w-8 Case Study HE Internationalization

This weeks case study allows us to see the struggles that institutions face when they choose to internationalize. In this specific case study there were three major groups; marketing, corporate and faculty. I feel I relate more to the faculty concerns as they are the ones who deal with the programs and students directly. It seemed that marketing and corporate were able to relate more in terms of what concerns they had. The difference in the amount of group specific points that faculty had compared to the none corporate proves the idea that is brought up later in the study that corporate gives the plans to the faculty but expect faculty to implement it flawlessly, in reality that is not the case. As mentioned, many faculty may not be familiar with HE internationalization. Faculty asking for more professional development is not wrong but the question is why did corporate assume that this was something they would be able to execute? Corporate and marketing argue that faculty already have international responsibility in their workload so this is not extra or different than what they agreed to do in the first place. This idea is left unanswered by the faculty, or may answered and not included in the case study, but it seems that what international work means should be clarified now that this institution wishes to move towards He internationalization without having a campus off shore.

The marketing group brought up a point that they have a hard time marketing programs that they are unfamiliar with. The marketing group should be able to work with the faculty closely so that when the marking group does need to promote these programs they do not feel that they cannot do them justice. This is something that when hiring for this position they need to entail characteristics that allow them to know that working with faculty and students in the program will be the best way for them to learn and market for it. In marketing you are not going to be familiar with everything that you are marketing but need to have skills in order to learn more about the prospective students you are targeting.

Lastly, I think corporate needs to work more with faculty and understand that these issues are not solely theirs but each groups issues together. Faculty do have much more work than what is written on their contracts and added an HE internationalization portion to their workload I believe is extra than what they originally bargained for especially if the idea came after they already signed their contracts. It is important that the faculty is not overwhelmed when a decision like this is made.

W8: Internationalizing faculty in the age of adjunctification

While reading Nan Jiang and Victoria Carpenter’s “A case study of issues of strategy implementation in internationalization of higher education”, I was particularly interested in learning about how three distinct university groups — Corporate, Marketing, and Faculty — all work together (or, in some cases, butt heads) regarding internationalization efforts.

Given that all three groups of stakeholders oftentimes have different agendas, it is important that leaders from all groups try to come together to find common ground. According to the article, there is plenty of overlap between each group, and finding ways for each group to see internationalization benefiting its own specific cohort needs to be one of the top priorities of administrative leaders. As the article states, “HE internationalization is primarily an internal matter of integration, rather than a process driven only by external environment” (Jiang & Carpenter, 2011, pp. 4), so the most successful internationalization efforts are those that fully engage each group.

The group I was most interested in learning about were the faculty. While this article specifically looked at universities in the UK, I imagine there is a lot of overlap with the United States regarding the challenges universities face in integrating faculty into their internationalization efforts. The article lists many reasons why faculty may be apprehensive about internationalization efforts, which include a perceived increased work load, uncertainty about working and research integrity in different cultures, and the concern that taking time off to go abroad might derail their academic career at home, to name a few.

While this article didn’t explicitly mention this, I assume the group “faculty” refers to faculty members who are tenured or tenured-track, not faculty who are hired as adjunct instructors. Unfortunately, I don’t know very much about faculty hiring practices in countries outside the U.S., so the remainder of this blog post will particularly examine how this relates to U.S. HEIs. Given the increasing number of adjunct instructors teaching at U.S. colleges and universities — currently, nearly 75 percent of faculty are hired as adjuncts — I am curious how much (or little) they can be integrated into internationalization efforts. My gut instinct, unfortunately, tells me that adjunct instructors currently have little to no role in internationalization efforts.

Unlike their tenure or tenure-track peers, adjunct instructors are eligible for very limited (if any) professional development funding, which could help them pursue research opportunities abroad (although shout out to CUNY for providing PSC/CUNY Adjunct Professional Development Grants, which is “one of the first such programs in the country”). Additionally, teaching contracts are generally given on a semester-to-semester basis, which would immediately disqualify many adjunct instructors from pursuing internationalization initiatives, since they generally take more foresight and planning. Lastly, the low pay and lack of benefits would likely discourage adjuncts from pursuing potentially risky internationalization efforts since they would have nothing to fall back on if the internationalization initiative fell through.

As adjunct faculty continue to make up a larger proportion of faculty overall, U.S. higher education institutions must place a greater importance of integrating this group into internationalization efforts. Since many adjuncts are recent graduates from PhD programs and are relatively young compared to tenured professors (according to the European University Institute’s study on U.S. HEIs, “very few people become Full Professors before the age of 40; the average age of Full Professors is 55 and the average age when tenure is granted is at 39”), they might be especially willing to take a temporary position abroad to spearhead a new academic initiative (not to mention this experience would probably make them a more competitive candidate for tenure-track positions back in the United States). Additionally, the tough academic job market means that many new PhDs have been forced to pursue a broader range of non-academic experiences, which means they might have specific skills that traditional faculty lack regarding implementation of internationalization efforts. 

So while it’s important that all faculty be engaged in internationalization efforts, U.S. higher education institutions should also increase their engagement of adjunct instructors in internationalization.



W5, Faculty governance and internationalization

The reading Why Focus on Internalization validates many of our comments and discussions regarding the importance of internalization in higher education. I agree that internalization is far more complex then providing mobility. In reviewing all the readings thus far, it seems like the U.S takes pride that mobility is an option through study abroad and internalization at home, however, internalization works when unique forms of joint, dual programs and school partnerships exists. Overall, I think this reading was very informative as to why higher education institutions and systems need to focus on internalization. It is very rare for internalization to prevail in the United States. According to this reading internalization matters because it adds mobilization and internal intellectual resources. In addition, it enlarges the academic community and leverage institutional strength. The U.S is very far from internalization because there are a lot of issues legally that may affect the mission of internalization. When I think of internalization I think of global change that first need to happen at home, for example, providing more access to undocumented students in the U.S. The reading also states that government systems must implement “national universities systems” which is nearly impossible for the U.S due to its complex system and different sectors. In the U.S the analytical framework and governance structure is too complex to run as a “self-governing” community.

In Dobbins, reading three governance models were discussed. The three models where the sate-centered model, the academic self- rule, and the market-oriented model. If I understand correctly all three governing models needs to be in communication with universities strategies to correlate socio-economic and academic needs. In order for internalization to work in a state-centered model, then internalization needs to be in the forefront and within the budgeting plans of the state. In an academic- rule model, the faculty needs to also place a high importance to internationalization. Unfortunately, in the U.S the majority of faculty questions the quality of education through internationalization, so this model might not work in the U.S. I believe internationalization might work in a market-oriented model, however, the concerns of quality also exits. One example is GoAborad.com. Even though GoAbroad is not an affiliated to an institution it works as a market-oriented model, which provides study aboard programs that can be approved by intuitions (as course work), volunteer opportunities, internships and teaching programs. The concern with this model will always be quality since it not tied into faculty governance.