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Minutes for Meeting of the International Commission
Review of reports of Task Groups 1 and 3.
Feb 17, 2000

Introductions- Chairman Womack initiated the meeting and focused the agenda on the Commission’s next steps and its final report.

Task Group 1- Julie Novak reported that Task Group 1 (focused on study abroad) had made no changes to its interim report. Discussion of Task Group 1’s report was opened to the full commission with emphasis on short and mid-range goals. Task Group 1’s interim report had identified such long range goals as raising the number of students involved in study abroad to 80% and improving infrastructure in order to promote studying abroad as an integral part of UVA’s curriculum and culture. Mid-range goals included: raising the number of students involved to 40%, increasing the number of faculty engaged in study abroad programs, increasing the financial incentives for developing new ideas from the faculty, developing a fifth year honors program, and supporting the creation of regional centers.


Commission discussion of Task Group One’s report emphasized such issues as:

  • Promoting short-term, low-cost programs and initiatives in order to promote study abroad;

  • Strengthening the International Studies Office (ISO) with greater financial and personal resources;

  • Providing greater incentives for study abroad by students, removing disincentives within departments for study abroad, and encouraging greater faculty participation;

  • Making study abroad more financially accessible to Virginia students especially with regard to summer programs;

  • Developing more scholarships for study abroad and tighter linkages with alumni living abroad; and

  • Encouraging financial support for new initiatives.

Commission members also highlighted the need to specify costs and steps necessary to implement the recommendations

Task Group 3- Duane Osheim emphasized infrastructure improvements in Task Group 3’s recommendations on the status of international students and scholars. Although the Group made few changes to its interim report, the Group reiterated that support for and development of the ISO should have priority. TG3 recommended increasing the full-time advising staff by five new positions and adding an at least part-time bookkeeper. Other suggestions included personnel development within ISO, greater financial support for necessary supplies and services, enlarging ISO’s office space or relocating ISO to a larger area, and providing a director’s discretionary fund to resolve emergencies and take advantage of unexpected opportunities. The need for appropriate residential and professional accommodations for visiting scholars was also reiterated.


In the following discussion, commission members addressed changes in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program, moving it away from traditional language instruction towards a more targeted focus of US academic culture. Barbara Nolan mentioned that a report is being written regarding the existing ESL program. Recommendations include a residential college, summer institute, administrators and faculty, and graduate-level language training. In addition, the report suggests renaming the ESL program the Institute for American English, which would correspond to the proposed Institute for American Studies. Organizational and budgetary issues remain under discussion.


Further discussion emphasized:

  • Creation of a Task Group for budgeting;

  • Promoting increased living and working space for foreign scholars, including short term remodeling of existing buildings until new office and living space is constructed;

  • Recognizing that the space in the International Living and Learning Center will be insufficient for UVA needs;

  • Encouraging financial support for foreign students based on merit to encourage enrollment of non-wealthy students;

  • Providing financial incentives to students traveling to non-Western Europe locations.

Next meetings planned:

March 2nd to review Task Groups 2 and 5.
March 23rd to review of Task Group 4 and budget proposals.
April 13th to review a preliminary version of the final report.
May 18th, final wrap-up.


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