I am pleased to announce the formation of an International Leadership Team with the goal of developing a strategic plan for comprehensive internationalization that will help us strengthen our global leadership and engagement.
Because of our Catholic and Augustinian heritage, our many fine international programs and our long experience with sending students abroad, Villanova already has a deep and rich history of international involvement. However, as recently as a decade ago, very few institutions had “articulated internationalization as a priority or engaged in institution-wide conversations about their vision, goals or approach to internationalization.” Only recently have universities “inventoried their own international activities, analyzed how these activities might build upon and connect with one another more effectively to enhance international learning or developed an internationalization plan” (Handbook for Advancing Comprehensive Internationalization, xiii).
To assist in this effort, we have joined with the American Council of Education (ACE) as a member of their 2012 Internationalization Laboratory learning community. ACE works with participating institutions to audit and assess existing international initiatives, to develop a strategy for comprehensive internationalization aligned with mission, to articulate specific goals, and to assess progress towards these goals with a particular focus on student-learning outcomes. The International Leadership Team, chaired by Dr. Susan Mackey-Kallis, a recent ACE Fellow, will collaborate with ACE and seven other institutions---Becker College (MA), Grand Valley State University (MI), Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis, Merrimack College (MA), Virginia Commonwealth University,Texan Christian University and the University of Minnesota Duluth ---over the course of the next year and-a-half to two years to develop a plan for comprehensive internationalization.
I invite you to read the attached document for more information and to indicate your interest, possible relevant experience/background, or any questions you may have regarding this internationalization initiative to Susan.Mackey-Kallis@Villanova.edu. I also ask for your help if you are called upon this year to fill out a survey, to share your opinions in a focused conversation, to bring these conversations to your department or unit, or to provide information to the steering committee about your work on specific initiatives with internationalization.
Because I believe that systemic attention, sustained leadership and broad engagement will be key to our success with advancing comprehensive internationalization at Villanova, I thank you in advance for your support of this important initiative and I look forward to providing you updates on the work of the International Leadership Team over the course of the coming year.
Kail C. Ellis, O.S.A.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
800 E. Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085