Members of the MIT community travel for many reasons – business, research, outreach, and conferences, as well as for pleasure and personal matters. Some destinations pose higher risks to health, safety, and security. To guide MIT travelers and travel organizers or sponsors, the Institute has an International Travel Risk Policy, which also provides ratings for specific countries and areas.
Given the Institute’s international scope, the need arose to develop a system that facilitates MIT's ability to account for the well-being of travelers and to contact them in the event of an emergency. The MIT Travel Registry will collect trip-related data, such as itineraries and contact information, for students, faculty, staff, and affiliates traveling on MIT business. As an additional benefit, MIT faculty and staff will have the option to register their personal travel.
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. – Lao Tzu
Global travel risk management has become part of overall corporate and academic risk management strategies. MIT recognizes international travel as a top-ten risk to the Institute. The underlying issues are how to keep MIT’s travelers healthy and safe while on MIT business abroad.
A robust travel risk management system is both proactive and reactive. Before travelers have departed, threat and threat mitigation information must be conveyed so that travelers are able to prepare for potential risks. After an incident, the system would enable safety checks to determine who is in an impacted area and to communicate with them to verify their well-being. MIT Travel Registry data will not be used for reasons beyond this scope.
A 10-person team began work on the project in October 2015. The MIT Travel Registry has been designed to leverage other campus data systems, including SAP, MITSIS, Concur Travel, Student Study Abroad systems, and FluidReview. It will serve as a central repository for important data, including a travel risk acknowledgement form, passport and visa information, and emergency contact(s) in the travel location(s).
The MIT Travel Registry will ensure that travel-related data is secure and accessible to authorized users. It will also streamline input for travelers, who will be encouraged to access it via Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.
A pilot of the MIT Travel Registry was launched in March 2016, with online FAQs available (certificates required). The team is now incorporating feedback from participants and plans a phased roll out of the MIT Travel Registry to different audiences. First up, a version for students, due for release in the second half of 2017.
Steve Billington, Information Systems and Technology (IS&T)
Griselda Gomez, MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI)
Todd Holmes, International Safety and Security
Dudley Kirkpatrick, IS&T
Julie Maddox, Global Education & Career Development
Sherry Maharaj-Whyte, IS&T
Kathy McGrath, Financial Operations (Travel)
Meaghan Murray, IS&T
Eping (Lucia) Wei, IS&T
Elizabeth Yong, MISTI
Robin Elices, Office of the EVPT
Eamon Kearns, IS&T
Robin Lemp, Office of Major Agreements
Sandra Mitchell, Office of Insurance
Frank Quern, IS&T