International Educator - January/February 2013 - 56
By Janet Hulstrand
When Faculty Teach Abroad
Some institutions have established across-theboard eligibility requirements for faculty to be considered for teaching abroad.
Guidelines, policies, and procedures are useful as faculty interest in teaching abroad is on the rise.
S THE NUMBER OF FACULTY-LED PROGRAMS CONTINUES TO INCREASE,
designing well-developed and clearly defined policies for faculty to follow when teaching abroad is becoming a more urgent need, and a matter that is receiving new, or renewed, attention on many campuses. These policies can cover a myriad of issues such as the process for selecting faculty; ensuring that education abroad programs are being conducted in compliance with departmental, institutional, and sometimes state rules and policies; rules and expectations concerning the nature and extent of faculty responsibilities while teaching abroad; and the growing concern on many campuses about health, safety, and risk management issues.
make the course viable as an education abroad course. What we’ve tried to do is to bring all the existing institutional and state policies and guidelines into clear view for professors so they know in advance, ‘This is the track I need to follow. If I follow this track I’m not going to be running into roadblocks.’ Getting that kind of thing ironed out in advance saves professors a lot of frustration.” Most professors are extremely grateful for the help, Graff says. “When we created this office, we thought we would really have to market the idea, that faculty would resist our involvement. Instead, they were just knocking down the doors. They would say, ‘I used to have to do hundreds of hours of work, and bang my head against every wall on campus to get this done: now you’re doing it for me!’ It’s worked out well.”
The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (UW-Oshkosh) centralized education abroad into one support office and created policies both to ensure consistency in their application, financial, risk management, and other processes, as well as increasing support for faculty teaching abroad. Ensuring the faculty are in compliance with existing policies about teaching abroad is an important aspect of the office. “Most of it is based on what we, as an institution, are allowed to do legally, and what rules might be out there that you might run afoul of if you don’t have somebody to help you walk through the process, or someone to smooth the process ahead of you,” says Jenna Graff, director of the Office of International Education at UW-Oshkosh. “For example, before we opened this office, faculty didn’t know that there were specific university accounts that you had to deposit your money into. So the departments would set up their own accounts, and not know that there had to be, by state policy, a centralized account, that there were specific policies that governed that type of account that limited spending, or that there were rules about the way you could spend your money. Or there might be academic issues: faculty might propose to teach a course that couldn’t be offered as a field experience or a course that only majors could take for a department that doesn’t have enough majors to
INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR J A N + F E B . 13
Planning Programs and Selecting Faculty for Teaching Abroad
At the University of Texas-Austin (UT-Austin), more than 2,000 students participate in education abroad annually. Monya Lemery is program development team leader for education abroad, a position that involves supervising five program coordinators who are solely in charge of developing a portfolio of facultyled programs. “A number of our programs are run out of the study abroad office. These programs go through