The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Policy # [####]
Field Trips (GEN 4.B.10)

GEN 4.B.10. Field Trips.

(1) Permission for Students to be Absent from Classes.

(a) Regular Classes.

The form titled “Clearance for Field Trip Involving Absence from University Classes and Student Teaching Assignments” must be circulated by students to each instructor as soon as possible. If the absence is approved by all instructors, the absence will be considered excused, and the student may request the instructor for make-up work which he/she may feel should be performed. If the absences are not approved by all instructors, or if the slip is not returned to the originator with approvals properly recorded, the student is not free to go on the trip.

(b) All-University Type Events.

There are certain activities, beyond the classroom, that can be considered as field trips which are all‑University in nature, e.g., athletics, debate trips, and certain music trips. For these activities students will be considered excused from classes with make‑up work for time missed assigned by the professor as he/she feels appropriate. The student may not be penalized for this absence. The faculty or academic staff member originating the trip shall send a memo to his/her Dean, Assistant or Associate Vice Chancellor or Vice Chancellor requesting the students be excused. The memo shall include the destination, purpose of the trip, dates of the trip, hours to be missed if the trip does not include full days, and the names of all students involved.

The information shall be forwarded via the immediate supervisor (e.g., chairperson or director, with his/her approval also necessary).

If approved, the Dean, Assistant or Associate Vice Chancellor, or Vice Chancellor shall issue a memo to the originator (enough copies for each student) excusing the students. Each student should show the memo to professors of classes that will be missed.

In the event that the appropriateness of a field trip is in question, inquiries should be directed to the Provost and Vice Chancellor’s Office.

Below is a sample format that could be used by the Dean or equivalent.

The students listed below will be attending (list the destination and purpose) with (originator’s name) on (dates and/or time). They are to be considered excused from classes, and make‑up work for classes missed should be assigned as you feel appropriate. (List of students.)

(2) Other Aspects

The Facilities Management Fleet Vehicle Office, Budgets/Controller Office, and the Risk Management Office should be contacted for additional information.

(a) Transportation.

Student and volunteer drivers must file a “Student or Volunteer Driver’s Authorization” form, signed by the activity advisor and department chairperson or Dean. Students are not allowed to drive 15-passenger vans. This must be filed in time to be approved by the Facilities Management Fleet Office. Allow a minimum of five days.

In order to operate a University 15-passenger van, each driver must have completed the prescribed Driver Training Course. This course is scheduled on an as “as needed” basis, depending on the availability of a van and instructor. It is therefore necessary to sign up well in advance of the anticipated departure date.

In addition, please refer to Travel Regulations, Section 8.20.

(b) Fiscal. (For international trips, contact the Office of International Education.)

At minimum the amount of cash on hand held at any given time by the individual in charge of the trip should be the minimum required. Cashier’s checks, travelers’ checks, and letters of credit should be utilized to reduce the chances of loss or theft of ready cash. Where practicable, arrangements should be made through Purchasing to have the University billed directly.

Individuals responsible for off‑campus field trips should contact the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services at least 30 calendar days prior to the start of such trips to ensure that a clear understanding is reached as to the type of financial documentation required, proper student charges, records to be kept, and types of expenses which can be authorized.

If segregated fees are going to be utilized, then approval must be granted from the Student Allocation Committee (the request is usually made in the spring semester for the up-coming year).

(c) Liability/Risk Management.

All state employees or agents (students/volunteers) are protected by the state statute (895.46) against liability while they are functioning within the scope of their employment or agency. Scope of employment is usually defined in the employment contract or job description.

Students participating in field trips are not covered by the state liability protection or medial coverage. It is recommended that the instructor obtain information from each student about the student’s medical coverage (insurance company and policy number) so the information is available if the instructor has to arrange for medical services in an emergency situation while supervising the field trip. Students are responsible for their own medical expenses.

UW System policy (ACIS-7.1) requires that every participant in international education programs purchase insurance for accident and health, repatriation, and medical evacuation. Purchase of the Cultural Insurance Service International (CISI) insurance coverage is mandatory for students enrolled in a study abroad or international exchange program sponsored by a UW System institution. For the purpose of this System-wide requirement, a program will be considered to be a Study Abroad or International Exchange program if it meets the following criteria.

1. The program is operated under the auspices of an office with designated responsibility for international programs at a UW System institution.

2. The primary focus of the program is academic.

3. The program activities occur outside the United States.

Contact the Office of International Education for further clarification.

(d) Travel Arrangements Involving Student Passengers and Drivers Beyond Fifty Miles.

In addition to approval to travel, the following emergency information must be provided to the University Police for use of University vehicles, rental vehicles, or contracted bus service.

1. A complete itinerary including telephone numbers of each destination point. If it is necessary to alter the itinerary in route, contact the University Police. This information will assist University personnel in the event of an emergency.

2. A complete list of all individuals on the trip. This list must include the full names of all people traveling, and the names and numbers of people to contact in the event of an emergency. Only individuals who are officially a member of the trip are permitted to travel in trip vehicles.* All drivers must be qualified and certified for use of fleet vehicles. The Office of Facilities Management provides qualification and certification information and procedures.

3. The person leading the trip should make every effort to have in his/her possession a copy of the health insurance card for insured travelers. This is particularly important for trips of one or more overnight stays.
Special efforts should be made to ensure that there is more than one qualified and certified driver for each University or rented vehicle. Drivers should be rotated at frequent intervals to assure proper alertness and rest.
All vehicular safety and speed laws must be observed.

* In general, non-employee and non-agent passengers are not allowed to ride in State-owned vehicles due to the additional liability exposure which they pose. Exceptions to this rule arise when transportation is necessary or convenient for individuals who are dealing directly with, or are involved in, University or State business, (or it is part of the mission of the university). Transportation of student athletic teams and students participating in institutional governance activities may be considered University business. Exceptions have also been made for handicapped employees who need the assistance of a non-employee driver, and long distance (300 miles round trip) trips where alternating drivers are necessary. If these passengers are required to drive, they must follow the same authorization procedures used for students and volunteers. When non-employee/non-agent individuals wish to travel with a University employee, i.e. spouse, family, team booster, they should use a personal vehicle so their personal liability insurance will apply to the loss. (UWSA Risk Management Manual)