Charge to the Committee
Charge from the Council Bylaws:
The Committee on International Programs shall review and
monitor issues related to the international programs and
other international activities of the University. The International
Programs Committee shall advise and make policy recommendations
in such areas as services for international students and
scholars, foreign fellowships and studies abroad, faculty,
staff and student exchange programs, and cooperative undertakings
with foreign universities. The Committee shall consist of eight
faculty members, one A-1 staff member, one A-3 staff member,
three undergraduates, and three graduate/professional students. The Executive Director of International
Programs shall be a non-voting ex officio member of the Committee.
Charges for 2002-2003:
Continue to explore ways to make the Penn environment more
inviting for international visitors, in particular visiting
scholars, post doctoral fellows, etc.
Evaluate the impact of recent changes in federal policies on
international visitors and students and explore steps the University
might take to ameliorate negative effects.
Continue low level oversight over international programs.
Number of times the committee met
December 5, 2002, and March 7, 2003. The composition of the
committee was not known until late October, thus making it
impossible for it to meet until early December. The committee
was planning to meet in early February, but the snow emergency
forced a cancellation of the meeting.
Major Points Addressed by the Committee
Charge 1, the committee discussed the main problems afflicting
short-term visitors to the University, especially in terms
of housing. This issue had been discussed in 2001-2002 (Almanac,
April 23, 2002, pages 7-8). This year's Committee
made several additional suggestions, but they were not voted
on. These included establishing a small committee of students
to find short-term housing for visitors, identifying people
who would be willing to house visitors on a short-term basis,
meeting with the Director of Off-Campus Living to get her perspective,
and seeing if the administration would be willing to subsidize
short-term housing. The committee also discussed the possibility
of creating a database in which people could post available
short-term housing for visitors.
for action by next year's committee: To continue exploring ways in which the Penn environment
can be made more inviting for international visitors, in
particular visiting scholars, post doctoral fellows, etc.,
including some of those discussed by this year's committee.
Charge 2, the committee listened to a detailed presentation
by Dr. Joyce M. Randolph, Executive Director, Office of International
Programs, especially on the effort to implement the new government-mandated
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The
committee discussed ways in which the University could help
avoid delays in the processing of visas for students, especially
if they force the students to defer matriculation for one or
two semesters. Privacy issues were also discussed as new, more
demanding information sharing requirements with Federal agencies
come into effect. The committee also assessed the resources
that the OIP will need to cope with increased federal requirements.
for Action by the University: The members of the committee present voted to encourage
the Provost's Office to approve OIP's request for two new
staff positions as well as appropriate additional resources
so that the University's educational and research programs
can function appropriately.
Charge 3, it was noted that the 2001-2002 year-end report of
this committee suggested that three matters be considered by
the 2002-2003 committee: dual-site graduate training, competence
in English language training for non-native speakers, and the
Global Perspectives Subcommittee Report regarding the University's
new strategic plan. It was agreed that the first two matters
would be placed on this year's agenda, whereas no action will
be taken concerning the Global Perspectives Subcommittee Report. Unfortunately, time constraints prevented
full discussion of the first two matters.
Rabii also suggested that the year's agenda include consideration
of the integrity of student application materials from China,
a topic that was discussed at length during the committee's
his initial presentation to the committee, Professor Rabii
noted that some universities have been able to show that foreign
applicants to their science programs had submitted fraudulent
transcripts, GRE scores and letters of recommendation. He added
that it is becoming a big problem in SEAS where economic incentives
(stipends and fees) invite dishonesty. He added that SEAS would like to develop
a mechanism for verifying the authenticity of documents. Committee
members were asked for and offered a number of suggestions.
for action by next year's committee: To gather more information and conduct further discussions
of the issues surrounding the integrity of student applications,
especially from certain parts of the world. The Chair emphasized
the need to conduct a more thorough inquiry into this matter,
and to avoid stereotyping applicants from certain countries
until more information is available.
International Programs Committee Members
Guillen (mgmt) Faculty: Abass Alavi (radiol/med), Carlos Alonso (Romance lang),
Paul DeWeer (physiol/med), Mauro Guillen (mgmt), Norma
Lang (nursing), Sohrab Rabii (electrical engr), Jerry Wind
(mrktg); Graduate students: Jordan Inselmann,
Natalie Kulik, Jun-Min Tang; Undergraduate students: Charles
Darkon (WH'05), Fernanda de Azevedo (WH'03), Ian Lin (WH'04); PPSA: Thomas
Adams (ELP); WPSA: Bonnie Crosfield (Museum); Ex
officio: Joyce Randolph (exec dir, intl prog).
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