The centralized travel registry will allow UNC to easily track students and faculty and better assist them in the event of an unexpected crisis abroad
from UNC Global News
August 11, 2011 — UNC faculty and students study, research and work around the world, sometimes in challenging locations or during unexpected crises. Now, thanks to the work of a task force formed by the Office of the Provost, the university is launching the UNC Global Travel Registry, which allows members of the UNC community to provide information about trips abroad so that UNC can contact them and better assist them as needed. All students traveling abroad will be required to register their university-related trips in the online registry.
Without the registry, information about who is abroad has often been fragmented and incomplete given that members of the UNC community travel through many different programs offered by various units across campus. “Just since we began this process, we’ve needed to contact students in Mexico, Haiti, Egypt and Japan,” says Ron Strauss, executive associate provost and chief international officer at UNC. “We want to be able to reach out quickly to UNC faculty, staff and students who might be in a crisis area and find out whether they are okay and determine what we can do to help them in the short and long-term. This new registry will make it more possible to maintain the safety and health of our global community.”
The data in the UNC Global Travel Registry will be secure and confidential and entries will not be saved after the student or faculty member returns home. Access to the registry information will be strictly limited to the Office of the Provost and UNC Global. The registry went live in early August and is prepared to accept information about travel to all places outside the U.S., including in North America.
The UNC Global Travel Registry captures identification and domestic contact information for travelers, information for a traveler’s emergency contact, travel dates and locations, and any specific local contact information for a particular destination. Travelers also are able to upload a current personal image, if they wish.
All students traveling abroad will be required to register their university-related trips in the online registry. This will involve all students on formal university-related travel, including Study Abroad, exchange programs, internships, service programs and research projects. Personal recreational travel may be registered while students are enrolled at UNC, but that is not required. Registration will be optional for faculty and staff, but is encouraged so that they also may receive updates and alerts while abroad.
The system is the product of over a year’s work by a taskforce charged with making recommendations concerning the design, implementation and costs associated with a web-based travel information registry. The project was managed and implemented by Bogdan Leja, the university’s former international liaison officer, and Andrew Hunt, executive assistant to the chief international officer. Mark Nielsen, information systems director for the Study Abroad Office, served as the system architect. Bob Miles, associate dean for study abroad and international exchange in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Fletcher Fairey, associate university counsel, rounded out the taskforce, providing guidance and resources.
“The expertise of our faculty and the experience of our students reflect an increasingly interconnected global world. The UNC Global Travel Registry will allow us to safely keep pace with the international aspirations of the Carolina community,” says Strauss.
Media Contact: Katie Bowler, director of global relations, (919) 962-4504, firstname.lastname@example.org