by Wendy Williamson, Director of Study Abroad, Eastern Illinois University
Next week, I will be presenting with three other colleagues at the AIEA Conference, in Washington DC. The title of our presentation is Internationalize your Institution through Faculty (currently scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 5:00pm). Three colleagues and I, representing four different institutions, will be sharing a collection of priceless ideas and strategies for internationalizing higher education with faculty in the lead.
Internationalization is driven by people. Along these lines, it’s important to obtain and retain the right people on our campuses to drive this cultural transformation process. One way that we can do this is to recognize faculty who internationalize their courses, develop and lead study abroad programs, foster relationships with international students, and encourage students to study abroad. We can also reward faculty who rise up to be leaders of international education on our campuses and serve in critical roles on our international councils and committees.
The most common practice is an awards ceremony. One of the best examples I’ve seen on record is the International Awards Night, at Emory University. What I like about this particular ceremony is that it combines both an Internationalization Award with an International Alumni Award, as well as a Photo Gallery. Plus, it’s available for the whole world to view on YouTube! What a well-thought-out concept. The only thing I’d probably change is add an International Student Award and a Study Abroad Student award, to usher in full representation of the major groups on campus.
I’ve also heard some discussion about a special faculty status that would give additional recognition, and perhaps priority for certain sources of institutional funding. The closest thing I found was University of Minnesota’s Award for Global Engagement. Recipients who are employed by the University of Minnesota when they receive the award are given $2,000 per year for three years. Retired or emeritus recipients receive a onetime award of $3,000. This award began in 2005, and has been bestowed upon three people every year since then.
In 2005, the University of Minnesota presented AIEA member, Joe Mestenhauser, with the first Award for Global Engagement as well as Distinguished International Professor Emeritus status. Dr. Joe Mestenhauser was also recently bestowed with a new annual lecture series on internationalization. The Josef A. Mestenhauser Lecture Series was designed to provide an academic forum in which intellectuals from around the world are invited to present thought-provoking and innovative scholarship on internationalizing higher education.
If you’ve seen any other exemplary forms of recognizing and rewarding globally engaged faculty, please leave a comment with the information.
Submitted by Wendy Williamson, Director of Study Abroad, Eastern Illinois University