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Release: Immediate

UI seeks Regent approval for restructuring of international programs

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Significantly strengthened international course offerings for students and enhanced support and promotion of international research and exchange programs for faculty are two goals of a plan to restructure international programs at the University of Iowa. The plan will be presented to the State Board of Regents July 23 in Ames.

Key elements of the restructuring plan call for the merger of the UI's two largest international program units and the creation of an International Programs Advisory Council to enhance campus-wide coordination of international activities. The restructuring plan is the result of a year-long process of review by faculty and staff and reflects the goals and priorities of the UI's strategic plan. The changes will be accomplished through reallocation of existing resources, UI officials said.

"Student and faculty interest in international research and instruction is growing rapidly," said Michael McNulty, UI associate provost. "The restructuring plan will strengthen existing programs and promote the development of new programs providing opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge, skills and experience needed to compete in the global economy and to live in communities and workplaces of increasing complexity and diversity."

With the Regents' approval, the UI will merge the Office of International Education and Services (OIES) and the Center for International and Comparative Studies (CICS) to strengthen core support staff functions, and to effect closer program coordination. In recognition of the growing interdepartmental and cross-collegiate nature of many academic programs, the administrative position responsible for those programs, the associate provost for international programs, will be renamed the associate provost and dean of international programs.

The changes reflect the successful growth of international research and instruction at the UI and provide for a governance structure that will facilitate future growth, McNulty said. "We will work very closely with the collegiate deans, department heads and faculty to coordinate our efforts," he added.

The restructuring plan calls for eliminating the directors' positions at OIES and CICS and reclassifying them as associate dean and assistant dean of international programs.

To secure campus-wide participation in international program planning, the plan also calls for establishing an International Programs Advisory Council that will meet monthly. The advisory council will include representatives from the units reporting directly to the associate provost and dean of international programs, faculty of international academic units, undergraduate and graduate students, key service and support units, and representatives of other UI colleges and other international programs that do not report directly to the associate provost and dean of international programs.

The International Center, which is the location for many but not all of the UI's international programs, will continue its current function of providing support for all international programs. However, the restructuring plan calls for the creation of seven core support staff positions that will report to the director of the International Center. The seven core positions are budgets and accounts; development and external relations; information systems; instructional programs; outreach, cross cultural education and training; public relations and media; and reception.

"The proposed changes will help the university address the fast-paced changes in knowledge, the globalization of social and market forces, and the revolution in instructional technologies that are challenging faculty and students to rethink traditional areas of the curriculum and research," McNulty said.