Global Analysis

Strengths

  • Location: Atlanta as a global city; Social capital and connections to local international communities through international research centers and other relationships
  • Highly diverse student body
  • Involvement of excellent faculty with significant international research expertise
  • Quality of existing faculty-led study abroad and exchange programs
  • Central home for international research and programs of study in Global Studies Institute
  • Interdisciplinary structures in place: Global Studies Institute; College Office of International Programs; Center for Urban Language Teaching and Research (CULTR)
  • Extensive networks (professional, personal)
  • Student interest

Weaknesses

  • Measurement: We do not quantify “global” in any way beyond numbers of inbound and outbound students; Data availability to track international research is a challenge; Unclear wording of GSU strategic plan goal 5 (What does it mean to achieve “distinction” in globalizing the university?)
  • Internal Contradictions: Study abroad experiences seen as possible impediment to timely progression to degree; stress collaboration but then don’t have adequate mechanisms to count or share credit
  • Communication and Information Accessibility: Lack of coherent communication, information accessibility (including website); Lack of attention, recognition, awareness for research; Colleagues don’t know what each other are doing or are capable of; Limited documentation of student accomplishments
  • Under-recognized Effort: Global engagement undervalued and not codified in promotion and tenure assessments; Active divestment from global collaboration, study abroad participation, co-authoring, etc.
  • Not utilizing diverse student body
  • Study Abroad: Operational concerns about policy, procedure, and practices at university level
  • Staff: Not enough staff positions to support international programs; misuse of faculty time and effort
  • Visiting Scholars: Limited supports that aren’t commensurate with the value and distinction they add; Lack of established infrastructure such as housing, advisement, and basic assistance
  • MOUs: many appear to be undeveloped; which of these don’t go anywhere, and why?

Opportunities

  • Leverage extensive international networks and pursue underdeveloped networks; Generate and further leverage GSU halo effect
  • Communication and Accessibility of Information: Centralize dissemination of information throughout the college and (more importantly) beyond
  • Visiting scholars (e.g., “International House” concept)
  • Student advisement to include global programs
  • Integrate global curriculum with requirements for graduation. This is a university-wide area in which Arts & Sciences and Global Studies Institute can provide key input and leadership
    Global Studies Institute, an interdisciplinary structure now in place, created to spearhead achieving distinction, that touches on all areas of the university strategic plan and positions Arts & Sciences with a strong university level presence in international programs
  • Location in Atlanta provides opportunities for global companies, organizations, and with specific focus on a number of pressing and important global issues that span disciplines
  • Expand study abroad, including destinations, supports, and institutional recognition as a crucial and formative component of a student’s development
  • Alternative Programs: Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), as an example, provides engaging impactful signature experiences for students and enhances the globalization of the curriculum efforts in distinct, measurable ways that can benefit students and faculty alike
  • Assess how our efforts dovetail and connect with the Center for Collaborative and International Arts (CENCIA), with its shift to the College of the Arts, and maintain a presence in international arts and cultural programming
  • Fees: Propose and develop innovative ways to make use of International Education Fee (IEF) funds
  • Integrate global component to existing degree programs
  • Strategic Countries: Use our programs of research and teaching to better leverage partnerships in five strategic countries; See COIL (above) as possible way to deliver on some aspects
  • Diversity: Increase diversity of students participating in international programs
  • New Associate Provost for International Initiatives as an opportunity for the college and in particular the Global Studies Institute to build seamless and collaborative relationships across the university that take into account the research, teaching, and outreach components of our mission. The arrival of a new associate provost also presents a renewed opportunity for the college to provide input on the logistical, procedural, technical, and policy functions of the Office of International Initiatives (OII) and their effectiveness.
  • Build on connections to India that the Asian Studies Center has begun to develop through Consulate and actively engaged local community
  • Faculty Networks: Leverage faculty networks to create innovative international programs and add international research experiences for students, with some support and recognition. This can be a transformative way to increase global presence, reputation, and the research impact and profile of Georgia State, with the Arts & Sciences taking a significant leadership role.
  • Research and Collaborative Space: Achieve additional scale and better take advantage of existing resources, facilities, etc.
  • Faculty Input: Enable faculty input to filter upward and influence decisions; Actively involve faculty in assessing what is valuable and important in informing our global strategy
  • Communication and Engagement: Increase communication and recognition around faculty expertise and accomplishments in international research to generate engagement and synergistic interest, both internally and with the broader network of external stakeholders and communities that we want and need to reach
  • Foundation Support and Funding: Identify and pursue opportunities for fundraising, for scholarship, and for international and multidisciplinary and collaborative efforts. With some alignment, Arts and Sciences and in particular the Global Studies Institute would be well positioned to have diverse streams of support and connections.

Threats

  • “America First” Nationalism/Populism: Changing federal funding priorities; Decrease in international students; Travel restrictions; Tarnished American image abroad
  • Insufficient staffing to support for critical programming and efforts
  • Potential misalignment of college-level and university-level efforts
  • Persistence of internal contradictions (e.g., study abroad experiences seen as possible impediment to timely progression to degree)
  • Zero-Sum Mentality: No clear incentives to collaborate; Lack of mechanisms to count enrollments, credit hour generation, supports coming back on grants; International work not codified in promotion and tenure criteria; Questioning the ‘value’ of global experiences for students
  • Students’ financial realities, limited resources
  • Strategic Countries: Continued focus on specific strategic countries may limit our ability to pursue other potential partners and opportunities; Overly-specific goals that prevent more inclusive faculty participation; Lack of integration between the top-down implications with other meaningful global connections
  • Measurement: Continued difficulty in measuring and demonstrating success and return on investment
  • Workload policy does not necessarily account for faculty service for international programs
  • Unclear wording of GSU strategic plan goal 5: what does it mean to achieve “distinction” in globalizing the university?