Task force established to develop a policy on off-campus travel for faculty and staff

Task force established to develop a policy on off-campus travel for faculty and staff

I would like to announce the establishment of a task force to develop a policy on off-campus travel for faculty and staff.

The purpose and scope of this group is to assist the university in reviewing, clarifying, and, where necessary, developing policies to convey a clear and consistent message about the responsibility of faculty and staff traveling with students for off-campus curricular and co-curricular activities. I believe it is essential that faculty and staff serving in such a capacity model leadership behaviors that reflect the values of the university.

Many staff and faculty have inquired about the scope and/or contents of a policy of this type. What I have asked of the task force is that it recommend a new or revised policy or guidelines that are consistent with the Catholic nature of St. Thomas, while at the same time safeguarding the respect that is due each member of the University of St. Thomas community. It is my conviction that, in a diverse community such as ours, the inviolability of individual conscience requires that while all are expected to act in accordance with university personnel policies, no attempts should be made to force anyone to act against his or her conscience.

The work of the Task Force on Off-Campus Travel will play a critical role in helping us better align institutional practices with our Catholic identity. I am grateful, therefore, to the faculty and staff who have agreed to serve on the task force. They are:

  • Angeline Barretta-Herman, Academic Affairs, co-chair
  • Edna Comedy, Human Resources, co-chair
  • Gene Scapanski, Office for Mission , co-chair
  • Sue Smith-Cunnien, Faculty Affairs Committee chairperson
  • Margaret Reif, School of Education
  • Rich Rexeisen, College of Business
  • Bernie Brady, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Jane Canney, Student Affairs
  • Doug Hennes, University Relations
  • Lawrence Potter, Institutional Diversity
  • Sarah Stevenson, International Education

The task force will complete its work by March 15. I would be grateful if you would make your thinking known to task force members by that date so that we might formulate a wise policy that honors the Catholic values of this university community while respecting the consciences of its members.

Thank you!