Fayetteville Policies and Procedures  206.8

Visiting Scholars and International Delegations

  1. Background
    The University of Arkansas is an international community of scholars that embraces teaching, learning, creativity, innovation, research, economic development and community engagement as its mission.  As part of the life and activities of the university, scholars visit campus for the purpose of participating in classrooms, laboratories, studios, and engaging in the overall academic life of the institution. The exchange of faculty and students promotes the exchange of ideas and experiences for the enrichment and mutual benefit of the university and the home institution or country.

    Many of those visiting scholars are on campus because of relationships or agreements with partner international universities, agencies, organizations, or companies.  In many cases, the visiting scholars are funded by our institutional partners.  The university also forms international relationships and agreements to recruit students to our campus.  In many cases, the partner institutions may send delegations (more than one person visiting at the same time) to visit campus for meetings and tours to become familiar with people and facilities.   The university welcomes international visitors, scholars, and delegations to campus to meet with faculty, administrators, or students and to tour facilities.

    In order to manage institutional resources, exercise control of proprietary information, ensure institutional integrity, enhance security, and foster compliance with all applicable laws and regulations,  it is important for the University to know who is visiting campus academic units, when those visits occur, and where and how the visitors engage in the activities of the university. The following document is written to provide definition and guidance for hosting visiting scholars and delegations who can contribute to the university’s mission, including detailed procedures for requesting and obtaining approval to host such visitors to campus. 

  2. Visiting Scholars – Definition and Policy Considerations
    The term “visiting scholar” is broad and inclusive of a range of individuals who visit campus to contribute to the missions and activities of the university.  They may be domestic visitors, foreign nationals visiting from another country, or foreign nationals residing and working by permit within the United States.  They may be faculty at other institutions or universities or professionals who work for governmental agencies or ministries, nongovernmental agencies, or corporations. They may be visiting post-doctoral researchers, creative or teaching staff. They may be students at the undergraduate or graduate levels participating in research or creative projects or participating in internships with faculty on campus.  Visiting scholars, also often known as visiting faculty, visiting researchers or Student Interns, may be permitted on campus through invitation by a host department, program, or college/school, subject to the approval steps outlined in this policy.  Funding for visiting scholars typically originates outside of the university and such visitors are usually not university employees (although they may be in some cases). In some cases, visiting scholars may be compensated in the form of honoraria, stipends, fellowships, or short-term employment contracts which may have tax implications.

    For the types of visitors identified in this policy, it is important for the university to know who is on campus participating in activities related to campus academic units and/or accessing university research-related resources, their duration of stay, their purpose for participating at the university, the origin of the visitor, the expectations of the visit, and the source of any funding to support the visitor.  For reasons of protection of intellectual property, compliance with funding agreements, and export control restrictions, or security considerations, there may be limitations to the activities in which visiting scholars may participate, limitations to recording audio, video or photography, and limitations to their access to facilities or resources of the university.  Due in part to different statutory or regulatory requirements, there may be varying levels of review and varying restrictions for visits depending upon the nature of the visit, if the visitor is domestic or international, and, if international, the country of origin. 

    Information on international exchange visitor programs and categories of international visiting scholars can be found at: https://j1visa.state.gov/programs/research-scholar/.  Terminology used in this document is consistent with language used by the U.S. government when considering foreign visitors.

    Exclusions:  The procedures for visiting scholars outlined in this policy do not apply to domestic individuals (U.S. citizens or permanent residents) 1) that are serving as guest lecturers, speakers, performers in a single-event capacity, or 2) that are serving as short-term visitors of duration of five days or less in faculty or staff supervised activities. 

    Types of Visiting Scholars
    The principal types of visiting scholars addressed by this policy are as follows: 
    1. Visiting Professors, which may be at any University academic title (Academic Policy 1435.50 and University of Arkansas Board of Trustees Policy 405.1), are domestic or foreign national individuals who have an academic appointment at another university and visit campus primarily to teach or lecture, to perform, or to observe scholastic and academic activities on campus. Visiting Professors may also conduct research, but research is not the primary activity on campus.  

      International visiting professors must apply for and receive an appropriate non-immigrant visa for the activity.  International visiting professors have temporary appointments and may be required to depart the U.S. for up to two years before they are eligible for tenure-track positions.

    2. Visiting Research Scholars are domestic or foreign national individuals from academic or professional employment who come to the university for the primary purpose of conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with research projects at research institutions, libraries, or museums. A visiting research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the university, but the primary activity at the university is research.


      International visiting research scholars must apply for and receive an appropriate non-immigrant visa for the activity.  International visiting research scholars have temporary appointments and may be required to depart the U.S for up to two years before they are eligible for tenure-track or more permanent research positions. 

      Depending on their proposed duties, visiting professors and research scholars may be appointed as non-UAF Contingent (unpaid) faculty at the university following Academic Policy 1405.19. See: https://provost.uark.edu/policies/140519.php

    3. Short-Term Scholars may be either a professor or research scholar, or a person of similar education or experience background. International short-term scholars must apply for and receive an appropriate non-immigrant visa for the activity and have a maximum stay of six months. Entry as a B-1 visitor for business purposes can only be used in very specific cases and must be approved by the institution BEFORE the visitor enters the United States.

    4. Specialists are experts in a field with specialized knowledge, skills or experience who contribute to the research, creative, or academic environment of a program. The purpose of the specialist visit is to exchange knowledge, information, and skills among specialists and professionals through demonstration or observation.

      International specialists must meet the U.S. federal definition of a specialist in order to receive an appropriate non-immigrant visa, and  may not be candidates for long-term employment.  The maximum duration of stay in this category is one year.   

    5. Student Interns are persons currently enrolled in and pursing studies at another institution who seek supervised learning experience in a laboratory or studio on campus.

      International student interns must be enrolled, usually at the undergraduate level, in a foreign degree or certificate granting post-secondary institution.  Student interns must return to their home institution to complete their degree after the internship.  The U.S. Department of State requires a comprehensive training plan for international student interns prior to the visa request and there are limitations on the work environment.

    6. Optional Practical Training Individuals engaged in paid or unpaid Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Academic Training at the conclusion of an academic program in the U.S. may be present at the University for up to 12 months in OPT with a possibility for an additional 24-month extension for students who graduated in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field. Students on Academic Training may be present at the University for up to 18 months with a possibility for an additional 18-month extension for post-doctoral training.

    7. International Exchange Visitors at the University of Arkansas may be categorized as and receive visas as visiting Professor, Research Scholar, Short-term Scholar, Specialist, or Student Intern. These are persons who are not enrolled in an academic program.

      All types of visiting scholars are subject to all campus policies and procedures. 

  3. Procedures for Requesting to Host a Visiting Scholar; Approval Process

    Hosting a visiting scholar within an academic unit requires advance review and approval by the department chair/head and dean’s office, as well as Research Compliance and Export Control for international visiting scholars.   The host is responsible for obtaining appropriate review prior to the visit and for the visitor for the duration of the program stay and involvement within the university.   

    University faculty initiate the request to host visiting scholars by completing and submitting to the department head or chair the Application and Review for Visiting Scholars form.  Required information includes the academic qualifications and training of the proposed visiting scholar, the type of scholar (see above), national origin and institutional or governmental affiliations of the scholar, duration of visit, purpose and scope of visit, proposed facility to be used and any resources to be furnished by the university to the visiting scholar, proposed office location of the visiting scholar, source of funding, any ongoing employment, and any compensation to the visitor, etc.  Once this information is gathered, key review and approval steps include department chair/head, appropriate dean’s office, and the Research Compliance office’s export compliance staff.  For more information, please contact the Office of Research Compliance.

    All proposals for international visiting scholars, regardless of duration, will be reviewed by the office of Research Compliance for export compliance and are subject to University Policy 206.7  Export Control Compliance, which reflects the University's commitment to comply with U.S. export control laws and regulations. Prior to collaborating with, visiting, or sharing equipment, technical data, and information, etc. with foreign persons in the United States or abroad, personnel must determine whether government authorization is needed for those activities.  See: https://research.uark.edu/units/rscp/export-control.php.  Export compliance reviews will include Restricted Party Screening of individuals and their affiliated organizations against various U.S. government denial lists that prohibit or restrict interactions with designated parties, and a review of proposed activities.  Further, in some cases a technology control plan may be required as a condition for the visit.

    In such cases where the visitor will be involved in research, development, testing, or evaluation (RDTE) activities that could lead to the development of intellectual property (IP), including patentable and/or licensable technology, this application will be reviewed by the Vice Chancellor for Economic Development. As appropriate, an agreement among all parties that addresses IP ownership, consistent with university and Board of Trustees policies, will be enacted prior to the visitor’s date of arrival on campus.

    For international Visiting Scholars, after completion, submission and review of the Petition to Host a Visiting Scholar request form and final approval obtained, the faculty host can complete the request for the appropriate non-immigrant visa through ISSLink.uark.edu.  For information about appropriate non-immigrant visas please contact  International Students and Scholars.

    Domestic visiting scholars who are on campus for extended periods (e.g. more than 5 class days), who will provide instruction or otherwise have significant and extended unsupervised interaction directly with students or student groups, or whose responsibilities otherwise fall within the scope of institutional background check policies, must undergo criminal and registered sex offender background checks similar to those of all university employees, in which case the visit is conditioned on a completed check that is satisfactory to University officials. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis as determined by the Dean and appropriate unit HR staff.
       
  4. International Visiting Delegations – Definition and Policy Considerations
    The term “visiting delegation” is broad and inclusive of a range of individuals visiting campus for introductions, meetings, campus and facility tours.  A visiting delegation is defined as one or more persons representing an organization seeking or in affiliation with the university or seeking to tour or access University facilities or resources that are not typically open for access by the general-public, for a short-term visit to campus being five days or less.  An “international visiting delegation” is a visiting delegation representing a non-U.S. entity or that includes one or persons that are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  The delegation visit may be funded by the organization being represented or a third party but may also be funded and support in-part or entirely by the university.  Delegation visits are generally coordinated by a faculty or staff member, a department or program unit, or an administrative unit.  Visits may occur at the request of the visiting organization or at the invitation by the university.

    It is important for the university to know who is on campus, the origin and affiliation of the delegation, the purpose and intent of the visit, the plans for the visit, the duration of stay, the schedule of the visit, the campus personnel and facilities that will be visited, and the source of any funding to support the visitors.  For reasons of protection of intellectual property, compliance with funding agreements, export control restrictions, or security considerations, there may be limitations to the activities in which campus visitors may participate, and limitations to their access to facilities or resources of the university.

  5. Procedures for Requesting to Host International  Delegations; Application and Review Process
    Faculty or staff planning to host an international delegation as described above should complete the Application to Host a Visitor or Visiting International Delegation form.  An explanation and justification for the delegation visit, and the planned itinerary should be attached.  The form should be reviewed by the hosting unit supervisor (department chair/head, unit director, etc.), the college of that unit, and the Office of Research Compliance for export controls.  The record of the visit should be maintained within the unit.

    All proposals for visiting international delegations will be reviewed by the office of Research Compliance for export compliance and are subject to University Policy 206.7  Export Control Compliance, which reflects the University's commitment to comply with U.S. export control laws and regulations. Prior to collaborating with, visiting, or sharing equipment, technical data, and information, etc. with foreign persons in the United States or abroad, personnel must determine whether government authorization is needed for those activities.  See: https://research.uark.edu/units/rscp/export-control.php.  Export compliance reviews will include Restricted Party Screening and a review of proposed activities.  Further, in some cases a technology control plan may be required as a condition for the visit.

  6. International Government or Elected Officials
    In order to help ensure coordination of University support and engagement, to facilitate compliance, and for appropriate campus security the Vice Chancellor for Governmental Affairs and Office of Emergency Management should be notified by the department in advance of any campus visits by any governmental or elected officials from other countries.  This provision includes political party officials with governing responsibilities similar to government officials or those appointed as representatives of a country including ambassadors, consulates or embassy staff. 

 

October 1, 2021