2025 Visionary Plan

K-State 2025 Internationalization Strategic Action Plan Comments

From June 22, 2012 - October 1, 2012, the K-State community was asked to provide feedback on the university 2025 strategic action plan recommended by our Internationalization Planning Committee. This report compiles the online comments and suggestions received during the formal comment period.

Submitted Do you agree with the proposed thematic goal for Internationalization? Is there anything missing that should be included in the action plan for Internationalization? General Comments?
June 22, 2012 No - Let try promoting, supporting, and funding US citizens. Yes - Don't fund internationals, funding only provided to US citizens. As a tax pay and US citizen, I'm offended by this plan. If such a plan is implement, I will be leaving KSU and discouraging anyone from supporting KSU.
July 25, 2012 Yes - Some great ideas and observations. Trust these can be actualized on the ground. Yes - The next steps: specific action plans Who, or which units are to be responsible for and will accomplish specific objectives. What reorganization - particularly administrative - is necessary. And of course, resources and their allocation. A specific comment: So far no one has met with or talked with people on the ground responsible for area studies/language programs. I strongly suggest pulling together folks from: African Studies, East Asia, Latin America and South Asian studies and generic International Studies, for direct input and sharing ideas on how to reorganize, rationalize, administer, locate these programs and their linkages to other plan dimensions: undergraduate education, study abroad, faculty involvement including research, international linkages, etc.
Aug. 28, 2012 Yes - I believe in order to compete with other institutions we have to be more focused on what we offer to the global community. For example, as a Business Major my largest disappointment when I returned for my Masters was that I was not able to take International Accounting...even though it was listed as a course to take towards the Masters, it was never offered. I really believe we missed the boat by not offering that course a long time ago.... No
Sept. 7, 2012 Yes - I am thrilled that KSU has incorporated internationalization as a piece of our Vision 2025 strategic action plan. It is vital to graduate our students equipped with the tools necessary to compete in a global marketplace. Other nations have been studying our American systems for generations and know much more about our society, education, culture than our own U S students. This plan sets the stage for how our university will internationalize the campus here and create an environment where globalization is embraced. Some of the short term goals will be met within the next 12 months and early immediate success will set the tone for visible international engagement. Yes - 1) Create programming opportunities on campus that provide both domestic and international students discussion and access to a business community that is engaged internationally. On going discussions with business executives can serve to educate students on what international business expectations, work environments,and experiences are when discerning post university exploration. Additionally when students are abroad incorporate business engagement with U S businesses located in region of travel. 2) Develop consistant international materials that "tell our story". Most students do not know that KSU was the first to open a recruiting office in China and that we have almost 2,000 international students on campus. I am pleased to be a part of an energized university environment that is creating an impressive plan to embrace and maximize international development.
Sept. 7, 2012 Yes Yes - Goal 7 Develop a coordinated recuritment plan that is inclusive of both undergraduate and graduate students Identify specific countries to recruit doctoral programs Others: Enhance communication of current recruitment initiatives being conducted by the Office of International Programs and academic leadership at K-State Note: These need to be more visible on the International Programs website including recruitment trips (dates, country, staff); K-State Offices in other countries and their location and staff; link to current MOU with the name of the K-State Contacts for MOUs. Coordination of international visitors needs to be faciliated through Office of International Programs including the preparation of detailed schedules, information about purpose of the visit, and biosketches of visitors.
Sept. 8, 2012 Yes - Internationalization is extremely important for K-State to be able to keep up with othEr institutions across the US and around the world. No The goals seem to address mainly Undergraduate students. Why are Graduate and Doctoral students not included? When considering percentage of students, please clarify if this is the percentage of the current student body, or the percentage of the years' graduating class. Who will be responsible for tracking whether or not all of these goals are met, or what progress is being made witin each timeframe? Will funding be provided to support additional staff and office space for those staff? Please provide a definition of what is an "anchor" faculty-led program. Thank you very much to the internationalization SAP committee for all of your hard work and dedication to this important issue!
Sept. 21, 2012 Yes - Very much! Few initiatives could be more important to the future of Kansas State. Yes
Sept. 24, 2012 Yes Yes - Please be sure to provide financial support to areas that must accommodate the increased number of international employees. International employees do take additional effort for Human Resources Payroll and Benefits areas, not just hiring but following their document expiration issues throughout their entire employment. As the number of international employees increases, so will the support staff in Human Resources and International Student & Scholar Services. Julie Henton, Assoc Director HR Payroll & Employee Data
Sept. 24, 2012 Yes Yes - Global Partnerships: When the strategic action plan was drafted, was the committee aware that 5 exchange agreements with top universities were already in place? QS World Rankings 2011 #62 - LMU (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) #86 - Lund University #134 - University College Dublin #165 - University of Ghent #177 - Hong Kong Polytechnic University Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011-12 #45 - LMU #80 - Lund #106 - Ghent #159 - University College Dublin #251-275 - HKPU Is the plan to create 5 new exchange agreements with top universities within 1-5 years? In any case, when KSU targets top universities for strategic exchange partnerships, it is important that the following issues are considered; language of instruction, cost, location, college/department involvement in the agreement, and reciprocity. KSU sends very few students to the top universities we are already affiliated with; few classes are offered in English at LMU & Ghent; UCD is restricted to the college of Agriculture; some of the universities send few exchange students to KSU, so KSU is not able to send as many students to them (HKPU); some are very expensive destinations (Lund, Ghent, UCD). The strategic action plan sets the goal of KSU increasing the number of reciprocal agreements with highly ranked universities, but in order to maintain these new relationships, the exchange activity amongst students needs to be active between the universities. The new agreements signed in Australia (Univ Queensland, Univ Western Australia, Univ Sydney) address many of these areas, but Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney are expensive destinations, and cost will deter many students from considering these universities. Funding support, in the form of scholarships or grants, are likely going to be needed for these new relationships to develop. Understandably, a reciprocal exchange agreement includes not only student exchange, but faculty exchange, research, and other interactions as well. While the study abroad office can easily monitor the student exchange activity, I don't believe there is any centralized way of monitoring/reporting the activity of faculty members. The internationalization strategic plan should include a way of monitoring and measuring the faculty activity to meet benchmarks set forth. It's not enough to state you'd like agreements with top universities, what does the internationalization strategic plan have in place to overcome the obstacles (cost, language of instruction, etc.,) that we're already facing with the top partners. If the purpose of signing reciprocal exchange agreements is to establish broad relationships between KSU and the overseas university, student exchange activity needs to be an integral part of that relationship. If their isn't any support from KSU, financial or otherwise, to assist students to participate in these exchanges, and the primary activity occurs amongst faculty members, the relationship between the universities deteriorates when a highly involved faculty member leaves either institution. Then you're simply left with a list of prestigious universities with which you have signed exchange agreements. Student Experience: 50% of undergraduates have a meaningful international experience (study abroad, short-term courses, service learning, international competitions, etc.) Since the internationalization plans asks for a measurement of meaningful international experiences, who is going to monitor all of the "meaningful international experiences" and how is the data going to be reported? If a student and faculty member are working on research or some other endeavor that has an international component, that international experience isn't necessarily reported to the office of international programs (or some other central KSU office). It's fairly common for me to read The Collegian and see a story about a student that did some great work overseas, in collaboration with either a KSU faculty member or KSU department, and that student experience was never reported/discussed with OIP. In order to accurately monitor these experiences, there has to be some type of centralized data gathering/reporting. There have been instances in the past when a faculty member contacted the study abroad office to share information about an international research project but viewed the step of contacting the study abroad office as burdensome. It is certainly understandable that a faculty member or department that has been successfully supervising international research projects for years would feel this added step of reporting this activity to a centralized international office is unnecessary. In order for this type of reporting to be seen as important and necessary by faculty and departments, those faculty and department have to be willing participants. How are faculty and departments going to be encouraged to share this information with a central office/OIP? Another thing to consider is how to calculate the 50% mark. Is it, 50% of undergraduates have a meaningful international experience at some point in their undergraduate career at KSU or is it 50% of undergraduates have participated in a meaningful international experience during one academic year? How this percentage is calculated needs to be clearly defined. In my opinion, looking at each graduating class, and what percent of those students participated on an international experience at some point in their time at KSU is the best way to accurately determine the internationalization efforts of a school. In order to determine this percentage, however, some kind of mechanism that works across the university and all of its departments needs to be put into place for each graduating class. If a graduating student survey could include a question about whether or not a graduating student participated in a "KSU sponsored international activity; study abroad, research, etc.", that would be one way to determine this percentage. 15% of undergraduate students participate in a study abroad program: Again how is this percentage calculated? How this percentage is calculated greatly affects the feasibility of reaching 15% participation in study abroad within 1-5 years. The Institute for International Education (IIE) collects and reports international student mobility data. The current method of determining a school's study abroad participation percentage is calculated by comparing the total number of students who studied abroad against the total number of degrees conferred in one academic year. If the internationalization report calculates the study abroad participation percentage in this way, KSU had about 12.4% undergraduate participation during the 2010-11 academic year. Study abroad participants are still being verified for the summer 2012 term, but the participation percentage during the 2011-12 academic year is roughly the same percent. In order to reach the 15% mark, there would need to be an increase of about 90 students at some point in the next 1 - 5 years. If the participation percentage is calculated by comparing total study abroad participants by total enrollment in one academic year, KSU's percentage is around 2%. During the 2010-11 academic year, there were 19,667 undergraduate students enrolled at KSU during the fall 2010 semester (according the "enrollment summary" on the Registrar's webpage) and 449 undergraduate students studied abroad (it is important to note that this number doesn't not include graduate students who studied abroad, of which there were 69 during the 2010-11 academic year). If 15% of undergraduates had studied abroad during the 2010-11 year, that would be about 2950 students, an additional 2,500 students the study abroad office would be working with. Just as with the 50% meaningful international experiences, how study abroad participation is calculated needs to be clearly defined. And again, in my opinion, the best way of determining what percentage of a school's undergraduates are studying abroad can be determined by looking at a graduating class and how many of those graduates participated on a study abroad program during their undergraduate careers at KSU. If creating a way to determine a graduating class's international participation proves difficult, then using the IIE method of total number of study abroad students/total degrees conferred is probably the best way to calculate. It is important to consider how the study abroad office is going to be supported in reaching the 15% level within 1-5 years, 20% within 6-10 years, and 25% within 11-15 years. During the 2009-10 academic year, there were 524 students who studied abroad (including graduate students) through the study abroad office and there were 4 full time study abroad staff. That's approximately 131 students per study abroad staff. If you look at some of the peer institutions mentioned in the 2025 plan, the full-time staff to study abroad participant ratio is much lower. North Carolina State University, for example, has a ratio of about 100 study abroad students per 1 staff member. Iowa State University has a similar ratio to Kansas State, but they have 9 full time study abroad staff members (Iowa State sent 1161 students abroad during the 2009-10 year). A new study abroad staff position was recently created to focus on outreach to KSU departments and an unfilled administrative position was filled at the beginning of 2012, so there are currently 6 full time study abroad staff members. That being said, if the goals of the internationalization plan are realized, there are going to be many more students coming through the study abroad office and more faculty working with the study abroad office to create faculty led study abroad programs. If the study abroad office is not adequately staffed in order to work with the increased number of students and faculty members, students and faculty may get frustrated with the study abroad process and this might stifle any growth or increase in numbers. The argument might be made that once the growth begins, then more staff can be hired, which I believe is a risky way to approach support for study abroad. As numbers increase, the amount of time study abroad staff can spend with an individual student or faculty member will decrease. This decrease in time spent with students and faculty could very well lead to some of those individuals not feeling adequately supported by the study abroad office and they may walk away with a negative perception. If we look at the history of the study abroad office at KSU, there have been times in the past when the reputation of the study abroad office was negative amongst many departments and students at KSU. It took many years for that perception to change and while the current study abroad staff has made significant progress in changing the perception of the office around campus, this is still a work in progress. My biggest fear is that study abroad sees an increase in participation, but there are not enough staff to deal with the increase, which will cause some students and faculty to have a negative experience with the study abroad office and the 2025 benchmarks aren't met. Another way to support the study abroad office would be to increase compensation for the study abroad staff positions. It is difficult to attract and retain study abroad professionals when the compensation is as low as it is. I understand the KSU faculty and staff, in general, are compensated at a lower rate than peer institutions, but KSU study abroad staff are compensated at a lower rate than other KSU staff and even other staff within the Office of International Programs. Staff turnover in the study abroad office has been high over the last decade and has directly contributed to past negative perceptions. I have heard this feedback from colleagues I work with across the KSU campus, so I think increasing compensation for study abroad staff would be a positive step in retaining and attracting study abroad staff members. The preferred skill set for an individual to work in study abroad is a bachelors or masters degree and experience with the study abroad process, in addition to foreign language skills, significant international experience, and knowledge of other countries academic systems. If you compare that skill set to an academic advisor, foreign language, international experience, and knowledge of other countries academic systems are not skills necessary to do the job of an academic advisor, yet those positions are often compensated at higher levels than study abroad staff. I'm not suggesting in any way that the job of an academic advisor is any more or less difficult that that of a study abroad staff person, but if we're asking study abroad staff to have these skills, they should be compensated appropriately for having acquired these skills. Thank you for the opportunity to provide feed back on the internationalization strategic plan. I think the draft of this plan is a great first step but some of the specific details need to be further discussed. If you'd like to follow up with me about any of the feed back I have provided, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely, Joe Milostan, M.A. Study Abroad Advisor Office of International Programs Kansas State University 304 Fairchild Hall Manhattan, KS 66506
Sept. 25, 2012 Yes Yes How are the Stats going to be calculated?
Sept. 25, 2012 Yes - I really liked the "Create at least one summer international internship in every college" idea. Yes - Please clarify how the percentages of undergraduate students who study abroad will be calculated. They seem to be very high. Also faculty and staff (especially advisors) need to be encouraged to not discourage their students from studying abroad and telling students they won't graduate on time. How many "reciprocal articulated agreements" with top universities is KSU currently in? Is 100% of undergraduate students having a meaningful international experience really a possible goal?
Sept. 30, 2012 Yes Yes - In terms of students learning abroad, many are missing out on opportunities due to their advisors lack of knowledge. Although this is not true for all advisors, many do not come to the sessions or stay up-to-date on the opportunities for their students to study abroad. Studying abroad also needs to be done early for some colleges, often sophomore year. I do not think that studying abroad is appealing until after it may be too late. I think if advisors, teachers, and faculty are able to promote the benefits of studying abroad so students consider it early, the numbers that will be proposed by 2025 may be a little more realistic. I think it is important to also enhance communication between international students, transfer students, exchange students, etc. so K-State students will understand the benefits and potential they have and how they can use it in their following everyday lives.
Oct. 1, 2012 Yes - It is ambitious and for the most part comprehensive. Yes - A large omission in DRAFT K-State 2025 Internationalization – Strategic Action Plan is the lack of focus on faculty and administrators who are responsible for teaching English to the students who are not yet ready to attend university classes, namely the English Language Program. If international students are to have quality experience at K-State, then significant attention needs to be focused on instructors in the English Language Program. All the instructors are on term contracts with absolutely none of the protection that the university provides instructors in other departments. ELP instructors can be non-rehired at any time with no warning. According to President Schulz, the median instructor salary at K-State is $48,000. ELP instructor salaries are much lower than this. There is also no system of regularization, reward or promotion. There is no opportunity or reward for research.The same is true for the administrators. For the internationalization 2025 vision to be realized, improvement within the English Language Program as an academic department has be be incorporated in the Plan. The English Language Program is the largest unit within the Office of International Programs. As such the internationalization advisory committee should include a representative from the ELP.