R U Global—Resources for World Leaders: Internationalizing the Campus: A User’s Guide

Internationalizing the Campus: A User’s Guide by Madeleine F. Green and Christa Olson

Reviewed by Leanne Strum, Ph.D., Head of Technical Services & Systems

Originally published in 2003, Green and Olsen offer a practical guide for higher education administrators and faculty engaged in internationalizing their institutions. It draws on literature in the fields of organizational change and international education and offers resources developed through the American Council on Education’s experience with diverse institutions nationwide.

The authors use boxes throughout to highlight examples of universities doing good things with regards to internationalization (“Good Practice”) and other boxes on “Insights from the Literature” and “Conversation Starters.” Under the good practice area both Tidewater Community College and Old Dominion University are listed. A major strength of Tidewater Community College’s internationalization efforts is that they are faculty-driven and, as a result, enjoy strong college support. All college faculty are encouraged to develop international initiatives, including study-abroad opportunities for students. Old Dominion’s faculty commitment to raise undergraduate student expectations is a critical dimension of the institution’s internationalization process.

Green and Olsen also note that there is a difference between globalization and internationalization. The latter is conscious and intentional. Internationalization is a dynamic process. You don’t do it once and then are done with it. “Making the case to multiple stakeholders over time is a key leadership challenge.” Different stakeholders have different reasons for internationalizing; stakeholders’ different priorities may cause conflict. It requires buy-in from all elements of the university, not just the high-ups in administration.

Dealing with opposition is not a matter of convincing others that internationalization is the right path to take, but of understanding the reasons for the opposition and attempting to address those concerns. “To lead change is to be a teacher-to help people think differently and adopt new mental models. Internationalization is a profound intellectual change that requires exploring difficult questions about how we see the world, what mental models we unknowingly use to filter knowledge, and what information is worth knowing and why.” This publication is an excellent resource for campus leaders to deepen their understanding of internationalization and help them to addresses the challenges associated with its advancement.