Screenshot of Navigate website

October 13, 2016

New Website Helps Faculty, Staff Coordinate Off-Campus Programs

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Navigate — a new website devised to help Cornell faculty and staff maneuver the difficulties of off-campus teaching, research and community engagement — launched on Oct. 2.

The website is useful in promulgating Cornell’s emphasis on international awareness and participation, according to Jason Hecht, associate director of Cornell Institute for European Studies, who called off-campus learning opportunities “an increasingly important component of the research and teaching that takes place at Cornell.”

Hecht said off-campus opportunities represent “both exciting and rewarding work,” but explained that it is crucial to move beyond the logistics of a project so that faculty and students can focus on teaching, which requires “a great deal of complex, careful planning.”

“Navigate is intended to help facilitate that planning process, both for those with experience in leading these kinds of activities, as well as for those who are new to the process,” he explained.

The website acts as a database for necessary information on the country of travel, according to the University. Navigate includes information on export controls, risk management, health and travel insurance and emergency protocols. Before, information was spread out across departments, but now travellers can more easily find relevant information.

This streamlining initiative acts as a “one stop shop” to help faculty and staff find legal, financial and human resource information, according to Sandy Conlon, finance manager of Mario Einaudi Centre for International Studies.

Hecht said Navigate reduces logistical and bureaucratic burden, as well as informational start-up costs associated with off-campus program planning. This initiative can inspire more members of the community to pursue off-campus research and teaching opportunities. The website also reduces the silos in knowledge and expertise across colleges and administrative units, to better share the wealth of information and resources on campus.

Navigate is designed to evolve and add content over time; therefore the site’s limitations will be addressed as questions come in, according to Hecht. He added that he believes that “given the team working on Navigate, evolution is poised to happen quickly.”

Conlon cited Navigate as a tool to “help faculty and staff navigate the complexities of the ever-changing world.”

Navigate was created by Laura Splitz, director of Global Cornell Initiatives, Judy Appelton, vice provost of international affairs and Joanne DeStefano, executive vice president and chief financial officer.