Study Away Risk Assessment Committee - SARAC
Role of the Committee
The Study Away Risk Assessment Committee (SARAC) is responsible for authorizing university-sponsored educational or service opportunities involving travel when there is a significant health or safety concern. SARAC is also responsible for deciding whether to suspend an educational opportunity away from campus when health or safety concerns emerge shortly before a program begins or while it is in progress. The Committee is expected to balance the educational and/or research merits of the travel opportunity with its associated risk, with an emphasis on risk mitigation.
How to apply for a Request for an Exemption
Requests for Exception to Restricted Travel Destinations
- Students (or faculty/staff leading a group of students) who wish to travel to a destination included on the restricted travel list must submit a “Request for Exception to Travel” to the Study Away Risk Assessment Committee for review. SARAC is responsible for deciding whether to permit an education away opportunity in a restricted country/ destination or to suspend an education away opportunity when health or safety concerns emerge shortly before a program starts or while it is in progress.
- Request forms can be found here: individual or student group or faculty-led . Forms should be completed as soon as possible, and no later than sixty days prior to travel.
- SARAC may determine that a restricted travel destination does not require a “Request for Exception to Travel” if that destination recently been reviewed by SARAC and there have been no major changes in safety or security since the approval. SARAC may reinstate the requirements for a “Request for Exception to Travel” at any time.
SARAC Process - Sample Timeline
Approved Requests for Exception
- If travel is approved, the student will continue to receive support from the University, including financial aid, course credit, or other assistance, as applicable.
- In addition to the waiver signed by all students traveling abroad, the applicant will be asked to sign an additional waiver acknowledging that he or she has read and understands the risks associated with travel to a country/destination under a travel warning, or other warnings, as applicable.
- SARAC reserves the right to place conditions on approval (i.e. prohibit certain aspects of the proposed itinerary or require additional safety or security measures).
- Vanderbilt reserves the right to suspend or cancel travel at any time, should SARAC determine that the situation in a country/destination deteriorates to a level that is no longer acceptable. In such cases, the applicant understands that the university is not responsible for reimbursement for expenses related to withdrawal.
- Complete action steps listed in the Basic checklist for SARAC Approved International travel. Please click here for the list
Denied Requests for Exception
- If a request for exception is denied by SARAC, university support for travel, including course credit, financial aid, insurance through HTH and ISOS, and logistical support, will be withdrawn.
- Student organizations may not make use of funding from AcFees, tax-receipted donations, or fundraising events held or disbursed in their organization’s agency fund to support travel that has been denied after a review of a request for exception.
- If the applicant moves forward with travel, he or she does so with the understanding that the travel is in no way supported or sponsored by Vanderbilt University.
- The use of Vanderbilt University logos, websites, or other use of the Vanderbilt name associated with the proposed travel will be prohibited.
SARAC Committee Members 2016-17
|Title||Voting||First Name||Last Name|
|Director, Risk Financing||Yes||Melissa||Ahler|
|Associate Provost and Dean of Students||Yes||Mark||Bandas|
|Executive Director of Global Learning & Education||Yes||Susan||Barone|
|Global Safety and Security Manager||Yes||Andrea||Bordeau|
|VUPD voting member||Yes||Ricky||Burr|
|Vice Provost of Learning and Residential Affairs||Yes||Cynthia||Cyrus|
|School of Medicine Assoc Director for Education and Training||Yes||Douglas||Heimburger|
|Manager of Compliance, Compliance Office - University||Yes||Ruth||Nagareda|
|Vice Provost for Research||Yes||Padma||Raghavan|
|Deputy General Counsel||Yes||Ruby||Shellaway|
|Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs||Informational||Beth||Fortune|
|Program Manager, Travel and Payment Cards||Informational||Sabrina||Kronk|
|Director, Global Health Initiatives||Informational||Julie||Lankford|
|VUPD informational member||Informational||August||Washington|
|Audit Manager, Internal Audit||Informational||Bruce||Weisman|