In 2009, TU joined the American Council on Education’s Internationalization Laboratory, a cohort of universities that works closely with ACE staff to develop internationalization goals and develop strategic plans. President Steadman Upham appointed Cheryl Matherly, then associate provost for global education, and Bryan Tapp, chair of the Department of Geosciences, as cochairs of the Internationalization Laboratory Steering Committee.
During the 2010 academic year, the steering committee and six subcommittees that involved more than 80 faculty and staff, developed a thorough and inclusive portrait of TU’s current level of international engagement. The committee collected data from various stakeholders within and outside of the institution, completed an institutional self-study using a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis of TU’s current level of internationalization, and developed the recommendations that form the foundation of the SPCI. The steering committee presented the draft strategic plan to the campus community for feedback as part of a series of town hall meetings during fall 2010. The ACE staff chaired a peer review team visit in December 2010 to provide feedback on the plan and its implementation. A subgroup of the steering committee consulted with the provost, the executive vice president, and the vice president for institutional advancement to establish a 10-year implementation plan and associated budget. The Strategic Plan for Comprehensive Internationalization and the implementation plan were approved by the TU Board of Trustees in May 2011.
The plan identified six recommendations for preparing TU’s foreign policy and successfully promoting comprehensive internationalization:
- Establish centralized leadership for TU’s internationalization plan. TU centralized responsibility for the implementation of SPCI recommendations by creating a new position, vice provost for global education and the Internationalization Leadership Council (ILC).
- Develop international activities that support the university’s leadership with interdisciplinary initiatives. The SPCI called for TU to provide leadership in local, national and global communities on crucial questions facing world societies today, as related to the university’s key interdisciplinary initiatives: energy, technology and the environment; cyber security; indigenous populations; community health; and entrepreneurship.
- Deepen university programs in strategic geographic regions. TU is strengthening its concentration on Asia and establishing a strategic focus on the Americas.
- Enhance recruitment of international students. TU is proud of its diverse international student community and values the contributions these students make to the culture of the university.
- Create programs that will support TU’s activities to competitively recruit top academic students. The SPCI recommended distinctive experiences for undergraduate and graduate students that can contribute to the university’s recruitment goals.
- Address infrastructure issues. While not specific to internationalization, infrastructure issues that support the implementation of the strategic plan, such our IT services.