Field Trips and Risk Management


A field trip is an off-campus educational/instructional experience provided by UI faculty to students that involves travel for the group. Field trips can be an important pedagogical tool in many courses. Faculty members are encouraged to include field experiences in their courses when appropriate and feasible.

The field trip is an extension of the classroom and brings with it all the responsibilities faculty have in the classroom. The instructional activities and setting during the field trip must conform with principles of academic freedom and with University policies, including those concerning alcohol and drug use, smoking, the Iowa gift law, and the policy on sexual harassment and consensual relationships.

All University rules on field trips must be followed. View Field Trip Guidelines for Faculty and Staff. For more information, contact the Office of Risk Management, Insurance, and Loss Prevention, 335-0010.

In some courses, the field trip will be mandatory; and in some cases, all course credit will be generated via a field trip. In any course that includes a required field trip, there must be adequate information for students prior to registration. The course description must include the duration and cost of the field trip and must clearly indicate that the field trip is required. Information on optional field trips should also be included in course descriptions, if possible. In either case, all costs for the field trip must be prorated per student, and students may only be charged for those fees and expenses directly related to their own experience. Student fees may not cover faculty members' or other expenses. When a field trip is optional, the instructor must ensure that students who participate in the optional field trip receive no direct grade advantage.

All field trip fees must be billed through student U-bill accounts; neither faculty nor the department may collect field trip fees. The department will create a General Organized Activity Fund (240) with a department-designated Grant/Program ID to account for field trip revenues and expenses. Departments are encouraged to work with the UI Foundation to develop additional funds that can be used to subsidize field trips for all students.