As many have mentioned in class and on the blogs, colleges and universities straddle on the line between a charity and a business. It occupies two very distinct categories; but without either one, it would cease to exist as an institution of higher education. On this week’s topic of strategic planning, this really falls on the more business side of things. In Brewer’s paper about strategic planning and best practices, a few of her principle focus on the management and organizational behavior aspects of the institution. Also, according to the readings the success of a strategic plan is contingent on organizational strengths of the university in dealing with implementation and large-scale change. In Jiang’s study on the issues of implementing a strategic plan in higher education, one thing that signaled to me that strategic planning resides more in the business-sphere is the issue of choosing suitable international markets. Picking the right country to pursue is important for any company or school because it is such a huge investment and it carries a lot of risk. As we mentioned in class, many of these decisions are not made with the intentions of the institution or of the student in mind. They are made out of external influences or out of convenience more often than not, and they may not be the most rational business step for the institution.
In looking into Baruch’s global strategic plan and at the current global initiatives and partnerships in comparison to Brewer’s case study of Rutgers University, forces one to wonder why Baruch or CUNY does not follow the same steps. Rutgers was able to create a coherent center for the advancement of internationalization that was effective in involving all constituencies on campus. However, based on Baruch’s plan, it seems like the school is still trying to work out who should be involved in the process and which team/ department should be leading the efforts. In the Rutgers case, it is clear that the GAIA centers were the leaders in the change. Baruch suggested that each dean from the three schools should appoint someone as a representative to lead the initiatives in addition to their regular positions and responsibilities. There is not “center” for the college as a whole, like Rutgers. So, organization is a huge issue when reading through the Baruch plan. As others have said in class, Baruch’s strategic plan does seem like it is still in the works because it has many missing elements of an effective strategic plan in addition to no clear leadership.
This week’s readings covered the issues that occur when implementing internationalization strategies in higher education institutions along with various principles an internationalization strategy should address to be more effective. The readings also discussed the strategic plans of specific institutions, and when you compare University of Kentucky’s (UK) strategic plan to Baruch’s strategic plan, it would seem UK has much more detail on the specifics on what was expected and who would be involved and how. The university utilizes all the various trends that were previously discussed in class, from internationalization at home to plans for joint/dual degrees with partner institutions abroad. There’s also a more defined timeline on what is to be accomplished at certain milestones throughout the course of the strategic plan. The strategic plan of the University of Kentucky definitely addresses the 12 principles listed in the AIEA reading in a better manner than Baruch’s global strategic plan. What I find most fascinating is that the University of Kentucky details larger goals with smaller, more specific goals and expectations to show how the larger goal is to be achieved. Whereas in Baruch’s strategic plan, there seems to be more loftier (and thus less concrete) goals that are established and as a student, it does not seem like there’s that much going on in terms of implementing the global strategic plan. The reading also mentioned how the University of Kentucky addresses funding issues in their revised strategic plan in 2014 and pinpoints ways faculty and staff can look for funding within their department or request from central administration for funding support and it seems there is a push to find ways to internationalize curriculum while also minimizing the need for extra funding.
And in the case of Rutgers’ strategic plan, the reading suggests that like the University of Kentucky, Rutgers heavily utilized many members of the university community to strategize ways to internationalize their campus and institutional goals. As a result, more ideas were presented that were not realized before and there was definitely a lot more buy-in. The reading also mentioned how the global strategic plan eventually became a part of the New Brunswick campus’s overall strategic plan. In comparison to Baruch, Rutgers and the University of Kentucky definitely seem to have internationalization as a more top priority than Baruch. Which is interesting since Baruch consistently refers to itself as a global leader with a diverse student body that speaks over 150 languages (as mentioned at an event I recently attended on study abroad at Baruch), yet it is clear that Baruch has much room for improvement in terms of becoming more globalized.
While reviewing different news articles this week, I found a very interesting piece pertaining to this class which I wanted to share with you all. The Times Higher Education blog just posted an article titled “The US risks falling behind on internationalization.” Author Phillip Wainwright explains, “Stateside efforts to widen higher education’s global reach are fragmented and conflicting. With college-aged populations now in decline in many countries with highly developed systems of higher education, including the US, and with a rapidly expanding demand for excellent education in countries with growing middle classes, the opportunity – even the necessity – for established universities to think globally is clear.” Yet, in spite of international efforts, Wainwright believes that US institutions are not moving as aggressively as they need to be to keep up with global education trends.
As many other articles acknowledge, the U.S lacks a ministry of education. Because of this, Wainwright believes that international initiatives from the United States specifically lack the force that other global programs receive from their governments at home. He asserts, “As individual institutions or state university systems face the challenges and opportunities of globalisation, few have fully embraced it – even though globalisation is happening, whether they want it or not.” He makes the very strong point repeatedly that internationalization is a real issue which is occurring right now. He thinks it is very important for all institutions to pay attention to this global trend, or risk being left behind. Although Wainwright spends a great deal of time stressing the importance of internationalization, he truly faults American institutions for not systematically thinking a little bit more about opportunities which globalization creates, or may create. He also feels that change is less prominent for Americans because it is all happening at the state and institutional levels, unlike many other countries. Although Americans pride themselves on democracy, he sees this point as a fault of our system. He closes the article by concluding that internationalization in Higher Education is truly at a crossroads right now, both here and abroad. He feels that “global-mindedness at home” (better known to our class as IaH, internationalization at home) is going to continue to play an important role in the spreading of knowledge, both within our own institutions and likewise beyond borders.
I really liked this article because I believe that it brings up the very real issue of America’s flaws pertaining to Higher Ed. Although we are definitely a global leader, this piece shows that we still have work to do on the international front, and other countries (and authors) are still critical of the way that we run our institutions.
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.
Strategic planning in higher education became necessary after World War II, when returning soldiers decided to attend college. Colleges and universities had to deal with increase enrollment numbers and having enough resources available to accommodate the students. Strategic planning as it relates to the internationalization of higher education is important because the implementation of any polices/programs have to done in consideration of many aspects of higher education. The Baruch Global Strategic Plan 2014-2019, details Baruch’s plans to “enhance the college’s global thinking…” The other readings for this week, provide a framework of how strategic planning/implementation should be done. Baruch’s plan seems to follow the framework provided by the two other readings.
While reading Baruch Global Strategic Plan, I began to think about whether CUNY had a strategic plan that focused on internationalization. After some brief research, I wasn’t able to find anything that dealt with the entire university system in regards to internationalization. The College of Staten Island has a webpage that provides information on their plan for “Comprehensive internationalization at CSI” . I was able to locate CUNY’s Master Plan for 2012-2016, the master plan is being used as a “Strategic Framework that will guide the future growth, development and impact of the University and its 24 constituent colleges, graduate and professional schools.” I took a look at the table of contents and didn’t find anything about global expansion or internationalization. I found this to interesting because the current chancellor of CUNY Mr. Milliken, gave a speech on that discussed the importance of universities being “global” he said “CUNY should become Global CUNY. “Every major university must be global in outlook and scope, and few universities are better positioned than CUNY. We have an enormous advantage: a student body with 40 percent born outside this country and students who speak almost 200 languages.” Noting that CUNY had a number of student and faculty winners of Fulbright awards this year, he said, “I want our graduates to be competitive with graduates from the best universities anywhere, and without an understanding of the world … they will not be.” Also during a interview with the Institute of International Education, Chancellor Milliken said that he wants to double the number of CUNY students that are currently studying aboard. With all of this in mind, I think it is interesting that internationalization or global expansion wasn’t included in the 2012-2016 Master Plan.
Getting back to Baruch Global Strategic Plan, some questions that came to my include 1) Do all of the plans that are outlined fall in line with CUNY policy as well as the CUNY administration’s plans? 2) How did Baruch select the countries that they will like to work with in the future? 3) In regards to their priority to increase study abroad, the have some really good points but none of the address a “reentry” program for students who study abroad.
I look forward to seeing if the administration at Baruch is able to implement the plans it has laid out in the timeframe it has specified.