New Travel Policy & Travel Restrictions Change

May 14, 2021 / By: Tim Lewis, Senior International Officer and Associate Vice Provost for Global Learning and Strategy
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University Travel Restrictions Changed

As of last week, the university relaxed restrictions on university travel. New guidelines for faculty, staff and student groups are listed below:

  • Restrictions on domestic travel have been lifted. Approval for domestic travel will revert to the process followed pre-pandemic and the newly adopted travel policy (details below).
  • All international travel will require provost approval. International travel requests must be submitted to Tim Lewis, chair of the Travel Risk Advisory Committee ( That committee will make a recommendation to the provost.
  • All travelers are required to follow CDC travel guidance on vaccinations or testing.

St. Thomas Adopts New Travel Policy

After a detailed multi-year review and approval process, the university adopted a new travel policy.  Any time a new institutional policy is proposed, it must undergo a comprehensive approval process to ensure the best outcomes.  After over two years of development and vetting through official university processes, the new policy was twice reviewed by the Faculty Senate and approved by the University Policy Advisory Committee (UPAC).  President Sullivan then signed it on Thursday, February 25. It replaces the existing Off-Campus Travel with Students Policy.

What does this new travel policy mean for university travel?

We see several areas where this policy will be useful and where it follows best practices. First, it clarifies that all university business travel should comply with university policy. The policy does not change who has the authority to approve travel, but it does codify existing practice. The policy addresses risk mitigation and fiscal stewardship, both important at any time but especially at this time at St. Thomas.

How does the policy impact me?

The policy itself is straightforward and extends existing practices to previously unsupported areas. It pertains to all domestic and international university travel.  The particulars of the policy – for example how travel registration works – will be covered in a procedures document or an FAQ sheet that can be more readily updated. That document is currently under development.

Will this policy have a fiscal impact on the university?

There are no expected additional costs or staffing needs associated with this proposed policy. There are no additional travel funds being restored this summer for university travel.

Read the new travel policy and reach out to Tim Lewis (, Associate Vice Provost for Global Learning and Strategy, if you have questions. 

Find more information on the International Risk Management page (external site) and the Travel Risk Management page (requires login).