International Educator - May/June 2014 - 68

PARTNERING

L ESSO N #3

Do Your Homework First
Two dual-degrees programs-in Bosnia/
Herzegovina and Russia-were part of the
State University of New York Canton's international partnerships for several years.
These online programs led to degrees from
both Canton and the overseas university.
According to Marela Fiacco, former director of international programs and now a
visiting instructor, the Bosnia program started
off well in 2006 because that institution developed its programs and curriculum based on
Canton's. Over four years, Bosnian students
took finance, legal studies, and information
systems courses. During the seven-year period, 400 Bosnians graduated with a bachelor
of technology degree in finance, legal studies,
and information technology.
"But, after a while we were being pushed
quite a bit to change the program," Fiacco
says. The Bosnian partner wanted Canton
to accept courses and  to make program
changes that were not feasible because of
Canton's established processes and protocols. They also wanted a lower tuition rate,
but Canton, as a public university, had no
flexibility on that matter.
In another program, geared to upper
level finance students with a Russian university, a problem revolved around the transfer
of credits from one institution to the other:
Canton did so, but their Russian partner did
not. Therefore, the Russian students were
burdened with taking many more courses
each semester to make up the difference in
order to graduate in four years; that resulted
in lower academic success. Only 10 Russians
graduated with a bachelor's of business administration in finance over the five years,
from 2008-2013.
In good faith, Canton representatives
traveled to Russia in 2012 to celebrate the
graduation of the first cohort and to plan for
future programs. At that time, the Russian
university was merging with a larger federal
university and, Fiacco says, "We laid out
some necessary changes, such as the transfer of credits from our university, but it was
evident they were not interested."
68  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N E .14

Make Partnerships Sustainable
From the Start
By Susan Buck Sutton
International partnerships are like all relationships-they are inevitably
works in progress, with moments of difficulty and moments of
collaborative success that transform everyone involved. Such moments are
"teachable" ones, yielding new insights on what makes linkages work. Here
are a few such lessons learned from my own adventures in the complex
and wonderful world of collaborative internationalization.
n

Drive-by Memoranda of Understanding (MOU's) often crash and
burn. Successful partnerships take the time to understand each other
and weigh potential collaborations before signing agreements. Common
goals are reached, possible projects identified, roadblocks removed,
organizational structures put in place, and relevant constituencies and
decision-makers engaged. This requires repeated conversation, careful
listening, and openness to new ideas and possibilities.

n

Successful partnerships live up to their name. "Partnership" refers
to an alliance among co-principals, with shared rights, responsibilities,
and commitment. Successful partnerships rest on principles of mutual
benefit, joint decision-making, and honoring commitments. Partners work
through difficulties that arise and stand by each other in moments of
crisis. They value the intangible as well as the financial in measuring input.

n

Successful partnerships understand the relationship to be as
important as any specific project. They devote energy and resources
to nurturing institutional and personal connections. Communication
is frequent, characterized by repeated demonstrations of respect and
enthusiasm for working together that form the matrix for new projects
and initiatives.

SUSAN BUCK SUTTON is senior adviser for international initiatives at Bryn Mawr College.

"Students from foreign countries are
interested in our dual-degree programs because a U.S. degree has value," Fiacco says.
"Many obtain better jobs and greater acceptance to graduate schools as a result."
Fiacco cautions anyone contemplating an
international partnership to first make sure the
partner's courses are accredited. "If the school
is not going to accept your courses, don't do it."
She also believes it is best for the foreign
students to spend at least one semester in
the U.S. institution, being part of the culture,
getting to know the faculty, etc.
When reviewing agreements, Fiacco
advises universities to "make sure you un-

derstand cultural differences. These play a
huge role in how agreements are established
and carried out. Do the homework if you
want to have a successful program."
L E SS ON # 4

Get the Agreement Right
Sometimes the wrong people are at the table
negotiating partnerships for which they don't
have authority. Sometimes promises are made
that cannot be kept. Other times there is a
lack of communication regarding the goals
and outcomes of a particular partnership.
When a private European university
sought a partnership with the University of



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2014

International Educator - May/June 2014
Contents
Front Lines
In Brief
New Windows on the World
Green River Community College Attracts International Students at an Early Age
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
Internationalization Leadership
Partnering
View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2014 - International Educator - May/June 2014
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Contents
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Front Lines
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 8
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2014 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 16
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 20
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2014 - New Windows on the World
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 36
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Green River Community College Attracts International Students at an Early Age
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 46
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 60
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Internationalization Leadership
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 64
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Partnering
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 68
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2014 - View From Out Here
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 72
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2014 - BB1
International Educator - May/June 2014 - BB2
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 76
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2014 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Cover4
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