To: International Commissioners
Our task force is assessing various examples of how international programs are organized elsewhere. So far we have visited the University of California-Berkeley and Duke. We plan to visit Wisconsin and Michigan State in the near future.
From this initial survey, we expect to develop a draft report that will identify one or more administrative structures that seem appropriate for our circumstances at U Va. The report might have several parts as follows:
--Enhanced leadership for International Activities. Several models exist -- a Vice Provost with an advisory committee from all the schools at the University and the heads of various programs, equipped with a discretionary fund to encourage the internationalization of the University. Such an office would be both a clearinghouse and a catalyst. This is the Duke model.
Other possibilities might be a Dean of International Affairs or Director of International Studies, but we do not yet have a clear notion of how these alternatives might work in practice. Our general view is that this office should coordinate and energize international activities, but not try to centralize the diverse activities that now take place. We will also try to identify some of the qualities of an International Studies director or Vice Provost for International Affairs that a search committee would be looking for.
--Strengthen existing programs. Here the recommendations of other task forces will be essential for our work, but we will want to look at how the individual pieces (Study Abroad, Institutional Relations, Faculty Exchanges) might be organizationally strengthened and their work coordinated. We might try to establish some targets and their organizational implications. For example, today we have X% of our students with a study abroad experience; within five years we might aim for Y%; in ten years Z%. This would require an Office for Study Abroad with the following kinds of resources -- staffing, personnel, etc. We will identify good examples from other peer universities.
--Budgetary implications. We need to address the question of how much an enhanced international program at U Va will cost. And we need to identify particularly attractive targets for fund-raising. For example, we may want to consider proposing an International Center or International House or Study Abroad Program that could be the focus of a specific fund-raising effort. And we will try to identify possible sources of such funding.
While much depends on the results of our research and the work of the other task forces, we are hoping to have a rough draft for preliminary discussion by the end of this semester. Our next target, however, is to learn more about Wisconsin and Michigan State.