Magazine article University Business

The Ins and Outs of Going Global: Advice from a Global Academic Program Administrator

Magazine article University Business

The Ins and Outs of Going Global: Advice from a Global Academic Program Administrator

Article excerpt

AS YOU'RE READING THIS, I am likely on a plane or trying to stay awake after a 12- or 24-hour journey or a 2 a.m. call with a campus on the other side of the globe. One hallmark of "going global" is lots of travel and lots of jet lag. Another is the exhilaration of being a pioneer--of building new relationships and new outposts, and witnessing the creation of human capital around the world.

The first move for those considering establishing a campus outside the United States is to figure out the motivation behind it. If it is to generate revenue, I can tell you right now that it won't be worth it. Going global must fit within long-term plans and objectives and must align itself with the institutional mission. At New York Institute of Technology, our core mission--offering access to opportunity to all qualified students, providing career-oriented professional education, and supporting research that benefits the larger world--is reinforced as we open campuses abroad and fulfill each call to action that our mission sets forth.

But that is just the beginning. The next question you must ask is: Is your institution ready for a global campus? Going global does not mean exporting what you do in the United States, but being ready to transform your school into an entirely new institution.

The answer can't come from a single source. You must get buy-in from everyone--from the board of trustees and the president to faculty and staff, alumni, and yes, the students. Determine how each is affected and how to bring them in as the process unfolds. Ultimately this will involve student and faculty mobility as well as transforming the notion of study abroad from a model of exporting students to a model of a two-way flow of students and faculty between various campuses. Think you have plenty of policies and procedures now? Think again.

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Once you build momentum, another early question to address is the model to use: branch campuses with some autonomy, or one institution with multiple locations. At NYIT, we've seen an advantage to the latter. The same academic programs can be offered with the same standards anywhere in the world. The key is putting in place mechanisms to ensure consistency among campuses and encourage faculty at all locations to participate in their new global departments.

Academic departments must figure out creative ways of allowing faculty members to interact with their new global community. …

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