Strategic Directions

Drop Shadow

Internationalization: Open Forum, March 3, 2005

[pdf file for printing]

Facilitators: Michel Boudrias, Paula Cordeiro

Dr. Cordeiro began the session by referring to the workshop handout and reiterating the objectives of the open forum. Forum attendees focused on the workshop brainstorming ideas in 3 main categories: internationalize our structure, internationalize our students and curricula, and internationalize our faculty.

Comments by Forum Participants

[The following notes are not chronological, but have been grouped under
major topic headings discussed by the attendees.]

Internationalize our structure

Create a Vice Provost position and office

  • Important to create a Vice Provost position – need a coordinating office. Currently, each school has its own programs and methods which may be unique to that school but may overlap. Need a clearinghouse to help review, plan and reduce overlapping programs. May be doing the same things 3-4 times.
  • The Vice Provost position (and thus the candidate for the position) must be able to articulate and advance the internationalization vision and message.
  • Agree on centralization to head up internationalization. Must be driven at vice presidential level – position reporting to the president: there are different levels of influence between a vice provost position and a vice presidential position. If the position is below vice president: deans focus on their schools and may fragment; vice president would draw the ideas together.
  • Just as there is a difference between marketing (who we are) and advertising (getting out the information about the events), there is a difference between vice presidential position and vice provost position. This new position must have the institutional responsibility to internationalize. Therefore, the position must be on the vice president’s level, focusing on the undergraduate, graduate and faculty international goals.
  • Without a centralized or coordinated effort, schools may be fighting for resources, programs and ideas separately. Centralizing will allow coordination of ideas and pooling of resources.
  • Coordination should be a top priority. Concerned with prioritizing efforts within the schools (e.g., study abroad offices). Need to build on strengths collectively.
  • Must review how the undergraduate, graduate and faculty goals interact: see what each area does and how it would contribute to the international goals. Through coordinated efforts, will be able to focus study abroad programs, strengthening those that support goals, and establish success indicators.
  • Important not to overlook research and recruitment.
  • Explanation: it was the consensus at the February workshop table group that centralization of internationalization and diversity & inclusion into one position would create a place where people aren’t competing.
  • There are a number of programs available to support students and faculty on internationalization. There is merit in coordinating the programs.

Responsibilities of new position and office

  • Workshop idea for VP shows position responsible for internationalization, diversity and inclusion.
    • These are broad topical areas; must create a common language.
    • Agree with new VP position but may need to separate internationalization and diversity & inclusion. Have different needs and different programs.
    • Agree that internationalization is different than diversity and inclusion. Important to focus on effective communication between areas: goals are to share knowledge and to increase the number of international students and international faculty.
    • Focus on internationalization and research. Diversity and inclusion would be the outcome.
    • May want two positions located in one office: one that would focus on internationalization; one that would focus on diversity and inclusion.
  • Question: what about the cultural components and diversity hires? Will this position advocate for and have the authority with diversity hires?

Clarification of new position and responsibilities

Paula summarized the above discussion stating that there seems to be two issues: first issue – separation of international and diversity & inclusion; second issue – whether USD should have the vice president/vice provost position. She asked people to weigh in on the two issues.

Attendees’ responses:

  • Issue #1 – agreement that there needs to be a separation of international and diversity & Inclusion; agreement that there seems to be two different themes with different issues, directions, and emphasis; agreement that one person should not be responsible for both.
    • New position, though, should be a supporter of both international and diversity & inclusion initiatives.
    • One person expressed concern that diversity could be short-changed.
    • These are two very important issues to USD.
    • Question to consider: what person would have qualifications for both initiatives?
    • Activities are different. Important to overlap – but are different issues.
  • Issue #2 – agreement the USD needs this new position; agreement that new position needs authority and budget.
    • Comment that a dean will “slap around” a vice provost but would not a vice president.
    • Question: are there other models for USD to look at or consider?
      • Currently, there are VPs, associate VPs, and assistant VPs.
      • Very few schools have both responsibilities in one position.
      • UC Berkeley: students required to take American Cultures and International Studies. Both located in one position – adds strength by coordinating both efforts.
      • USD needs to discuss and research a model that would strengthen both initiatives.
    • Wonder where the funds would come from. Will USD raise the tuition in order to finance this new position?
    • Comment that new provost should consider this position as vital in any reorganization that she may consider.
    • Discussion of having two positions (international / diversity & inclusion) in one office: may be important so that collaboration can occur. With new provost arriving July 1 st, there may be restructuring. Important to surface this recommendation early to Julie Sullivan – have opportunity now to create this structure.
    • If two positions are created, the job descriptions should state that they must work together; articulate the expectation at the creation of the position. In looking at candidates for the two positions, look at their portfolios; seek candidates that have strengths in each area and ability to collaborate.
  • Paula raised the question to attendees: Should USD create two positions? Resounding response to highly recommend new position(s) that would bring internalization and diversity & inclusion issues to the forefront.

Internalize our students and curricula

  • Mistake noted on workshop handout: second bullet (under #2 – Internalize our students and curricula) should read “Require study abroad for undergrads and international experience for students in graduate programs.” Michel noted that the table group did not state nor intend that applicants to graduate programs have international experiences in order to apply. Instead, the graduate students would receive international experience while at USD.
  • Correction to bullet #5: must discuss this issue – let the faculty and students set the experience.

Study abroad and international experiences

  • A missing point in the workshop ideas: seems to focus on undergraduates. Need to focus on undergraduate and graduate study abroad opportunities, along with other international experiences.
  • Top priority: we are close neighbors with Mexico and Latin America and should leverage our location.
  • Studies show that people of color are not studying abroad. Important to address funding issues so that all students can participate in study abroad or have an international experience.
  • Many of the study abroad experiences are in English-speaking countries. In some cases we are taking large groups of USD students – essentially taking “USD” to a different location. Is this what we mean by internalization?
    • Important to look at individual student and the type of experience that will challenge that person to grow.
    • For some students, going to another country (even though English-speaking) may be the first step outside the United States. The “baby step” is important.
    • For other students who have traveled outside the U.S., the challenge may be to go to a non-English speaking country or underdeveloped country; that is, taking another step may be important.
    • Going only to non-English speaking countries may terrify some students. May be tough to swallow if required (1) to go and (2) to only non-English speaking countries.
    • Michel noted that the workshop table group’s intent was for students to have a different experience outside the American culture.
    • Important to open more study abroad opportunities so that students experience a different culture.
    • Attendee shared two study abroad experiences she had: Cairo and England. Both were valuable experiences.
  • Question: the Core Curriculum was just approved with a D-requirement. Is there a suggestion that an international requirement also be considered? Paula responded that the Core Curriculum wording includes “global experience” which would suffice.
  • Maybe should not be stated as “required”: if too rigid, students may find ways not to go (e.g., athletes – who have other obligations and limitations).
  • Important how to market programs: example - SOE Global trip to China: only 1 person signed up. Important to look at how to get word out. Centralized/coordinated office could help market trips to graduate students across campus.
  • Graduate students will be limited by available time for a study abroad experience; may not be able to go on semester-long study abroad trips. May need to target short trips (e.g., 1 week trips during Intersession or Spring Break).
  • Study abroad is currently oriented to a semester or summer experience. Need to focus on shorter time spans.
  • International experiences show value in all cultures. Experiences in underdeveloped countries may help students and faculty to do something about the situations they have lived. (Important to tie in with Catholic social teaching.)
  • One attendee shared experience of an international health care volunteer program he is involved in: all of the staff has had an international experience. Experience should not just be academic – must focus on lived experiences, community service learning projects, etc.
  • Two issues seem to be surfacing: recruitment and study abroad support.
    • Need 8-10 day programs – powerful connections and experiences.
    • Focus on personal experiences.
    • As educator, must encourage students to get out of their comfort zones.
    • Need to understand diverse populations around the world – will help to understand the diversity in America.
    • Recruitment – a centralized office will know of other opportunities and programs on campus; will be able to find or pool grants for students who may not be able to afford; will be able to seek out information.
  • Must discuss the goal of internationalization: exposure to other cultures; ways that we may be underperforming.
    • Both of these must be looked at: we don’t know how many of our students have had an international experience.
    • We need to provide equal opportunity for all students to have an international experience.
    • Must focus on the core learning outcomes of the international experience. The new mission and vision statements talk about global competency, diversity and inclusion. We are underperforming in all of these 21 st century goals.
  • Question regarding how many international students we currently have and what is USD’s goal: currently, have 275 international students; goal is 400 students.
  • Goal articulated by Dr. Lyons: new feature or focus for USD – our location challenges us to reach out to Mexico, Latin America and the Pacific Rim. We are underperforming in all of these areas.
  • USD has an “Alice in Wonderland” approach right now – while competitor schools are attracting more international students and requiring international experiences of their students.
  • May need to look at running our own study abroad programs rather than sending out students to other programs. [Facilitator’s response: the College of Arts & Sciences Study Abroad Committee has been reviewing these possibilities over this past year.]

Internationalize our faculty

  • Correction to bullet #1: the wording does not express the tenor of the workshop table group. Instead, important to encourage faculty who are not rewarded now: offer “carrot” not “stick.” Must review how to reward faculty when international experience and research is done.
  • Need to address housing issues: where to live when on international experience. Is USD responsible to find host families?
  • Must look at funding: are we saying that only the top-echelon international students will be accepted at USD? How can USD provide resources to bring in other students?
  • Will USD establish its own centers, where the faculty goes with the students?
  • Important to assess the monetary value of developing our own programs.