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Edu Trustees and Presidents Focus on Internationalization

Focus on Internationalization

So many SIOs and others working with international students tell us the broader campus community lacks meaningful insight into the role internationalization plays across their institutions. Maybe you and I have had this very conversation. It’s quite likely. It comes up a lot.

The ideal of internationalization is of course generally understood. But actually achieving a strategic, coordinated framework that integrates globally oriented policies and programs across departments, well that is a different story. The level of understanding and commitment certainly varies.

Sure, the international recruitment team gets it. And the international student services group, too. But how is internationalization playing out in housing, nutritional services, career services, IT, marketing, and across faculty programs? Every department has a role in achieving the mission for the benefit of all. Not just the international students! That's kinda the point, right? The internationalization mission is institution-wide for a reason.

We get that championing this can feel like an uphill battle.

Yet we know it’s worth the fight. The folks we talk to are not ones for lip service.

At the upcoming Association of Governing Boards (AGB) conference in San Diego, Edu trustees and presidents will be talking about all things institutional policy and process and we are looking forward to presenting our internationalization perspective to those attending. We want to empower leadership to offer guidance and insight into the intersectionality (dare we use that word! We're looking at you, Florida) of this highly educational and career-boosting aspect of university life.

We thank AGB for recognizing the value of this topic and for giving us the opportunity to present a holistic picture of what internationalization is and offer perspectives that will help trustees support a plan for progress with a clear focus on student-first initiatives.

Intead has the honor to be presenting to this distinguished crowd alongside Brad Farnsworth from Fox Hollow Advisory (former ACE VP) and Dr. Gretchen Bataille from GMB Consulting (former president of the U of North Texas among other amazing higher ed roles).

Know this: From the dais, we will be channeling all the concerns you’ve raised and offering insights these university leaders need to guide their institutions’ internationalization efforts. Your concerns and priorities are our North Star.

Read on to learn more about the program and the opportunity to share your ideas before we head to the conference

According to data from ACE’s Mapping Internationalization on U.S. Campuses: 2022 Edition, most institutions do have a strategic plan for their institutions and many reference “international,” yet, most do not have a dedicated international plan. Surprised? Didn’t think so.

Effective strategic plans contain detail and accountability.

That’s why, if leaders are serious about running a globally-minded institution, beyond lip service, it is important that trustees and presidents see internationalization as an institution-wide priority. Internationalization is not a nice-to-have, but an essential that affects the quality of research produced, student experience, faculty experience, and outcomes for all. This aspect of a university’s academic culture and educational approach serves the institution’s bottom line.

So, with that in mind, we will provide attending trustees guidance on how to judge an internationalization strategy from their all-important perch. And we will start from square one with a practical, hands-on definition of internationalization before diving into:

  • Opportunities for strengthening the institution through international engagement, including greater student learning, enhanced reputation, and increased revenue.
  • The importance of a written international plan and the central role of trustees in its development.
  • The process of building a global identity, with an emphasis on developing a strong value proposition for international students and international programs.

We think this is going to be a really valuable conference, and are thrilled to hear as much from you. Recently, among the notes we receive from our blog reader colleagues:

“So glad you’re going to be at AGB to raise the issue of internationalization at that level. It’s good news for what we all struggle with.”

Please drop us a note with your ideas or questions that we might incorporate into our discussions at AGB. And watch this space for our post-event reflections. We want to strengthen your ability to present a meaningful case to leadership and move your plans forward. Stay tuned.

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