272  Faculty and Academic Staff Abroad

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Academic Affairs
Responsible Office:  International Affairs
Responsible Officer: Vice Provost for International Affairs

I. Purpose

Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) recognizes the value of faculty and academic staff developing global competence and encourages and supports activities abroad for professional development, teaching, research, and service with the host countries. MTSU recognizes that these activities vary not only in purpose, but also in duration, type of arrangement with the host country, responsibilities to the University, and funding source. Despite these variations, certain overall principles and policy apply.

II. Responsibilities of the Faculty and Academic Staff

Faculty and academic staff abroad must adhere to the following:

A.  University Policies. Governed by the same policies that define faculty and academic staff rights and responsibilities at the University.

B.  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 and laws.

C.  Deliver Value. Must be willing, upon return to the University, to provide the broadest value to the University of the time spent abroad.

D.  Contracting Requirements. Faculty and staff shall adhere to all applicable contracting requirements, including appropriate contract approval and legal review.

III. Responsibilities of the University

A.  Academic Freedom. MTSU should seek to extend the same rights, responsibilities, and protections of academic freedom that apply on the home campus. MTSU shall 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.

B.  Incentives to Pursue and Accept Assignments Abroad. The University 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.

IV. Travel 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, academic conferences, program development 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 U.S. citizens.

Forms: none.

Revisions: none.

Last Reviewed: November 2020.

References: none.