The University of Kentucky Strategic Plan for Internationalization was developed by the Internationalization Task Force. The plan and the accompanying White Paper on Internationalization are intended to establish a framework for ongoing internationalization efforts at the university.
The Internationalization Task Force was established by Provost Kumble R. Subbaswamy in February 2007, in recognition of the University Strategic Plan's identification of internationalization as a campus priority. The charge of the Task Force was "to produce a comprehensive report (building on other recent reports) that would serve as a blueprint for the future of UK internationalization."
In order to further this project as well as to avail ourselves of national conversations on the topic of campus-wide internationalization and strategic planning, the University of Kentucky collaborated with the American Council on Education's Internationalization Laboratory. As part of the cohort of 2007-2008, we worked alongside seven partner institutions in order to benefit from cross-campus conversations and the work of previous cohorts. A review team from ACE visited campus in January 2009 to meet with the various stakeholders and comment on the university’s progress toward internationalization, the draft strategic plan, and the white paper. Their Final Site Visit Report, as well as three Appendices containing benchmark information, are available for your review.
The Task Force was co-chaired by Dr. Beth Barnes (Director of the School of Journalism and Telecommunications) and Dr. John Yopp (Associate Provost for Educational Partnerships). The Deans of each College were asked to submit nominations for members to serve on the Task Force; these nominees were joined by other faculty with professional expertise in the area of internationalization. The Task Force was thus comprised of 26 faculty, professional staff, and students.
Early in its work, the Task Force created eight subcommittees corresponding to the major elements of internationalization. These also focused on strategic areas of learning outcomes, assessment of current status, and recommendations for future enhancement. The subcommittees were:
- Campus Culture and Co-Curriculum Subcommittee
- Communications Subcommittee
- Curriculum Subcommittee
- Education Abroad Subcommittee
- International Exchanges and Collaborations Subcommittee
- International Student Recruitment Subcommittee
- Inventory/Audit Subcommittee
- Research and Engagement Subcommittee
The charge to the inventory/audit subcommittee was particularly critical in that UK does not currently maintain a database of the faculty and staff backgrounds and expertise necessary for intercollegiate collaboration and synergy in all of the key elements of internationalization.
Each subcommittee invited the participation of additional staff and faculty with particular areas of expertise or investment in international activities and was chaired by a member of the Task Force (or her/his designee).
The demands upon the Task Force were significant and time-consuming. For this reason an ex-officio Administrative Council was created to provide further expertise and context to the Task Force members. This body was comprised of staff of the Office of International Affairs. Each subcommittee prepared an interim report, which detailed the challenges and recommendations related to each element of their specific charges.
As the Task Force moved towards compiling its recommendations, it took very seriously the preservation of the creative and discipline-specific aspects of UK's decentralized collegiate campus culture. With that in mind, each subcommittee also prepared an April Report, prioritizing its earlier recommendations and considering carefully the areas in which decentralization should be preserved, as well as areas where centralization can promote new efforts in international endeavors, support ongoing efforts, reduce transaction costs and/or enhance particular areas of cross-College work.
During the final stages of preparation, the draft Strategic Plan for Internationalization was the subject of two campus-wide fora. The university community was also encouraged to comment on the plan through the Task Force’s web site and at discussions held in each of the colleges, as well as with the deans’ council and with the undergraduate and graduate councils. The input from these meetings, along with suggestions from the ACE review team, contributed greatly to the final shape of the Strategic Plan for Internationalization and the White Paper on Internationalization.