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Frequently Asked Questions

1) What makes up MSU's global organizational structure?

MSU is home to more than 25 institutes, offices and units whose scope is primarily international and engage in teaching, research and engagement abroad. The management structure is more akin to a matrix organization with reporting lines to various deans, and vice presidents. However, MSU's lead executive for international undertakings is the dean of International Studies and Programs (ISP).

Within ISP are offices with responsibility for research collaboration, study abroad, international students and scholars, vistiting international professional programs, student exchange programs and Peace Corps recruiting, as well as area studies centers focusing on Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, Russia and Eurasia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

ISP also has strong ties to thematic international units across the campus focusing on international aspects of agriculture, business, education, engineering, gender, health international development and languages.


2) How do you gather information about faculty research activities in global programs at MSU and abroad?

International Studies and Programs gathers information regarding faculty members' funded research activities through an existing collaboration between MSU's Contract and Grant Administration office and the Office of International Research Collaboration (OIRC). OIRC reports to the Dean of International Studies and Programs (ISP). Our activities are categorized by theme, college, grantor (funding agency) and country and this information is shared with the director of our world area studies and thematic centers in order to apprise them of research activities being undertaken in and/or on their respective regions and subjects of interest.


3) How does MSU incorporate faculty and student input into its international planning and strategy?

The Dean of International Studies and Programs convenes an annual strategic planning retreat which involves participants from more than 25 units and centers whose scope is primarily international. These include those who oversee or are otherwise responsible for area studies and thematic centers, student service units and research centers. Our area studies centers also organize seminars for core faculty members who are involved in various activities in the respective regions for the purposes of identifying strategic themes and trends impacting the aforementioned areas.


4) Do you have an external or faculty board of advisors?

We have an Advisory Consultative Committee (ACC) which is part of the Academic Governance System of Michigan State University. The ACC advises the ISP Dean on issues pertaining to the work of the Dean's office including: undergraduate and graduate study abroad programs, foreign student affairs, exchange relationships with foreign institutions, international comparative and area studies, international contractual projects and other relationships.

We also retain a similar structure for our study abroad initiatives; the designees from the respective colleges serve on a committee, alongside a representative from the Dean's Office and senior staff members from the Office of Study Abroad.


5) What is MSU's structure for study abroad and research partnerships?

We establish Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and partnership agreements for study abroad and research purposes; faculty members and the leadership of our respective colleges typically propel the latter and sometimes the former as well. MSU faculty members lead a large number of our study abroad programs; others entail arrangements via student exchange agreements with partner institutions.


6) Do you have campuses abroad, other than Dubai?

It should be noted at the outset that our activities in Dubai are not organized like a typical 'campus'. Students are admitted to Michigan State University in East Lansing – the one and only campus of the University. This is similar to how MSU operates other offsite programs, including those offered throughout the State of Michigan. Our teaching sites in Dubai include offices and a seminar room at Knowledge Village.

While opening and operating campuses abroad has not been integral to MSU's strategy, we will continue to expand our partnerships with universities around the globe, including collaborative research, joint teaching of online and face-to-face courses for graduate and undergraduate students, exchanges of faculty members and students, internship placements, study abroad opportunities and professional development programs. We may however offer strategic degree and non-degree programs at intentionally-selected locations around the world; entry into such programs would require admission to MSU in East Lansing.


7) Do you have partner programs abroad with MSU offices?

We have more than 280 formal partnership agreements with institutions in more than 60 countries around the globe.


8) Has MSU attempted to internationalize the curriculum? How so? Have you been successful?

Yes, MSU has a set of global competencies that inform and supports its activities. As part of MSU's broader internationalization efforts, the Vice Provost's Office for Undergraduate Education superintends pertinent activities in this regard. Specifically, the Office works to achieve delineated goals by networking and liaising with campus and community partners, supporting initiatives through human, intellectual and financial resources, identifying, promoting and facilitating curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular linkages and programs, among others. Unfortunately we are not have privy (as of this writing) to the specific (read: quantifiable) metrics which assess the extent to which our initiatives in this regard have been successful.


9) How has MSU attempted to physically internationalize the campus?

At MSU we have established what is referred to as Neighborhoods. More than a cluster of residence halls, Neighborhoods bring the resources of MSU to students where they live. At the heart of each Neighborhood is an Engagement Center with study lounges, game rooms, fitness resources, math tutoring and space for cultural activities. The Engagement Centers are staffed by advisors who can answer student questions regarding college life, course assignments and international engagement and career planning.


10) Does MSU do local community outreach related to global affairs?

Yes, our Office for International Students and Scholars maintains a staff member who is dedicated to this activity. This person works with various community groups to involve international students in community activities. Projects are often developed with community libraries, K-12 schools, local 'nationality clubs' etc. An annual activity that celebrates community outreach efforts is the annual global festival which occurs during International Education Week. This festival is led by a community volunteer group known as Community Volunteers for International Programs (CVIP). CVIP members tend to be MSU staff, faculty members and local teachers/people who are interested in international friendships and citizen diplomacy.


11) Does MSU offer on-line courses related to global affairs and/or to foreign audiences?

Yes, these activities tend to be developed and are designed to meet the specific needs of our international partners and collaborators. We have an office known as MSUglobal which leads many of these initiatives.

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