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International Affairs Task Force FY2013

Standing Committees of the University Senate
International Affairs
Description: 

International Affairs: This committee works to improving the international dimension of KU by expanding opportunities and monitoring success of incoming international students and by promoting, expanding, and enhancing opportunities for KU students, faculty, and staff to have international experiences.

Members: 

CHAIR: Megan Greene, East Asian Studies
Tailan Chi, Business, Faculty
Antha Cotten-Spreckelmeyer, Humanities & Western Civ, Faculty
Geraldo deSousa, English, Faculty
Blaine Bengtson, Student       
Ingrid Horton, Program Coordinator, Study Abroad, Unclassified: 
Lea Smith, Graduate Affairs Specialist, College, Univ.Support Staff:

Ex-Officio:  Susan Gronbeck-Tedesco, Assoc Vice Provost, International Programs

 

Final Report: 

Report of the International Affairs Task Force


The International Affairs Task Force met on Friday, March 15, 2013, from 1-2 pm. Present were: Megan Greene, Chair, Tailan Chi, Ingrid Horton, Blaine Bengston, and Leatrice Smith. Antha Cotten-Spreckelmeyer and Susan Gronbeck-Tedesco were not able to be at the meeting; however Susan Gronbeck-Tedesco did provide comments in advance of the meeting.

The committee discussed 3 things. 1. What the function of the committee should be, 2. What the composition of the committee should be, and 3. What the standing charges for the committee should be.

Our general view was that the size of the committee is currently too large and needs to be reduced, that the range of responsibilities that the committee previously had was both too broad and too specific, and that greater clarity and focus needed to be brought to the standing charges. We felt that the purpose of the committee should be to monitor and make recommendations on policy changes with respect to international affairs, to report on such policy changes to governance, and also to provide input from faculty, staff, and students to International Programs on issues related to international affairs.

Our recommendations are as follows:

1. We recommend that the current wording of the paragraph in University Code Article XII, Section 2 regarding the composition of the International Affairs Committee be altered. At present, the committee is composed of 13 voting members and 7 ex-officio members. This composition is unwieldy, makes it difficult for the committee to meet, and seems to contribute to the committee’s disfunctionality. We concluded that a smaller committee would work better, that the students could select their own representatives based on the interests of those representatives (and we learned that starting next year the student senate will have 5 international student members, so in the future student members may possibly include international students), and that most of the ex-officio members of the committee were people who did not necessarily have to be there, but who might be called to meet with the committee depending on the subjects under discussion.

The current wording of the paragraph in University Code Article XII, Section 2 describing membership of the International Affairs Committee is as follows:

 

The Committee on International Affairs shall be composed of five faculty members serving staggered three-year terms, one representative from the unclassified staff and two from the university support staff serving three-year terms, five student members serving one-year terms, and the following ex-officio, non-voting members: the Associate Vice Provost for International Programs or designee, the Director of International Student Services, the Director of the Applied English Center, the Director of Study Abroad, the president of International Students' Association, the chair of the Student Senate Multicultural Affairs Committee, and a representative of the Multicultural Resource Center appointed by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

We recommend that paragraph be replaced with the following language:

 

The Committee on International Affairs shall be composed of four faculty members serving staggered three-year terms, one representative from the unclassified staff and one representative from the university support staff serving three-year terms, two student members serving one-year terms, and the following ex-officio, non-voting member: the Associate Vice-Provost for International Programs or designee.

 

2. We briefly discussed the description of the International Affairs Committee that is currently on the Governance website and found it to describe the purpose of the committee in terms that may have led to some of its past problems.

The current language is:

 

International Affairs: This committee works to improving the international dimension of KU by expanding opportunities and monitoring success of incoming international students and by promoting, expanding, and enhancing opportunities for KU students, faculty, and staff to have international experiences.

We recommend that language be altered to the following:

International Affairs: This committee monitors and make recommendations on policy changes with respect to international affairs, report on such policy changes to governance, and provides input from faculty, staff, and students to International Programs on issues related to international affairs.

 

3. We discussed the most recent set of standing charges for the committee and also looked at a version of those standing charges from a decade ago, and found that although those standing charges were consistent with the description of the committee currently on the Governance website (discussed above), they direct the committee to do a number of things that are, by and large, already being done by various units on campus. We felt that the standing charges should be streamlined to reflect the purpose of the committee as defined in our recommended language for the Governance website above. We therefore recommend that the standing charges for the International Affairs Committee be revised to a list of three charges. We do not have any recommendations for specific charges for the 2012-2013 academic year.

 

Recommended standing charges:

1. Hear reports on strategic planning and activities from IP units, suggest changes or new directions, and facilitate collaboration among faculty and administrative units.
2. Review and provide input on new policies that relate to international research and teaching.
3. Identify concerns or issues for discussion and action related to KU's international affairs from students, faculty, and staff.


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