The University of Kentucky International Center (UKIC) is leading the development of a new strategic plan that will align with UK President Capilouto’s priorities of enhancing educational excellence and seeking external funding to support that enhancement.
To focus UKIC’s strategic planning Susan Carvalho, associate provost for international programs, has organized a process to identify geographic hubs that offer the greatest opportunities to meet President Capilouto’s priorities.
“We are in an environment of finite resources,” said Carvalho. “The International Center needs to focus its resources towards a few strategic, geographic hubs that will create real synergies and for UK.”
In consultation with Interim Provost Tim Tracy, Carvalho asked the International Advisory Committee (IAC), a group of faculty and administrators representing each of the university’s colleges, to identify seven geographic regions where UK has the greatest strategic opportunity. The IAC then nominated nearly 100 faculty members – who are active in those geographic regions – to serve on committees for each of the seven regions.
“This process puts people, faculty and experts around the table who may have never met before,” said Carvalho. “I am excited about how this is creating synergy across UK’s departments and colleges. It’s the kind of conversation that universities ought to be having.”
The committees will identify three to four geographic hubs where UK's strengths and external opportunities converge. Once the hubs are identified the IAC will explore opportunities that will align with President Capilouto’s priorities, and ways to position UK faculty to maximize those opportunities, focusing on infrastructure such as an office there and/or here, travel money, strategic hiring and partnerships in the region.
The IAC will also identify three to four second tier hubs, where UK may not currently have the strength to compete for external opportunities, but toward which we should focus our future planning.
The goal is to have the hubs identified by May, a report that identifies strategic opportunities in these hubs by the end of August, and a UKIC strategic plan in place by the time UK develops its new campus wide strategic plan for 2014-2019.
In order to accomplish the President’s priorities Carvalho believes UK must celebrate and build upon the principles of “comprehensive internationalization,” which have been defined as follows:
“Comprehensive internationalization (CIZN) is a commitment, confirmed through action, to integrate international, global, and comparative perspectives throughout the teaching, research, and service missions of higher educa¬tion. It is a means to advance the core learning, discovery, and engagement objectives of higher education in a twenty-first century context.” Hudzik & McCarthy 2012, Leading Comprehensive Internationalization iv.
CIZN will “Enhance Education Excellence” by bringing meaningful international elements into the curriculum, creating excellent study abroad opportunities and by recruiting talented international students to UK; and will support that excellence through sustainable revenue sources, such as grants and international student tuition.
“We are working to get broad support on this process so that we have something in place by the time the new provost arrives,” said Carvalho. “Although we are in an environment with finite resources, there is passion for growing and serving our students better. This kind of prioritization is essential and energizing for the entire campus.”