International Risk Assessment Committee
The International Risk Assessment Committee (IRAC) administers Northwestern’s Undergraduate International Travel Policy under the direction of its chair, the Director of the Office of Global Safety and Security (OGSS). The Provost will review the Committee’s recommendations and make a final decision. The IRAC serves at the direction of the Provost and is comprised of six members:
- The Director of the Office of Global Safety and Security (Chair)
- The Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
- The Dean of Students
- The Assistant Vice President for Risk Management and Environmental Health & Safety
- The Executive Director of Counseling & Psychological Services
- The Executive Director of Northwestern Health Services
- A representative of the Office of General Counsel will advise the Committee
The IRAC is charged with evaluating the health, safety and security of university-sponsored international activities involving Northwestern undergraduates.
Among other responsibilities, the IRAC reviews Travel Permission Requests by sponsoring academic units or individual students seeking to participate in educational activities in countries under U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) Travel Health Notice Warning Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel, or other locations deemed higher risk.
This body may also be responsible for reviewing and recommending whether or not to suspend an ongoing or previously approved undergraduate educational activity if a significant health, safety or security concern is raised regarding that experience. In making this assessment, the Committee will consider the risk management plan for the students, staff or faculty involved in the program or experience and the balance between the value of the academic experience in that specific location versus the risks associated with that location/activity.
The IRAC meets every month, from October to June, or as needed, to discuss risk mitigation for Northwestern’s international travelers. The meeting agenda can fill far in advance, therefore it is prudent to begin the review process for educational activities abroad as soon as possible.