Subject: TBR System Faculty & Academic Staff Abroad
The institutions of the TBR System recognize the value of faculty and academic staff developing global competence and as such extend the Tennessee liability coverage to faculty and staff engaging in international education programs or courses to the extent that it is applicable in foreign jurisdictions. These institutions encourage and support activities abroad for professional development, teaching, research, and service with the host countries. The TBR recognizes that these activities vary not only in purpose, but also in duration, type of arrangement with the host country, responsibilities to the home institution, and funding source. Despite these considerable variations, certain overall principles and policy apply.
I. The Responsibilities of the Faculty and Academic Staff
A. Faculty and academic staff abroad must adhere to the following:
1. Policies - Are governed by the same policies that define faculty and academic staff rights and responsibilities on the home campus.
2. Compliance with the Law/Awareness of Customs - Must act in accordance
with the laws of the host country, and should make themselves aware of the local customs.
3. Deliver Value - Must be willing, upon return to the home campus, to provide the broadest value to the institution of the time spent abroad.
4. Adherence to Guidelines - Engaged in faculty exchanges must be familiar with TBR Guideline A-051 Faculty Exchange.
5. Contracting Requirements- Faculty and staff shall adhere to all applicable contracting requirements, including appropriate contract approval and legal review.
II. The Responsibilities of the Institution and the System
A. Orientation - The institution, also known as the home institution, must provide orientation and training for faculty or academic staff with international program responsibilities abroad.
B. Academic Freedom - The home institution must seek to extend the same rights, responsibilities, and protections of academic freedom that apply on the home campus. Institutions shall, however, inform faculty that the host institution has the right to determine the ultimate parameters of academic freedom involving that faculty member’s presence on the host campus, including the classroom.
C. Incentives to Pursue and Accept Assignments Abroad - The TBR and its institutions must consider ways to provide incentives for faculty and academic staff to accept professional assignments abroad. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, policies on retirement and fringe benefits; replacement of instruction for academic departments when faculty are on international assignment; and consideration of international activities during tenure and promotion evaluations.
III. Host Country Considerations
To promote the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, there shall be no restrictions placed on the destinations of faculty or academic staff who engage in legitimate research or teaching, participate in technical assistance projects, consulting, or academic conferences, or engage in similar activities appropriate to their professional development with the exception of nations where the U. S. Department of State currently advises against travel or tourism by Americans.
Source: Board Meeting March 26, 2009