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Agenda for Excellence 1995-2000

INTRODUCTION | MISSION of the UNIVERSITY | TABLE of CONTENTS

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No. 32, SUPPLEMENT: Agenda for Excellence 1995-2000 (~ 375 k; 32 pages)

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STRATEGIC GOAL 6

The University will vigorously pursue efforts to increase significantly Penn's role as an international institution of higher education and research.

I. Stimulate and encourage international research and scholarly collaborations by Penn faculty and their counterparts outside the United States.

II. Promote the development of a strong international dimension within each of Penn's schools.

A. Plan programs to attract more international scholars.

B. Recruit those outstanding students from abroad who are likely to assume leadership roles in the academy, business, and government when they return to their home countries.

III. As part of the 21st Century Project for the Undergraduate Experience coordinate and enhance the development of a student experience at Penn that is global in its dimensions.

A. Encourage the schools in their continued development of an internationally enriched curriculum. Include a global perspective in a wide variety of courses and enhance foreign language competency and study abroad programs.

B. Foster greater interaction with local "international" communities and cultures.

IV. Strengthen Penn's international alumni relations.


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I. Stimulate and encourage international research and scholarly collaborations by Penn faculty and their counterparts outside the United States.

In the diversity of its faculty, the nationalities of its students, the breadth of its scholarship, the air miles traveled by its deans and senior leaders, the University is clearly an international institution. At the same time, Penn has no focused central plan for internationalization, and still more needs to be done to bring the globe within Penn's classrooms and produce true citizens of the world in our graduates. But a great deal of progress has been made in the past five years, as the following highlights show.

  • The World Wide Web is increasingly used to stimulate and encourage coordination of the schools' and centers' international programs, and in order to publicize Penn's achievements in this regard. A section of the Provost's homepage is now entitled "International Education and Research" and has hyperlinks to pages created by most of the schools concerning their international initiatives, as well as to the Web site of the Office of International Programs.
  • Penn's International Health Forum is making remarkable progress in creating cross-school networks of scholars interested in international health research. The Forum was established in October 1996. Comprised of 13 faculty members and administrators from various schools and centers, the Forum seeks to develop interschool and interdisciplinary programs that focus on or include international health. Initial projects focus on Africa and India.

There are many examples of new international research collaborations. Here are a few:

  • In February 1998 the Wharton School formed a partnership with the Singapore Institute of Management to establish a private business university in Singapore-The Wharton-Singapore Management University Research Center. The Center will be located at SMU and established with funding from the Singapore government and will focus on topics such as techno-preneurship, knowledge transfer, and competition in emerging technology-based industries.
  • The Indian School of Business is a one-of-a-kind institution created through a collaboration among 50 of the world's top corporations and two U.S.-based business schools - the Wharton School and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Located in Hyderabad, India, the school is scheduled to open in June 2001 and will offer a one-year MBA for qualified students with a minimum of two years of work experience.
  • In 1995-96 the Center for Health Services and Policy Research in Penn's School of Nursing expanded U.S. based research on hospital workforce restructuring to seven countries which have comparable health care systems.
  • In September 1997, Penn joined a consortium of six universities to cooperate in creating computerized texts of works by Boccaccio that will be made available on the World Wide Web.


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Penn also benefits from the outstanding international achievements of some specific faculty members and programs-thus attracting international partners and receiving widespread acclaim. Examples follow.

  • Ian MacMillan has long been an advisor to top officials of the African National Congress and the South African Congress of Trade Unions. In January-February 1999 the Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center brought a 30-person delegation of South African officials to the Penn campus for a customized three-week Wharton executive education program.
  • The Center for Community Partnerships has taken leadership roles in a collaborative project with the Council of Europe on "Universities as Sites of Citizenship and Civic Responsibility" as well as in a partnership with the University of the Witwatersrand and other South African educational organizations.
  • Two dual degree programs with international focus are very well known: The Lauder Program in International Studies and Business (MA/MBA) and the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business (dual degree at the undergraduate level).
  • In the recent national competition for U.S. Department of Education funding for area and language studies support has been awarded for Penn's East Asian and Middle East Studies, as well as for the African Studies undergraduate consortium that includes Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore.
  • In 1996-97 the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded Penn's African Studies Center a two-year grant for an educationally innovative project on "Teaching and Learning about Africa through Modeling, the Internet, and Distance Learning."
  • In 1996-97 the School of Dental Medicine was designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center in Oral Infectious Disease Education, Research and Care. Penn's School of Nursing already houses a WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership.
  • The International Literacy Institute (ILI) is supported jointly by UNESCO, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Penn Graduate School of Education. The focus is on literacy policy and research worldwide.
  • The University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has a superb record of innovative research, with activities in 18 countries around the globe.
  • Joyce Thompson of the School of Nursing was named U.S. representative to the Global Advisory Group on Nursing and Midwifery.

At least two of Penn's internationally-oriented Web sites have received national and international recognition.

  • The homepage of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is one of Penn's foremost outreach tools. Its newest feature, called "Virtual Stuff," includes images from a Museum gallery on the Greek World, photographs from "Eggi's Village", a multi-decade cultural anthropology project of Professor Peggy Sanday, and the Corinth Computer Project-showing city plans, the landscape, research bibliography.
  • A second site is the "African Studies WWW," which is recognized as the authoritative site for African studies, from elementary education through college and graduate study, including applicability to government and business entities.
  • A third site also deserves mention: the University Library has launched the Penn/Oxford University Press Digital Books Project, with funding support from the Mellon Foundation. Over the next five years the Library will publish on its Web site the full text of all new Oxford books in history, for use by University students and faculty.


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II. Promote the development of a strong international dimension within each of Penn's schools.

With 3215 international students in 1999-2000, international students now comprise 17.6% of Penn's total enrollment (10.2% of all undergraduates, 26.5% of all graduate and professional students). The number of visiting international scholars (mostly researchers) has increased quite steadily, from 1129 in 1995-96 to 1504 in 1999-2000.

Penn's campus programs for international students include "Passport to Penn." The program is designed to acquaint all newly arrived international students and scholars with the educational and cultural atmosphere at the University and in Philadelphia.

Through a challenge grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Penn established an endowed discretionary fund for international studies in 1986. Income from the fund has provided modest research grants to Penn faculty in an annual competition.


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III. As part of the 21st Century Project for the Undergraduate Experience coordinate and enhance the development of a student experience at Penn that is global in its dimensions.

As part of Agenda for Excellence, a committee of faculty and students initiated a project called Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) in 1995-96. The program joined WATU-Writing Across the University-and similar programs to create four key elements of undergraduate education. Some FLAC courses would appear as sections within upper-level courses, generally for seniors, and taught in a language other than English. A history course, for example, might include a section taught in Russian. Other courses, called "bridge FLAC" courses, were designed to develop a student's linguistic skills beyond Penn's proficiency level requirement, in a contextual situation.

Within the College, recent curricular initiatives recognize that graduates must be prepared to live in an increasingly interconnected world. Examples follow.

  • A Latin American Studies major was approved in 1995-96. This new major is meant to be completed by undergraduates only in combination with another major, in order to prevent marginalization of the subject and to prepare students for employment after graduation. The major will eventually include Latino and Caribbean studies.
  • In April 2000 the SAS faculty voted to create a new program designed to encourage students to pursue foreign language study beyond basic proficiency. The "certificate in language study" will offer recognition to students who choose to take advanced language classes but do not intend to fulfill the requirements of a major or minor in a language.

In spring 1998 the Wharton faculty voted to continue the school's increasing emphasis on globalization by revamping the Wharton undergraduate core curriculum and adding a new concentration in global analysis. The global analysis concentration involves a required semester studying abroad, at least one upper-level foreign language course, and three international business courses.

The Graduate School of Fine Arts initiated a number of new international programs, including an ongoing design studio in London, sponsored studios in Bogota, Maricaibo and Hsinchu, China, and new summer programs in China, Switzerland and Italy. International students account for approximately 30% of the enrollments in the school's professional programs,

A few Penn courses have been or are being revamped to include a distance-learning component involving students in other countries.

  • "Comparing Health Care Systems in an Intercultural Context" links with a classroom at the University of Dortmund for teleconferencing and the course culminates in a study abroad field experience in early summer which brings our students together with health care practitioners, nursing students, as well as specialists in health care and nursing education, in Austria, the former Yugoslavia, Italy, Hungary, Netherlands and Germany.
  • Plans are underway to link one or two tutorial groups in an introductory international relations course to classrooms in partner universities abroad via teleconferencing, so that the students can exchange perspectives on topics relevant to that particular region abroad.

In the past five years progress has been made in undergraduate study abroad, not only to have faculty committees regularly review existing options for our students but also to establish additional exchange relationships with peer institutions worldwide, which would gradually replace many current fee-charging direct-enrollment options and "island" programs (the latter are programs designed specifically for U.S. students). Since 1995-96, Penn undergraduates participating in exchanges has increased from 45 to 74 (with a commensurate increase in exchange students coming to Penn, from 31 to 60), and the number of institutions with which we have exchanges has grown from 14 to 24 (in 11 countries). Additionally, enrollment in undergraduate study abroad (semester and academic year) has increased in the past five years, from 402 to 559, with three years higher than 500 (512 in 1997-98, 537 in 1998-99, and 559 in 1999-2000).

  • Strengthen Penn's international alumni relations

In November of 1998, President Rodin traveled to Mainland China and Hong Kong and met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin and other high-level officials to strengthen a number of important relationships and development prospects. Other international development trips on several occasions have included Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

Goh Choktong, Prime Minister of Singapore, visited campus in September 2000. Penn introduced him to the enormous capacity of our faculty in the life sciences and we are working towards forging important partnerships with Singapore. To further cultivate this relationship, Provost Barchi traveled to Singapore in December, 2000.

In May 2000, an inaugural reception honored all graduating international students during Alumni Weekend. The event was co-sponsored by the President, the Provost, Alumni Relations, and International Programs. In addition, the Development office now sponsors:

  • Weekly updates to international club leaders from Alumni Relations staff.
  • More than 40 events organized for international alumni in FY00, many featuring University leaders, deans, and faculty as speakers.
  • Expansion of electronic communications facilitating the University's ability to communicate with its international alumni.

Other Development office achievements include:

  • Alumni On-line Community contributed to steadily increasing access to University information via the Internet.
  • The Pennsylvania Gazette now includes 5,000 international alumni in its mailing list, at no charge.
  • School and Center alumni programs have also been active in their outreach to international alumni. Some recent examples:
  • Law School alumni leaders and administrators attended Penn Law European Society annual meeting; two-day conference attracted 80 European participants and laid groundwork for April 2001 meeting at Penn Law School for all international alumni of the School.
  • Engineering Dean and Director of Development traveled extensively in East Asia and met with alumni clubs in Hong Kong and Japan; Hong Kong event included students (and their parents) recently admitted to Penn.
  • Director of the College Houses and Academic Services spoke at a joint meeting of the Penn Club of Japan and the Japan GSFA Group about the College Houses Renewal Project.


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PRINT this document

No. 32, SUPPLEMENT: Agenda for Excellence 1995-2000 (~ 375 k; 32 pages)

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As published in Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 32, May 1, 2001

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