“Internationalization fundamentally involves changing the institutional culture,” said Susan Sutton, Senior Advisor for Internationalization at Bryn Mawr College (PA) to the participants at last week’s 2014 ACE Institute for Leading Internationalization.
A group of 32 campus officials with responsibility for global efforts attended the three-day session in Alexandria, VA, where they heard from a number of key experts in the field. In the upcoming months, participants will draw on their experience at the Institute to design projects that advance comprehensive internationalization on their campuses.
The conference opened with a session on presidential perspectives. Kevin P. Reilly, ACE presidential advisor for leadership, and Orange Coast College (CA) President Dennis Harkins both emphasized that it is important for internationalization leaders to gain the support of their presidents by finding ways of contributing to broader institutional goals. They also cautioned against overlooking existing opportunities, such as faculty members with connections abroad.
The participants spent a day exploring aspects of ACE’s model for comprehensive internationalization, hearing from Sutton and Barbara Hill, ACE senior associate for internationalization. The two shared key points from the ACE Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE) study, Mapping Internationalization on U.S. Campuses 2012, which concluded that a majority of U.S. institutions are expanding their internationalization activities. Kathleen Enz Finken, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, used case studies to highlight significant differences in the depth of global learning and experience across campuses, noting that a sustained, institution-wide commitment to internationalization pays off in the long run.
On the last day of the conference, Cheryl Matherly, vice provost for global education at the University of Tulsa (OK), addressed the issue of global partnerships. Matherly spelled out a number of practical considerations—such as logistics, academic program requirements and the legal environment—and stressed the benefit of establishing a process on campus for reviewing and creating partnerships.
Kansas State University Olathe CEO and Vice Provost Prema Arasu offered the final keynote, reflecting on the personal qualities required to lead campus internationalization, such as determination, curiosity and flexibility.
The Institute for Leading Internationalization was generously supported by Huron Consulting. The next Institute is tentatively planned for June 2015.
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