Campus Resources and Planning Committee
March 11, 2009
Present: Karen Cusey, Shannon Juhnke, Kathy Julik-Heine, Pete Wyckoff, Ray Schultz,
LeAnn Dean, Sara Haugen, Bryan Herrmann, Sarah Haugen, Dave Swenson,
Jennifer Rothchild, Zak Forde, Maddy Maxeiner
Guests: Tom McRoberts, Cheryl Contant, Pilar Eble, Judy Kuechle
Minutes of 3/4/09 meeting were approved as presented.
Discussion of international students at UMM
Pilar Eble gave a brief powerpoint presentation on the current status of international students at UMM and the infrastructure of support required for those students.
Cheryl added that we have seen a significant growth mostly concentrated from China and wondered what the impact of that growth means and what are stressors on our institution. She also noted that there is an infinite supply of students who would want to join us from China if they met our enrollment criteria. Many universities in China establish relationships with other institutions around the world and we were approached to establish a new program. Given our need to increase enrollment and the need to address people who contact us about educational opportunities, we have been in negotiations for a couple of months with a particular institution in China and they are ready, willing and able to work with us in developing an opportunity for students to study in the United States. The Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) contacted us through one of our existing Chinese friends who helped us recruit some of our current Chinese students. We are working on a 1+3 program where students would attend Shanghai for one semester or a full academic year and then they would come to UMM. We will guarantee transferability of their coursework and we will work closely with faculty teaching the courses at SUFE. If the students attended SUFE for one semester, they could enroll here as early as spring 2010. If students prefer to spend the full year at SUFE, then they would enroll in the fall of 2010. We have modeled this as a pilot program with no more than 60 students. We will put a limitation on the length of time this program will continue in its initial stage and will then determine the impact on our campus and revisit and revise in order to make it work the best we can.
Pete asked if we have any previous experience with SUFE. Cheryl said we do not although she has done some research and it appears they would be comparable to a second tier university. Even though the name implies a specialized education, we would expect to get students across our range of majors. Business, economics, math, computer science and statistics tend to be the areas students are most interested in initially. Although once they are here, they often change their minds. Cheryl has discussed the potential impact in various disciplines with the division chairs. We also need to keep in mind that students may seek to move to a different institution in the United States. Tom added that retention among international students is remarkably strong. Cheryl said we are also working closely with Meredith McQuaid in the Twin Cities to work on getting information about participating in recruitment programs in Ecuador and Turkey. This will allow us to start ramping up our services to international students. As we increase our enrollment, we will increase opportunities for our domestic students as well as provide an educational opportunity for a variety of students from around the globe. The downside will be the services that will be required and we have started to identify the impact.
Tom also added that many conversations will need to take place regarding orientation. Jennifer asked if SUFE plans to send over a faculty member to help students who are here. Cheryl said we are not looking at that right now. We would probably employ our faculty to work with instructors in China to help in course development, types of assignments, etc. We want to be sure that we will be guaranteeing credit we would be proud of. Pete said that some of our competitors require a certain period of time in ESL and expressed concern that in lower level courses, some students have difficulty with the language. Tom added that the strategy has been to carefully determine which courses students should take. Dave said his assumption is that the international fee will only be assessed to international students. Cheryl confirmed that we can differentiate and that many campuses do assess because of extra services. Tom said he wasnÕt ready to determine a figure at this point but would come back to this committee when appropriate. Pete recommended talking to division chairs and seeking out feedback from faculty who are expected to teach the courses.