May 25,

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The Weekly Snapshot                            
Your source for the latest tips, information, and current campus safety resources from the NCCPS.                       

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Emerging Issues in Managing International Programs at IHEs
Each year, hundreds of thousands of students travel overseas, studying for academic credit from US institutions of higher education (IHEs). While study abroad is the most common form of global program, higher education populations also travel abroad for athletic competitions, recruiting trips, tours, ministry programs, service-learning programs, research, global health activities, internships, and conferences, as well as collaborations with international institutions and governments. While these programs and activities provide great academic and institutional value to IHEs, many IHEs are confronting risks when operating overseas. Natural disasters, terrorism, crime, economic crises, sexual assault, and travel restrictions are just some of the problems that can risk lives and damage reputations if the right resources aren't in place for IHEs and their students, faculty, and staff.
To further explore these challenges, the NCCPS, the Disaster Resilient Universities TM (DRU) Network, and the University of Oregon Community Service Center, gathered in October 2015 for a one-day emerging issues forum about global programs at IHEs. Global health and safety managers from eight universities reviewed key risk-management and mitigation issues identified in a pre-event survey of DRU members, prioritized emerging risk issues for higher education, and developed a preliminary set of recommendations to address these issues.
In February 2016, global health and safety managers gathered again to review the recommendations and discuss the resources required to implement them. Participants also discussed topics related to faculty management, insurance coverage, mental health, training, and funding. The discussions did not evaluate specific risks at particular institutions, nor did they evaluate policies at specific institutions.
The results of a scoping survey of DRU TM Network members, conducted by the University of Oregon, informed the conversations. The survey gathered thoughts about risks, needs, limitations, and processes from dozens of global programs executives at IHEs all over the US. The forum's observations and recommendations include a broad array of factors, tactics, and strategies. A series of core principles emerged:
  • IHEs have a variety of resources available for mitigating global programs risks.
  • IHEs must adapt to changing technology and regulation in global programs.
  • IHEs must instill a culture of compliance among faculty, students, and staff in global programs.
  • Mental health is a key component of planning for global programs risks.
A report from the forum discussions, including their findings and recommendations, is now available for download (PDF).

Updates on Federal Drone Policies
In April and May, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) clarified and updated policies on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also known as drones. As we reported in one of our three previous Snapshot issues that covered drones, anyone owning a drone is now required to register it with the FAA's UAS registry before they fly outdoors, if it meets certain weight criteria. As of May 12, 2016, the FAA had 461,433 registered drones on file.
Shooting Down Drones
Due to an increase in the number of drones being shot down and an inquiry by Forbes magazine, the FAA confirmed that shooting down drones is a federal felony crime. "According to the FAA 'regardless of the situation, shooting at any aircraft - including unmanned aircraft - poses a significant safety hazard. An unmanned aircraft hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air.'"
Educational Use of Drones
On May 4, 2016, the FAA announced plans to make it easier for students and teachers to use UAS in educational settings. Specifically, the memorandum (PDF) addresses two major questions regarding UAS on campuses: (1) use of unmanned aircraft for hobby or recreational purposes at educational institutions and community-sponsored events; and (2) student use of unmanned aircraft in furtherance of receiving instruction at accredited educational institutions.
The FAA receives many questions about when a UAS "is a model aircraft operated for hobby or recreation or is an operation requiring FAA authorization." A good deal of questions come from students and institutions of higher education pertaining to coursework, design, construction, and operation, and how these activities fit in the legal framework for UAS. Given these questions, the FAA provided the following three-point clarification:
  1. A person may operate an unmanned aircraft for hobby or recreation in accordance with section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) at educational institutions and community-sponsored events provided that person is (1) not compensated, or (2) any compensation received is neither directly nor incidentally related to that person's operation of the aircraft at such events;
  2. A student may conduct model aircraft operations in accordance with section 336 of the FMRA in furtherance of his or her aviation-related education at an accredited educational institution; and
  3. Faculty teaching aviation-related courses at accredited educational institutions may assist students who are operating a model aircraft under section 336 and in connection with a course that requires such operations, provided the student maintains operational control of the model aircraft such that the faculty member's manipulation of the model aircraft's controls is incidental and secondary to the student's (e.g., the faculty member steps-in to regain control in the event the student begins to lose control, to terminate the flight, etc.). 
Based on these three points, and the FAA's interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, section 336 of the FMRA. 79 Fed. Reg. 36172 (June 25, 2014), they found "that the use of small unmanned aircraft by students at accredited educational institutions as a component of science, technology and aviation-related educational curricula or other coursework such as television and film production or the arts more closely reflects and embodies the purposes of 'hobby or recreational' use of model aircraft and is consistent with the intent of section 336 of the FMRA." However, faculty use of drones on campus is not considered "hobby or recreational" since faculty are being compensated for their teaching or research activities. Furthermore, a student assisting a faculty member with UAS research will not be covered under section 336 "hobby or recreational" use interpretation since the work would be associated with the faculty member's professional paid duties.
There are three options for students and faculty to operate UAS legally if not following the Model Aircraft rule, under the 1) public aircraft statute; 2) limited commercial operations; or 3) Section 333 FMRA grant exemption that airworthiness is not required. Each option requires the institution of higher education, faculty, or student to to meet statutory prerequisites and obtain the required exemption of Certificate of Waiver or Authorization.

Access our online calendar of events.
Professional Development Opportunities

Title: Campus Emergencies Prevention, Response, and Recovery (MGT-324)
Host: National Center for Biomedical Research and Training (NCBRT)
Dates:  May 31-June 1, 2016
Location: Galloway, NJ
Fee: Free
Title: Recruiting and Hiring for Law Enforcement
Host: Public Agency Training Council (PATC)
Dates: June 1-3, 2016
Location: Georgetown, TX
Fee: Registration fee
Title: Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) Train-the-Trainer
Supported by: Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center
Dates: July 18 and 19, 2016 (one course per day)
Location: Ogden, UT
Fee: Free

Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication Conference
Visit our website for information and registration details.

Faculty Spotlight!        
Check out this Q&A with one of our DC Conference faculty members.

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This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
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