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Faculty Expectations & Responsibilities:

Faculty Led Programs

Getting Started

The planning for a new program starts 12-18 months before taking students overseas. The materials in this handbook are intended to help you through the application and program development process.

There are several moving parts to leading a faculty-led program, particularly if this is your first time. Learning Abroad is here to help! We are happy to connect you with other faculty on campus with experience running programs and with providers and international institutions that can assist with in-country support. 

Learning Abroad provides training, preparation, and support for all faculty directors. Please review the Learning Abroad New Faculty-Led Program Proposal brochure to find out more about starting a new faculty led program. Faculty are encouraged to reach out to the Director of Learning Abroad at in the Learning Abroad Office, in order to get started on the proposal process.

Or click here and apply now to lead a faculty-led program abroad: Learning Abroad New Faculty-Led Program Proposal website


Role of the Learning Abroad Office

The goal of the Learning Abroad Office is to provide holistic support that makes learning abroad opportunities possible. To support your efforts, the Learning Abroad Office provides the following services for program directors:

Advising & Marketing

  • Advisng services for faculty
    • Advising on program design and delivery, marketing strategies, pre-departure preparedness, health & safety, etc.
  • Advisng students on academic and cultural consideratinos
  • Application assistance and processing in Terra Dotta
  • Brochure / flyer development, editing, and color painting
  • Learning Abroad Fair coordination
  • General marketing at universtity events such as freshman orientation and Plazafest
  • Classroom presentatino to promote learning abroad participation
  • Utilization of on-campus marketing venues such as student orgaizations, ASUU, and events
  • Learning Abroad promotion at conferences, amoung Utah universities, and in national forums
  • Re-integration programming for student participants

Financial Services

  • Discounted tuition rates for faculty directed programs
  • Coordination with University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid
  • Scholarship coordination and adminstration
  • Request proposals and quotes from providers and potential international partners
  • Budget development and management
  • Post-program reconciliation processing assistance and support
  • Bill pay and reimbursement
  • Wire transfers
  • Foreign currency check acquisition
  • Travel office adminstration
  • Student billing


  • Website and brochure development
  • Technical Terra Dotta Support and training
  • Training on Concur and other university online systems used for travel


  • Course registration coordination and implementatino
  • International Requirement recording, tracking, and petitions
  • Coorddination of programs with strategic initiatives of Colleges oand Departments

Pre-departure Preparation

  • Faculty training and orientation
  • Student orientation
  • Pre-departure workshops 
  • Scheduling support for program-specific orientations
  • Handbook and policy developemnt
  • Support for non-U of U applicants

Insurance and Liability

  • Insurance contracting, billing and payments
  • Insurance registration and claim support
  • Liaise with Global Risk Management team and University risk management office
  • Security, Safety, and Health Assessment and Review
  • Complaint mediation
  • 24/7 Emergency phone number


  • Support and resources for new program development
  • Development, implementation and analysis of program assessments and evaluations


Expectations for Faculty Directors

Faculty directors are the cornerstone of learning abroad at the U. Your dedication and enthusiasm create global opportunities for students! The faculty director has a year-round commitment to the program starting with the new program proposal and continuing with student support after returning from the host country. In general terms, faculty directors should expect to fulfill the responsibilities outlined in the Faculty Director Service Agreement in support of the program.

Activity Description
Program Recruitment Successful programs have faculty directors who aggressively recruit applicants. While the Learning Abroad Office provides support for recruitment and marketing, these activities are the responsibility of faculty directors.

Reviewing Applications

Faculty directors review student applications and coordinate with the Learning Abroad Office to approve participants.
Teaching and Academic Coordination Faculty directors serve as the instructor of record for all courses connected to the program and coordinate the academic components of the program. In many programs, faculty directors teach the coursework offered on the program. Sometimes they coordinate with local universities to provide instruction. Faculty directors are expected attend all program related activities and provide pastoral care while in country.
Cultural Integration One of the key learning outcomes of learning abroad is to increase intercultural competency in students. Faculty directors integrate cultural themes and scholarly activities into the academic and social component of the program to ensure that students have an authentic, valuable cultural experience abroad. Critical to this element of the program is direct interaction with local residents and post-activity reflect so that students can process their experience and recognize how experience outside the classroom impacts their personal, professional, and academic lives.
Logistical Coordination Faculty directors coordinate the logistical aspects of the program including housing, excursions, onsite transportation, and guest speakers. The Learning Abroad Office strongly encourages faculty to identify a partner institution or organization in the host country to assist with in-country support and logistics Contact the Learning Abroad Office for suggestions on potential providers and an introduction.
Emergency Response Faculty directors provide 24/7 emergency support during the program. The Learning Abroad Office will provide pre-departure training to prepare faculty directors for this aspect of the program.
Pre-departture and Onsite Orientation The Learning Abroad Office provides general, online orientation for all students. This online orientation is mandatory for all students. All program directors are required to hold at least one (1) group orientation meeting before departure and one (2) onsite orientation meeting after arrival. Faculty directors who are actively engaged in pre-departure orientation programs tend to have more successful academic programs with fewer disciplinary problems abroad. In program-specific pre-departure orientation meetings, faculty directors prepare students academically, culturally, and logistically for the host country.
Post-program Reflection The student experience doesn’t end when the program is finished! Many students are eager to continue their learning upon returning to campus. Faculty directors provide informal advice, mentoring, and reflection for program participants after the program is over.


Learning Abroad Facilitator Applications

Faculty Directors, sometimes referred to as, program facilitators, are required to complete a Facilitator Application online each year a program runs. This is a simple, multi-step process in which faculty directors/facilitators will agree to the current Learning Abroad policies and guidelines, provide information about their program, and provide personal information to facilitate international insurance and assistance enrollment/coverage, as well as registration in the US Department of State's Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Updated contact and travel information for all University faculty and staff abroad strengthens the U’s ability to provide fast and efficient support and assistance in the event of health and safety incidents abroad.

Your Learning Abroad Coordinator will open the application in the Learning Abroad portal and provide more information for you.


Learning Abroad New Faculty Director & Program Assistant Training

All new faculty directors and facilitators, are required to complete the New Faculty Director & Program Assistant Training, offered in person and online. Facilitators who have not completed a training in several years may also be asked to complete it again. Please note that Learning Abroad will not issue travel advances until all required training is complete.

The training consists of modules that cover financial administration, marketing, academic policies & procedures, and other important topics. All program directors are responsible for understanding all information provided, even if they may not be directly involved with some parts of a program.

Learning Abroad will open this application for you and provide more information by email.


Conflict of Interest

As a facilitator, you may be closely involved with the financial or budgetary needs of yourprogram, and, as such, procurement conflicts or issues may arrive. Policy 1-006: Individual Financial Conflict of Interest Policy describes the process by which the University identifies, evaluates, and manages financial conflicts of interest of individuals without violating its central mission. It uses disclosure as the key mechanism to bring potential financial conflicts of interest to light for evaluation and possible oversight. This policy also identifies types of financial conflicts of interest in which individuals are not allowed to engage because they would be in violation of law or are judged by the University to be in violation of its central mission.

The Conflict of Interest Office supports the University community in identifying and managing financial conflicts of interest in three areas:

  • Research and Scholarly Activities
  • Procurement
  • Intellectual Property

They work with faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, students and others who are required to disclose external financial interests to the University for evaluation. We also work with the Individual Conflict of Interest Committee to review and manage financial interests that create conflicts of interest.

The University of Utah is now closely monitoring faculty and staff business relationships to ensure compliance with state law regarding conflicts of interest. As a result, Learning Abroad has updated its process to protect you as a facilitator from paying personal income taxes on program payments or reimbursements or running the risk of your Program being cancelled due to non-disclosure. Before we can move forward with your Program preparations (including paying Program bills or signing service contracts), facilitators must complete the first part of their Facilitator Application online and complete any required reporting related to conflicts of interest.


Nepotism Restrictions

Learning Abroad programs are subject to state and institutional regulations governing nepotism.  The information below provides responses to common questions that we receive about nepotism.  The information posted here is not exhaustive.  Please contact our office if you have additional questions or concerns.  The University’s complete policy governing the Employment or Supervision of Immediate Family can be found in the Regulations Library.

Which relationships are subject to nepotism restrictions?

There is an extensive list of relationships impacted by the University’s nepotism policy.  Not only does it cover immediate family, but the family of spouses and domestic partners as well. An official list of relationships governed by the policy is found in the definition provided in University Regulations Library.

Which Learning Abroad Program roles are impacted by this policy?

Anyone who has an authority, teaching, financial, or administrative role with the Program—both on campus and abroad—is subject to the policy. This includes, but is not limited to, program assistants, program managers, administrative staff, and faculty directors. Other roles may be subject to the policy. Please contact Learning Abroad if you have questions or concerns.

What if the individual isn’t being paid for their service?

If the University financially supports an individual’s service in any way either on campus or abroad, they are subject to the policy. This includes housing, travel expenses, meals, honoraria, etc.

What if the individual has a teaching position at the University and an academic role on the Program?

In this case, we recommend that parties co-direct the Program.  Both individuals will be listed as instructors on Program courses.  If the co-directors are from different academic departments, they will be subject to the SCH and Departmental Compensation policies for faculty-led Programs.  Other financial considerations may apply.

Can I get an exception to this policy?

Faculty can petition to get an exception to the U’s policy.  Exceptions must be approved by the Office of General Counsel, the appropriate vice president, and the President of the University.  Information about requesting an exception to the policy is found in the Rules, Procedures, Guidelines, Forms, and other related resources section in the Regulations Library.  Learning Abroad does not determine if an exception to policy is appropriate or legal.

When should I start the petition process to request an exception to this policy?

IMMEDIATELY!  Learning Abroad encourages you to start your petition at least 9-12 months before departure to ensure that a decision is made in a timely manner.  For budgetary reasons, exceptions to the policy should be approved or denied at least 6 months before departure.  Due to the sensitive nature of these requests, the timeline for making exceptions varies greatly depending on the individuals involved.





Last Updated: 10/11/23