Communications from the Provost

Message from the Provost

Guidelines for travelers to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea

Provost Mike Sherman

November 10, 2014

With vacation travel approaching for many and business travel continuing, we want to share the latest information about the Ebola outbreak and how it may impact travelers. It is important to note that there are currently no confirmed cases of Ebola in Ohio but public health authorities remain concerned about travel to and from impacted countries.

Travel to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea is considered high-risk by the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is strongly discouraged. Individuals who become ill with fever while in any of the affected countries are not permitted to travel from these countries, and medical evacuation may not be possible.

We are especially concerned about members of our campus community who have family members in the affected areas, and recognize that some individuals may be hoping to visit as the holiday season approaches. We are reaching out to students and staff members from these areas to provide guidance and support, as we have done since this past summer.

See the new CDC travel requirements.

Visitors from affected areas

If you are hosting visitors from the affected countries, please notify Student Health Services for appropriate guidance.

Reporting Recommendations to Stay Safe

The University of Akron is working with the Summit County Health Department to continuously update preparedness activities across the region. We also receive updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We continue to monitor the evolving situation abroad and in the U.S., and will provide additional updates as needed. In the meantime we are requesting that you follow these reporting guidelines to keep yourself and others safe:

Any student, faculty or staff member should let Student Health Services know if you have traveled to Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone within the past 21 days. This includes travel on university business as well as all personal travel (e.g., vacation, volunteer work, FMLA, etc.). Anyone who returns from these affected countries will likely need to be monitored and, depending on the circumstances of their travel, may need to limit their contact with others, according to Ohio Department of Health guidelines.

Of course, health authorities are most concerned about direct contact with someone who has Ebola. Direct contact is defined as:

  • Providing medical, nursing or health care in an official or unofficial capacity for an individual with confirmed Ebola.

  • Having direct contact with blood or body fluids of an individual with confirmed Ebola.

All questions should be directed to Alma Olson, CNP in Student Health Services at 330-972-7808. All information is confidential.

Additional resources:

The Ohio Department of Health has established a 24/7 hotline at 1-866-800-1404 to answer general questions.

Updated general information can be found at:

Communication resources

Campus Communications

This is a compilation of significant communications by the Provost to campus.

2013-2014 academic year

2012-2013 academic year

2011-2012 academic year

2010-2011 academic year

Board of Trustees Communications

Faculty Senate Communications

State of Academic Affairs

External Communications

Message from the Provost (2012)

Across the Commons newsletter (2010-2012)

"Across the Commons" is the Office of Academic Affairs’ e-newsletter, providing periodic updates about the strategic academic initiatives under way.

Search OAA website