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International Activities
Task Group I – Faculty and Students Abroad
Draft Final Report

Julie Novak (Convenor), Gordon Burris, David LaRue, Len Schoppa, Theo Van Groll

Purpose: To make recommendations to the 2020 International Commission regarding ways to facilitate and provide incentives for faculty and student international initiatives and ways to identify and remove barriers or disincentives.

For our draft final summary, our group has chosen to focus on the following areas: The International Studies Office, Faculty and Student Incentives and Disincentives to International Work and Study, the integration of an International Resource Center, and Fundraising.

 

International Studies Office

As staffed, the International Studies Office is not in the position to provide adequate services to the university’s international scholars, students, employees, and students who wish to study abroad.

In recent years, the number of persons in the categories mentioned above has risen sharply, but the staffing of the International Studies Office, and the ISSP in particular, has remained the same. The advising of international students, faculty and employees and the preparation of documents often require substantial amounts of time. Yet, these functions are considered the primary functions (services) of our office and they are carried out at the expense of record keeping, data gathering, and basic up-keep of our web site.

One Study Abroad Advisor is charged with the task of advising more than 600 students who wish to study abroad. While student interns provide valuable assistance in the advising process, all students are required to obtain approval in a process that mandates an individual meeting with the Study Abroad Advisor, who also reviews all required documentation.

The Office Manager functions as a receptionist, secretary and fiscal administrator. Currently, too many tasks are assigned to this position and as a result adherence to state mandated directives is compromised.

To operate properly, that is to meet current expectations; additional staff members must be assigned to the International Studies Office. This requires increased funding now and additional financial commitments as the recommendations of the International Commission are implemented. However, none of this is possible without adequate office space that is readily accessible to the constituency the ISO serves.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMMEDIATE IMPLEMENTATION

Appoint two new staff members (Receptionist and Study Abroad Adviser)

Provide additional office space in Minor Hall.

New furnishings for the public areas in the ISO as well as furniture and office equipment for additional offices.

Design a new web site for the ISO/IC and provide funding for long-term maintenance.

Additional OTPS and discretionary fund for ISO/IC Director.

 

Faculty and Student Incentives and Disincentives to
International Work and Study

 

Under Short-term recommendations (next year)

We recommend that the Provost appoint a committee charged with proposing changes in the structure of Summer Session so that it can better provide administrative and financial support to international programs. We feel this is necessary for two reasons.

1) Currently, students attending study abroad programs during the summer cannot receive financial aid because the Summer Session is not a part of the regular academic year. Many study abroad programs operate only in the summer, and in other cases students’ academic requirements make the summer the most appropriate time for them to go abroad. It is unfair to limit the opportunities of poorer students to gain international experience in cases such as this because of what seems to us to be a bureaucratic artifact.

2) Another problem is that the financial framework of summer school is not conducive to program building. If programs operate as part of the summer school, they must charge very high summer school rates (we heard that rates are higher than those at Georgetown University, a private school), which makes attracting students difficult. And if they do succeed in attracting students, all of the extra revenue goes to summer school rather than being made available for program building. Realizing this, most successful study abroad programs currently operating in the summer here at UVA do so outside the summer school system. They have opted out of summer school (and consequently taken on extra administrative burdens) because doing so gives them more flexibility. If they are successful in attracting students, they can recycle some of the extra revenue in the form of financial aid or reductions in program tuition. They can also use this revenue for promoting the program. While the ad hoc arrangements whereby current summer programs operate outside of summer school (and with only minimal support from the ISO) works okay for established programs such as the large one in Valencia that can hire their own staff, it places major hurdles in the way of those who might want to establish new programs. Faculty who take the lead in setting up programs frequently have neither the time nor the skills required to arrange program logistics, promote programs, and process bills. Our over-extended departmental staff similarly lacks the time to handle these functions. As a result, few programs are started and those that do struggle under unnecessary burdens. This problem, by the way, not only hampers the development of new study abroad programs in the summer but also will make it difficult to develop new summer programs in ESL and American Studies designed to bring foreign students to Charlottesville.

We would like to see the Summer Session restructured so that it provides incentives for new program development. Developing successful programs requires the cooperation of a number of parties: the program director who takes time away from research and other commitments to design and run programs; departments and schools that provide administrative support for specific programs; the International Studies Office which is best positioned to promote and distribute information about international programs and provide other support services to students studying abroad, and administrative offices of the university such as Summer Session that are best positioned to register students, award them credit, and handle other overhead functions. The best way to encourage new program development is to make sure all of these units carry the part of the burden that they are best qualified to handle and receive an appropriate share of the funds generated by new and successful programs. Right now, the summer school takes the risk that a program might not generate sufficient revenue to cover costs in exchange for receiving all of the extra revenue if it’s successful, but this provides few incentives for individual or departmental entrepreneurship and sucks away extra funds generated by successful programs. The ISO provides only limited support because it is under funded and understaffed.

An alternative would be for departments and schools to take the risk (perhaps covered to some degree in the first year or two by university "seed money"—see below) under an arrangement which gave the summer session and the ISO each a set fee in exchange for their administrative services. In exchange for assuming some risk, the department and individual running the program would then be allowed to hold onto extra revenue and use these for program development. Our task group is not in a position to recommend a specific formula for allocating responsibilities and revenue connected with international programs. We thus encourage the provost to appoint a committee to consider how best to restructure summer session to better encourage new international programs. [Note that because this issue clearly impacts areas other than just international programs, we feel this issue should be handled by a specific committee set up for this purpose, outside whatever committee might be appointed to carry forward the mission of the International Commission.]

We recommend too that the provost consider whether it is appropriate to devise a similar formula for international programs operated during the fall and spring terms. Because nine-month faculty is paid salary during these terms, the formula that is appropriate for the summer may not be appropriate for the other sessions. We were not sure whether we should recommend another provostial committee to consider this question. Perhaps the summer session committee could consider this question as well.

Since it will probably take a full year for the above committee(s) to settle on the appropriate formula for allocating responsibilities and revenues connected to international programs, we feel the university should not begin providing "seed money" in this first year to actually operate new programs. Instead, we recommend that the committee set up to carry forward the work of the International Commission in the coming year establish regional subgroups to investigate whether there are specific needs for new study abroad programs that the university should attempt to meet and to identify specific opportunities to develop new programs in these places. Right now, the university operates a large program in Spain and smaller ones in India, China, Russia, Jordan, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, England and Italy. Many of our students are well served by programs operated by other institutions, but there are likely to be a number of areas where we can best expand opportunities for our students to study abroad by strengthening or broadening existing programs or establishing new ones. Since our faculty who work on (or in) specific regions of the world know best our students’ needs and opportunities for building programs at institutions in these regions, we suggest that the subgroups be composed mostly of faculty and that they be charged with identifying specific priorities for new regional academic centers in Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe/Russia, East Asia, South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Because the time commitment required will be significant, we recommend that each regional subgroup be given $6,000 to be paid as summer salary to the individual faculty member leading the investigation and writing the report on priorities.

 

Total budget for the first year: $42,000.

Under medium-term recommendations (2001-2005)

The groundwork done in the coming year on university-run study abroad programs (deciding the formula for allocating responsibilities and revenues and identifying priority needs and opportunities in each region) should allow the university to begin establishing new programs immediately after the Vice-Provost for International Affairs begins work. We recommend that the new Vice-Provost allocate a share of his/her "incentive funds" ($200,000 out of the $500,000 available each year) to providing "seed money" for new study abroad programs. He/she should solicit applications from faculty and departments, asking them to make the case for why there is a need for a new program, why a specific institutional affiliation makes sense, and how much money is needed to cover start-up costs and the risk that the program will not attract enough students in the first year or two of operation. Funded programs should be ready to begin operations as early as the summer of 2002. Task Group I wishes to underscore the Task Group III addendum dated 12/29/99.

  

The Integration of an International Resource Center

Short-Term Recommendations [2000-2005]

Develop and maintain a website that will serve as a information clearing house and resource center for faculty and students seeking opportunities to teach, study, research, or work in a foreign country. The objectives of this website will be--

  • To assist faculty and students in identifying opportunities for international teaching, research, and study;
  • To remove many existing deterrents by substantially reducing the time, effort, and expense required to obtain essential information regarding funding opportunities, tax consequences, and University policies on faculty benefits, etc.; and
  • To provide faculty and students who have completed research or study abroad with an opportunity to share their experiences, enthusiasm, advice, and insights with others.

This International Resource Center will include the following:

  • Formal Programs of Overseas Study. This section of the website will provide a listing of the overseas research and study programs available at the University of Virginia and will link to the pertinent websites of other major universities around the U.S. and foreign countries that offer formal programs of international study.
  • Funding for Study Abroad. This section of the website will identify funding opportunities available to faculty and students by the University, the State of Virginia, the federal government, and private foundations for research and study abroad. It will provide information on qualification, application procedures, and contacts for each identified program and will incorporate links to available websites.
  • Faculty Benefits and Student Financial Aid. This section of the website will address frequently asked questions regarding University policies on faculty benefits [e.g., health and accident insurance coverage, pension contributions, group-term life insurance coverage, etc.] for faculty temporarily on leave to pursue teaching, research, and relevant work experience overseas. It will also address University of Virginia academic and financial aid policies applicable to graduate and undergraduate students taking courses for credit at foreign academic institutions.
  • Federal, State, and Foreign Income Tax Toolkit. We are developing an intuitive, easy-to-use computerized expert system that will enable faculty and students to determine the federal, state, and foreign income tax consequences of earning compensation income abroad [e.g., from teaching at a foreign university, from working as an intern with a foreign company, etc.] or of receiving stipends, grants, or scholarships for research or study abroad. This sophisticated program will enable faculty and students to estimate, in advance, the combined income tax liability associated with each alternative under consideration. It will also assist faculty and students in determining their tax liability after the fact. The program integrates and maps the logic of the U.S. federal and Virginia state income tax laws [e.g., foreign tax credit, earned income exclusion], the tax rates imposed by each of over 200 different developed countries, and the effect of special treaty exemptions available to faculty and students under each of the 46 tax treaties that the U.S. currently has in effect with developed nations around the world.

    This toolkit also identifies and explains, in layman terms, several strategies for overall tax minimization.
  • Experiences of Returning Faculty and Students. This section of the website will contain narratives solicited from returning faculty and students regarding their international study/research experiences.

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Estimated costs:

Startup- $25,000-$30,000
Annual Maintanence-$12,000

 

Fundraising/International Commission

The case for a full time development officer reporting to the Vice Provost for International Activities is compelling especially when you look at the funding opportunities described in the task group reports. It will be necessary to ultimately prioritize these opportunities.

The following are funding opportunities that exist where internal or external monies must be found for their successful completion:

  • Provide funding for ISO.
  • Develop Area Centers that qualify for Title VI funds.
  • Provide funding for a Foreign Language Quarter.
  • Provide funding for ESL program.
  • Provide funding for an International Institute of American Studies
  • Provide funding for a 5th year scholarship program modeled on Junior Fullbright.
  • Provide funding for attractive housing dedicated to international scholars.
  • Provide funding for scholarships in an effort to facilitate study abroad.
  • Provide funding for incentive funds in an effort to facilitate faculty exchange and research.
  • Provide funding for research grants for graduate students.
  • Create international internships.
  • Create career counseling opportunities.
  • Support an already existing international alumni network and alumni clubs.
  • Establish an immediate endowment goal of $20 million to help fund all the above.

No one person can accomplish the fund raising endeavors listed above. With the help of internal sources of revenue some can be accomplished. At this time we do not know the funding commitment on the part of the University, with the exception of the agreement to go forward with the International Residential College. At the same time we can assume that many of the above goals will not be successful without an aggressive fund raising campaign.

We are proposing that a development officer be hired and report to the Vice Provost for International Affairs. The Vice President for University Development should chair the search committee with finalists recommended to the Vice Provost for International Activities. We also recommend that this person have one support person reporting to them. Financial implications for these hires can be found below. The new Director of International Development will work with the VPIA and the International Activities Committee to set priorities from the funding opportunities listed above. These discussions should also include the Vice President for University Development.

The new director will have the support of central development in helping accomplish their goals. They will coordinate with gift accounting, stewardship, research, marketing, and other colleagues in corporate/foundation relations, and regional development. It will be imperative that they coordinate their efforts with development officers from other schools and units. Deans are going to have to assign at least one of their development officers to spend no less than one third of their time on international fund raising.

The job of raising money for international activities and programs will be incredibly complex and challenging. With the exception of Darden there has been no coordinated effort in the international arena. Engineering and McIntire are just starting to make inroads but generally most schools recognize they need to cultivate their alumni in this country before going elsewhere. There is no built in constituency for the fund-raising we are about to undertake. Results will not be immediate and we need to understand that when setting priorities.

That said there is potential for a successful fund raising effort that would involve alumni and friends (parents) of international students. The new Director of Development will need to set priorities, with funding opportunities in mind, when determining their international travel. The numbers below represent alumni and friends of the University but the financial totals primarily represent the efforts of the Darden School and reflect their long time commitment to international fund raising. When looking at the numbers it becomes evident the two areas of concentration should be the Pacific Rim and Western Europe. As of November 1998 the five largest alumni populations (and friends) in the Pacific Rim are found in Japan (128), Australia (97), Taiwan (53), Singapore (50) and India (46). At the same time the total giving to the University reflected a different trend Indonesia ($290,000), Hong Kong ($243,000), Philippines ($208,000), Singapore ($186,000), Australia ($60,000). There are only (9) alumni and friends in Indonesia, (77) in Hong Kong, (14) in the Philippines. The difference in Western Europe is not as great between population and amount. Here you find England with (388), Germany (150), France (126), Switzerland (67), Netherlands (56). Total giving in England ($640,000), Germany ($133,000), Belgium ($80,000), France ($38,000), Switzerland ($36,000). Anywhere south of the United States major gifts are insignificant and the only country with a representative population in Mexico (50). Only time will allow the director of development to marry major gifts prospects with the prioritized list of funding opportunities above.

The short-term prospect for immediate funding, such as an endowment of $20 million, is not realistic. When raising major gift monies the time between cultivation, the ask, and closure can take months and possibly years. But with proper planning and then strong execution we can be successful raising money in the international arena. We suspect that between 2003 and 2005 we will begin looking for an Assistant Director of Development, the demand and need will almost force us to go in this direction.

Our immediate need through is to hire the Director. To do so will require a salary of $70,000 plus benefits or total of $91,000. We also need to set aside an OTPS budget for travel and other expenses of $15,000. The support person for the Director would require a salary of $22,000 plus benefits or total of $29,000 with an OTPS budget of $3,500 unless this can be funded as part of the budget for the center.

Internal and external funding is critical to the success of the International Committee and its goals. Without it much of the fine work of the committee will go on the shelf along with the many other committee reports that have found their way there this past century.

 

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