Guidelines and Form for Establishing an Overseas Academic Program

Download 49.01 Kb.
Size49.01 Kb.

Guidelines and Form for

Establishing an Overseas Academic Program

(supplemental to the international inter-institutional agreement routing form) March 2005 (modified June 2010)
With the increasing internationalization of the University of Pittsburgh, it has become apparent that a need for guidelines for establishing overseas academic programs exists. The following guidelines should assist schools, departments, researchers and professors in their development of these programs and are designed to be considered before such programs are underway. Several responsibility centers provided input to the guidelines, but the guidelines are not meant to be a substitute for specific or unusual questions that should be directed to offices in Appendix A. Further, the form is not meant to replace the Office of the Provost’s Guidelines for Review of Academic Planning Proposals and Off-Campus Programs. Once you have completed this form, it should be submitted along with the UCIS routing form for international inter-institutional agreements in accordance with University of Pittsburgh Policy 02-01-05.
These guidelines are to be used where a University of Pittsburgh degree or certificate is to be offered overseas by the University operating essentially on its own. This form need not be used for general academic agreements or understandings between universities, but elements of the form may indeed be useful in addressing issues that may arise under those types of agreements as well.
Academic Issues
It is imperative that your program has the general approval, before the routing process begins, of the Dean of your school in consultation with the Office of the Provost. This is due to the large number of University resources involved in making overseas programs work safely and effectively.

  1. Have you addressed the Guidelines for Review of Academic Planning Proposals? See, Yes No

  1. Have you addressed the Office of the Provost’s Guidelines for Off-Campus Programs? See, Yes No

Assuming you have the academic “go ahead”, you will still want to consider the following academic and research related issues:

  1. Have you determined whether you need a license to operate as an educational institution in the country that is hosting your program? Yes No

If yes, have you obtained the necessary license? Yes No N/A

If a license is required, what is the annual cost? $______________________________.

  1. Have you determined whether other schools or departments at the University of Pittsburgh are operating in the country in which you desire to operate? (For a program list, see, )

  1. If there are other schools or departments at the University operating in the country in which you desire to establish your program, have you consulted with those schools or departments? Yes No N/A

  1. Will the program include University faculty conducting human subject research overseas? Yes No

If yes, please note that the University Institutional Review Board (IRB) must review all human subject research conducted by faculty: consult the IRB Office for further guidance:

  1. Will the program include University faculty conducting animal subject research overseas? Yes No

If yes, please note that the University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) must review all animal subject research conducted by faculty: consult the IACUC Office for further guidance:

  1. Have you determined whether local student privacy laws may exist in addition to those provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, especially in European Union countries? Yes No

  1. Does the program involve the export of any goods or otherwise covered items overseas? See, and Yes No
If yes, have you determined whether export licenses must be obtained? Yes No

  1. Have you consulted your School’s accreditation guidelines to see if they might impact your program or whether your program may affect accreditation? Yes No

Organizational Issues

  1. Have you determined who exactly your foreign partner is (government entity, quasi-government entity, foundation, foreign university, etc?) Yes No N/A

If yes, who will be your primary point of contact “in-country”?


Address and Entity: _________________________________________________________________


Telephone Number:_________________________________________________

E-Mail address:____________________________________________________

  1. Do you expect for any reason a need to establish a separate corporation in the foreign country? Yes No

Whom have you consulted about establishing a separate corporation?


  1. Are you aware that generally Board of Trustees approval would be needed to establish a separate or subsidiary legal entity? Yes No

  1. Have you considered the conflict of interest issues that can be found at: Yes No

  1. Have you read the University’s Code of Ethics at Yes No
6. Do you realize that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that prohibits bribery including the payment of anything of value to a foreign official for the purpose of doing business or gaining an unfair advantage? Yes No
Banking, Accounting, Tax and other Financial Issues
Most financial issues must be resolved through the Office of Finance and your departmental accounting personnel in conjunction with the University’s accounting office. An overriding concern is the process the schools go through to set up overseas bank accounts. It is the University preference to control and manage cash flows from the University’s primary checking account. All of the following issues, however, should be contemplated:
Banking and Accounting:
It is necessary to understand cash flows in international business transactions. Your payment medium must be international electronic funds transfer authorizations. Furthermore, it is important that you rely on and adhere to University financial policies and procedures already in place (disbursement requests, cash reports, petty cash, etc.).

You should know:

  1. What are your funding sources?______________________________________________



  1. Have you checked the funding sources through the Office of Purchasing or otherwise to ensure that such sources are not on prohibited boycott, countries, persons or entities lists such as the SDN list posted on the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control site? See, ; ; and ? Yes No

  1. What are the uses for the funding? In other words do you have a budget established? (identification will be mandatory for accounting purposes) Yes No

  1. What is the frequency with which you’ll be making purchases or conducting other financial transactions such as deposits, withdrawals, or exchanges?

Daily Weekly Monthly Annually

  1. What dollar volume do you anticipate being involved?___________________________.

  1. What currency do you anticipate using?_________________________.

  1. What are the current exchange rates?_________________________________________.

  1. Is it mandatory that you have a stand-alone bank account in a foreign country? Yes No

If yes, then the following procedures must occur:

◦ Ensure compliance with University Petty Cash Policy & Procedures (Document Number 05-06-06);
◦ Office of Finance will work closely with the University department in selecting the foreign financial institution and completing the necessary paperwork;
◦ Authorized signers on the bank account will include the University’s five officers (J.Cochran, A.Ramicone, A.Marsh, S.Gilbert, P.Lawrence) in addition to the appropriate and authorized departmental persons;
◦ The University’s tax identification number will be used in establishing the bank account; first line of account title should read “University of Pittsburgh”;
◦ Majority of funds will reside at University of Pittsburgh, with nominal funds delivered to international bank account representing working capital needs;
◦ Determination of entity responsible for monthly bank account reconciliations;
◦ University credit instructions will be provided; international partner credit instructions should be secured.

  1. How will foreign students without U.S. bank accounts make tuition payments?



  1. Who is authorized to make purchases for your program and what is the limit of that authority?



  1. Who has been delegated signature authority for contracts? (Note such delegation must be in writing, and only certain individuals at the University have signature authority in the first place)


Your operating overseas can have domestic and foreign tax implications on both the university and individuals associated with the program. Please consider the following:

  1. From whom will you be getting advice on foreign tax matters?


  1. Will tuition payments be subject to Value Added Tax, sales, service, or other tax?


  1. Does the University need to establish tax-exempt status in the foreign country to avoid certain taxes?

If yes, for which taxes, and who will file the tax forms to obtain tax-exempt status?


  1. Will any foreign individuals be hired as Pitt employees? Yes No

If not, will all foreigners providing services qualify as independent contractors under the law of the foreign country? Yes No

  1. Will any Pitt employees be sent overseas on a permanent or indefinite basis? Yes No

If yes, how long will they be there, and how will payroll matters (including

reporting to foreign tax authorities) be handled?


  1. Will any US citizens be hired to work in the foreign country? (Suppose that Pitt offers a program in Prague and hires as a receptionist an American who speaks fluent Czech and who is living in Prague? There will be US tax issues if she is hired as an independent contractor and should be an employee under IRS rules). Yes No

  1. Will Pitt pay any travel or travel-related expense for anyone other than a Pitt employee or independent contractor? (Will Pitt pay for a professor to take his spouse or children with him?) Yes No

  1. Will the students receive credit toward an academic degree for the course/programs? (if the course is not part of a degree program, it is possible that the program generates Unrelated Business Tax). Yes No

Personnel Issues
Staffing your Program:
You should consider what hiring strategy will best fit the needs of your program, and keep in mind that foreign employment laws may differ greatly from U.S. and Pennsylvania laws. Many countries, for instance, require mandatory retirement programs and fixed or even indefinite terms of employment. If possible, at least one local national should be working closely with your program, and employees or contractors should be hired on a temporary basis. In addition, it has proven most effective to have a University employee, generally the P.I. or faculty member responsible, to be in-country as much as possible during the start-up year.

  1. Who will be responsible for recruiting, selecting and hiring for the program?

__________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

  1. Will local nationals be employed or will expatriates from Pitt’s Oakland or regional campuses be hired? List the positions that will be filled by each. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Have you discussed the process you will use to hire either local nationals or expatriates with the Office of Human Resources? Yes No

Describe the background check you have used to hire local nationals or other contractors who are not regular University employees:


  1. What reporting and/or withholding requirements are necessary for either the U.S. or the host country? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If expatriates will be hired:

  1. Have you consulted with the Office of International Services regarding applicable visa requirements? Yes No

  1. Have you consulted with the Office of Human Resources about the process that will be used to determine whether a position should be filled by an expatriate? Yes No

  1. Who is responsible for processing all necessary paperwork and meeting all government regulations for working in host country? _____________________________________.

  1. Have you consulted with the Office of Human Resources about the benefits the expatriate is entitled to receive (or continuation of benefits), including health benefits, relocation expenses, housing, etc.? Yes No

  1. Have you consulted with the Office of Human Resources about compensation strategy for the expatriate? Yes No

  1. Do you have a plan for the expatriate returning to Pitt’s Oakland (or regional campuses) after the assignment is completed? Yes No

  1. Do you have programs in place to acclimate the expatriate and the expatriate’s family if applicable into the host culture? Yes No

If locals are to be hired:

  1. Who will develop the compensation/benefits policy and guidelines to offer local nationals? __________________________________________________________.

  1. Who needs to approve such a package?____________________________________.

  1. Who will administer the compensation/benefits program?__________________________________________________________

  1. Have you discussed Employee/Labor Relations issues with the Office of Human Resources? Yes No

  1. Do you understand that University policies and procedures generally apply to your overseas program? Yes No

  1. What process will be used for an employee to file a complaint? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Have you considered how discipline, including termination, will be administered and who will make those decisions? Yes No

  1. Have you obtained legal advice regarding national and local labor laws?

Yes No
Property Issues
The lease or purchase of property must be approved by the University’s Property Management division. This is due to the contractual and risk implications that property leases and purchases bring to the University as a whole. In addition, various annual reports must be prepared by the University that indicate where the University owns or leases property. One such report is pursuant to the federal Jeanne Clery Act and requires annual crime statistics to be compiled for University owned or leased premises.

  1. Do you intend to lease or purchase real property? Yes No

If yes, have you contacted the Property Management division? Yes No N/A

If yes, have you contacted the Office of Risk Management regarding obtaining insurance? Yes No N/A

  1. Do you intend to hire or consult with an architect? Yes No

If yes, have you contacted the University’s Facilities Management division?

Yes No

Other Issues

  1. Do you have a plan to deal with Department of State issued travel warnings, evacuation notices, and other emergencies? Yes No

  1. Have you checked with the Office of Risk Management to determine whether your activities will be covered by University insurance policies? Yes No

  1. Do you plan to retain local counsel? Yes No

If yes, are you aware that local counsel must be obtained with the assistance of the Office of General Counsel? See, Yes No

  1. Who is the “back-up” person at your department to serve in your place in the event you are unavailable for consultation or decision-making?




Email address:_____________________________________________________


Printed Name of Faculty Member Responsible for Program





Telephone Number

Facilities Management

(contracts with architects; building and utility issues)


General Accounting


Internal Audit


Office of Finance

(banking, finance, funding issues)


Office of General Counsel

(contracts, retention of counsel, don’t know where to start)


Office of Human Resources

(employee and benefit issues)


Office of International Services

(immigration and visa issues)


Office of Risk Management

(insurance and risk assessment)


Property Management

(leasing issues)


Provost’s Office

(academic programming)




Tax Office


Travel Office

(ticketing, travel FAQs)



(general information about existing Pitt activities in the host country)


Download 49.01 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2024
send message

    Main page