify priority mission critical travel utilizing supervisor discretion.
2) Modality: Can the activity be accomplished remotely?
To the extent possible, priority will be given to official university travel that does not offer an alternative platform and remains time sensitive and a priority for the advancement of Emporia State University. Travel should be carefully considered and virtual options should be chosen whenever possible.
3) Safety: Can safety be maintained during travel? Are social distancing, masks, sanitizing available and in place? What safety protocols does the event/conference/community have in place?
- Anytime traveling on university representative on business as a university representative masks are required while traveling in a vehicle with more than one person.
- University fleet vehicles will be allowed.
4) Destination restrictions: Are there restrictions for the location destination? Are visitors/guests allowed? Will the traveler be required to quarantine upon arrival at the destination? Will quarantine be required upon return?
Travel to the KDHE quarantine states should be carefully considered with discretion ultimately remaining with the appropriate Vice President:
5) Traveler risks: Do those traveling understand the risks? Can the purpose be achieved in other ways?
Travel during the foreseeable future assumes additional physical, mental and emotional stress. Consideration should be given in advance of any travel by all parties. These travel decisions impact the employees work and home life as well as colleagues and classmates.
6) Expenses: What if additional/unexpected expenses are incurred related to Covid-19 safety protocols? What if reimbursements are needed to due Covid-19 issues?
Reimbursement for travel related expenses is the responsibility of the department authorizing the travel. If an employee is unable to travel due to COVID-related restrictions, refunds should be requested for expenses such as registration fees, airfare and lodging. The employee should be reimbursed for out-of-pocket costs that are not refunded, as allowed by the State of Kansas Employee Travel Expense Reimbursement Handbook.
If an employee becomes incapacitated during University travel, the University may authorize reimbursement for subsistence for up to five days and costs for the employee to return to campus, also as per the State of Kansas Employee Travel Expense Reimbursement Handbook (sections 3004 and 4004). Again, the department authorizing the travel will be responsible for all related costs.
Reimbursement for travel expenses are governed by the State of Kansas and University policy.
7) Support and flexibility for the staff traveler: Are compassion and flexibility offered to the traveler? For example, if a quarantine is imposed while traveling, will travelers be able to work remotely upon return?
Create a supportive experience for those students, faculty and staff for which travel is required or permitted as they represent our university in an official capacity.
8) Support and flexibility for the student and faculty traveler: After returning to campus, can student and/or faculty travelers safely participate in face-to-face instruction?
This travel should only be approved after thoughtful consideration.
9) Consistent consideration and application of guidelines: Will the above guidelines and ESU Guiding Principles be equitably and consistently applied across campus? While it is understood that in some cases, including athletics, flexibility may be necessary, what additional steps may be necessary to ensure the safety of all athletes during travel and when returning from sporting events and their ability to participate in face-to-face instruction?
10) Athletics: Plans are being developed and continue to be developed as they relate to MIAA Conference, NCAA, campus, county, state, and federal requirements. ESU Athletics will follow the ESU Guiding Principles and evaluate the risk through careful consideration.
11) Emphasis of and adherence to safe protocols: Given that non-university travel* will occur, the university will need to strictly adhere to on-campus protocols including social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, and the like as the final and most important means of protection.
12) Associated Student Government: All ASG travel will be considered on a case-by-case basis. RSO travel is very important to the student experience, however the safety of students and the greater ESU campus is important as well.
Given the uncertainty associated with Covid-19, travel plans and ESU travel guidelines will be monitored to determine if/when modifications are necessary. Should circumstances warrant higher restriction or continuation of guidelines into the spring 2021 semester, this document will continue to serve as the foundation for decisions regarding university-related travel.
On behalf of all the constituents, these guidelines include an expectation of personal responsibility for each and every one. It is understood that personal travel will occur by our faculty, staff and students. With the common good and the health and safety of the people of our campus at the forefront, please be thoughtful as you consider plans to travel in and out of our community.