UCIS Develops Tools For Global Business

Issue Date: 
April 11, 2016

The University Center for International Studies (UCIS) has developed five global initiatives to improve Pitt’s administrative procedures and to facilitate international work, travel, and services for all Pitt faculty, staff, and students.

• A Global Operations Support web- site for information, including technology guidelines for overseas travel, the mechanics of international payments, and hiring individuals in a non-U.S. location. The site is www.globaloperations.pitt.edu.

 • A Global Operations Support Manager, also known as the Global Concierge. Ian McLaughlin was recently appointed to this position. His focus is to facilitate and assist—rather than administer—international activities for Pitt’s employees and for foreign nationals doing business with the University. McLaughlin provides information, resources, and a central point of contact for questions such as paying foreign nationals, traveling and working abroad, or conducting international research. He also navigates international business processes and procedures. He can be reached at www.globalsupport@pitt.edu.

 • A partnership with International SOS, an organization that provides emergency travel assistance and evacuation services for Pitt students, faculty, and staff members traveling internationally. In an emergency or for routine advice, the International SOS team of 11,000 professionals, as well as its global network of nearly 60,000 vetted providers, are available. This travel assistance is made instantly accessible via the International SOS mobile app. 

To access these services, Pitt employees and students must register their travel plans through the Global Support web- site. Provost Patricia E. Beeson strongly urges faculty to also use the site’s Trip Registration function. Having advance information on faculty travel in the event of an emergency can make a meaningful difference when minutes may be critical for health and safety. A summary of the emergency travel assistance and evacuation services—as well as instructions on how to use the services—is available on the Global Operations Support website under the Travel tab. 

• The Visitors to Pitt website will provide information, clarity, and new procedures for campus visits by people who will engage in official scholarship or research activities. The website, which is still under development, will also cover processes for short-term and extended-term visitors as well as guidance for international visitors. The site, which will be launched in the coming months, will include new agreement templates meant to streamline administrative processes.

 • The International Agreements Development and Delivery System, also forthcoming within a few months, will offer a revitalized and comprehensive international contracts database. This user-friendly system will be searchable and will offer standardized agreements and an approval process in one central hub.