December 4, 2012,
Volume 59, No. 14
In 2011, Penn appointed its first Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, as part of our ongoing efforts to advance the Penn Compact’s core mission of global engagement. In the 2011-2012 academic year, the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives consulted widely across the University and completed a comprehensive inventory of Penn’s global initiatives. This process included meetings with the Council of Deans and other provostial councils, the Faculty Senate, directors of area studies centers, faculty from across Penn with a range of regional and global interests, and staff from relevant offices across the University. Based on this broad consultation, the strategic framework below is designed to serve as a road map for Penn’s global initiatives in the next five years. We welcome your comments and suggestions; please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than January 4, 2013.
—Vincent Price, Provost —Ezekiel Emanuel, Vice Provostfor Global Initiatives
Strategic Framework for Penn's Global Initiatives 2012-2017
Benjamin Franklin—Penn’s celebrated founder—was a pioneer of global engagement. A citizen of the world, he was the first US Ambassador to France, traveled to London as early as age 17, and stayed in Europe periodically throughout his life. Whether in Philadelphia or in Europe, he was committed to engaging leading intellectuals around the world about science, innovation, philosophy, and politics. Today, we proudly continue Franklin’s legacy of global engagement as integral to intellectual engagement and to research that transcends geographic and disciplinary borders. The vision outlined in this plan takes shape around three core values: understanding, engagement, and impact.
First, as an institution of higher learning, Penn seeks to increase understanding. Franklin drew on his global intellectual experiences in creating the nation’s first university, and it was central to his vision that students learn about the world. This principle is more important today than ever. We must prepare Penn students to live in a world less defined by borders and to succeed and collaborate in a variety of cultural settings. Penn must have the breadth and depth of faculty expertise to teach students on a range of global topics. Furthermore, in keeping with Penn’s distinctive strengths in integrating knowledge, we must use multidisciplinary teaching and research to increase understanding by analyzing global challenges in innovative ways.
Second, Penn’s global efforts seek to foster engagement. We encourage students and faculty to have meaningful interactions with the rest of the world. To advance this effort, we will need to grow internship, research, and employment opportunities that fit the needs of Penn’s students, especially in the summers and in the years immediately after graduation. For faculty, we will need to extend our focus on integrating knowledge by supporting projects that encourage interdisciplinary global projects and foster collaborations among multiple Schools.
Finally, as a university committed to the practical, Penn seeks to have a global impact. In Franklin’s vision, higher education must lead to improving the lives of all people. Thus, in developing the first university, he sought to combine practical and theoretical studies to train leaders for the modern world. Penn is uniquely positioned to make this kind of global impact. Penn’s Schools can work together to train the next generation of global leaders.
We propose to implement these values through three strategic pillars:
1. Prepare students for an increasingly globalized society
This goal will necessitate providing more opportunities inside and outside the classroom for faculty and students to meaningfully engage on global issues. On campus, it will focus on leveraging the diversity of Penn’s international students by integrating their global experiences more fully into curricular and co-curricular offerings. We also envision expanding opportunities for students, especially undergraduates, to spend time abroad, particularly in the summers and in the years immediately after they graduate. Finally, we will strengthen the connections between Penn’s Global Alumni Network and students and faculty engaged in global activities to foster deeper connections between the Penn community on campus and our alumni around the world.
2. Strengthen Penn as a global agenda-setter
We will seek to integrate knowledge by bringing together faculty from Penn and other leading universities with emerging world leaders for the Global Solutions Programs. These programs will focus on a major topic—such as Re-Configuring the Global Financial Order, Social Media and Constructive Political Change, or Food and Water in an Urbanizing World—and will promote a lively, interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, analyses, and innovative solutions among faculty, students, and visitors from around the world. They will also seek to bring world leaders to Penn and engage the University community in dialogue on issues of global importance.
3. Promote healthy, inspiring, and productive lives
From health to economic development to urban renewal, Penn’s Schools cultivate leadership skills in a range of professional and academic fields. Penn’s preeminence in professional and academic education, training, and research will be focused on improving lives today and developing leadership capacity for tomorrow. Substantive cross-School research and service initiatives will strengthen and expand Penn’s efforts in global leadership development. These efforts will focus resources on four geographic regions: China and East Asia, India and South Asia, Africa, and Latin America. These regions have been selected based on current programming, historical relationships, Penn’s strengths for addressing particular issues, and growing global importance. Within each region, Penn will focus on a small number of sites or partners, while offering online education through Coursera to bring Penn knowledge to the world.
To advance all three lines of development, we propose to establish a new World House, centrally located on campus, as a forum for convening students, faculty, and the larger community interested in global issues. The World House will play a central role in Penn’s efforts to educate a new generation of leaders and scholars who will be prepared to creatively and thoughtfully address future challenges.
Penn’s strategic framework for global initiatives must include mechanisms to monitor and evaluate success. The Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives is committed to rigorously assessing progress against meaningful metrics on each of the strategic pillars. Representative metrics might include: 1) the number of Penn students participating in summer and post-graduate internships, fellowships, research, and employment opportunities abroad; 2) establishment of a World House and the number of programs it supports; or 3) the successful development and enhancement of programs abroad, for example through a Penn Wharton Center in China or Penn’s Institute in India. This measurement and evaluation effort will allow Penn to systematically gauge its success in implementing the projects and to refine its priorities as the implementation process evolves.
We identify below a number of specific initiatives aimed at making progress on each strategic pillar. Each initiative includes a set of projects that either are already under development or could be considered for development over the next five years. This framework is intended to focus faculty and administrative attention on the major strategic pillars that link these initiatives and to show how individual efforts are part of an ambitious framework that will lead the institution to achieve new and deeper levels of global engagement.
Strategic Pillar I:
Prepare students for an increasingly globalized society
Initiative 1: Strengthen the study of the historical, social, cultural, and current manifestations of contemporary international issues and ensure Penn students have the cultural competencies necessary for success in a globalized world.
A great many courses across our Schools offer Penn students opportunities to learn languages, study world cultures, and analyze pressing global issues. Our undergraduate Schools have recognized the importance of preparing students for an interconnected world, with general education requirements in such areas as foreign languages, cross-cultural analysis, and global environment. Penn has four federally-funded National Resource Centers for area studies: the Africa Center, Center for East Asian Studies, Middle East Center, and South Asia Center. Penn is also rich with other regional and thematic centers that provide students with opportunities to learn both in and outside the classroom, including the Center for the Advanced Study of India, the Population Studies Center, and the recently formed Center for the Study of Contemporary China. In addition, the long history of strengths in regional areas across the School of Arts & Sciences is complemented by regional and international expertise in our professional Schools.
1. Incentivize faculty to teach cross-disciplinary courses on significant global topics.
With the Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) program in place, the next step for integrating knowledge will be to ensure that faculty members from a range of Schools have the necessary support and incentives to teach cross-disciplinary and cross-School courses on significant global topics.
2. Strengthen curricular and extracurricular activities to ensure that Penn undergraduate students have the preparation necessary for success in a globalized world.
As part of the self-study preceding Penn’s 2014 reaccreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, a working group will examine global engagement as it relates to undergraduate education. The group’s recommendations will help us improve structures, programs, and priorities that foster a global education for undergraduates.
3. Develop a campus center for students committed to global issues.
Penn’s campus, with its wide range of programs and opportunities, offers an ideal environment for students who want to make a difference globally. A new center will provide a home for these activities. (See full explanation in Strategic Pillar II, Initiative 1, Project 1.)
Initiative 2: Attract the best and brightest international students and better integrate their diverse perspectives.
The success of Penn’s admissions efforts can be seen in our vibrantly international community. With 13% of the undergraduate student body coming from outside the United States and representing more than 100 countries, Penn has one of the largest concentrations of international students in the Ivy League. Since 2006, Penn has sought to further strengthen its international community through the Penn World Scholars program. This program offers financial assistance to outstanding student-scholars chosen from a geographically, linguistically, and culturally diverse pool of applicants. We will continue these efforts with the following projects.
1. Seek continued support for international student financial aid and Penn World Scholars.
2. Raise the profile of global engagement on campus with a new campus center.
We plan to develop the World House as a new campus center where international students and students interested in global issues can come together. (See full explanation in Strategic Pillar II, Initiative 1.)
3. Develop a series of initiatives to better integrate international students into co-curricular programming.
In the coming year, a partnership led by the Offices of the Vice Provost for University Life and International Student and Scholar Services and including the Graduate Student Center, College Houses and Academic Services, and the Office of New Student Orientation and Academic Initiatives will work with relevant offices to build on their existing initiatives and recommend new or expanded programming activities aimed at more effectively integrating international students’ diverse perspectives into the Penn community.
Initiative 3: Increase opportunities for students to have deep engagement around the world through study, research and internships.
Students should be encouraged to view an international experience as an important part of their education either during their time at Penn or directly after graduation. We therefore will seek to expand the resources for international opportunities for students. The goal is to support all undergraduate students who want to spend time outside the United States to find a meaningful international experience that advances their academic and professional interests.
Over the last decade, while Penn has seen a decline in the number of students participating in full academic year study abroad, the large number of students participating in semester study abroad has remained constant. Concurrently, short-term opportunities (including the summer) have been an area of substantial growth. Only a small number of Penn students participate in international fellowships or international employment directly after graduation. In order to enhance growth in meaningful student experiences around the world, we have identified further development of summer and post-graduate programs as a key priority.
1. Increase international internship, research, and volunteer programs.
Penn will further expand its successful International Internship Program. Career Services will increase global offerings and develop an internationally focused section on the new Penn Global website to make information about these opportunities more readily available. In addition, PennLink, the University’s job/internship portal, is currently being enhanced to make it easier for students to identify and apply for programs and employment in foreign countries.
2. Develop a post-graduate scholars program that will provide Penn undergraduates with opportunities to spend one or two years in an immersive overseas experience after graduation.
The Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships has made significant strides in this area, yet more outreach is needed to ensure students are aware of the benefits, to increase opportunities in traditional fellowship programs, and to create new ones. Penn will seek to develop a Global Fellows Program: competitive post-graduate fellowships that will sponsor students’ sustained engagement in an international location immediately after graduation.
3. Enhance semester abroad opportunities for Penn undergraduates.
Penn Abroad is now working to ensure that all its program offerings meet Penn standards for academic rigor and quality while providing the experience of living in another culture. In the coming years, Penn Abroad will implement a five-year review cycle for all programs, in partnership with the undergraduate Schools.
4. Expand global opportunities for students in the professional Schools.
In the coming years, as Penn further develops its multi-disciplinary and inter-School collaborations on global issues, there will be new areas to expand professional training programs. For example, the Perelman School of Medicine plans to create an additional medical rotation program at another site in Africa to complement the already excellent site in Botswana.
Initiative 4: Connect Penn’s Global Alumni Network with students and faculty active in other countries.
Penn’s Global Alumni Network includes 20,000 alumni living outside the United States. Strengthening the engagement of alumni with Penn’s global initiatives will be an important source of support for Penn’s global efforts, especially in connecting with faculty research, supporting students’ engagement overseas, or contributing local knowledge to university activities. We expect that the initial projects will grow as more alumni, faculty, and students interact.
1. Connect students studying or working overseas with Penn alumni.
The Office of Alumni Relations will work with programming offices, such as Penn Abroad and the International Internship Program, to identify alumni who are willing to serve as student mentors or help students acclimate to a particular location. We will also endeavor to link Penn students traveling abroad with local alumni clubs, so that they can share their Penn experiences and serve as international ambassadors for Penn.
2. Provide alumni and Penn friends an opportunity to directly support outstanding student research and volunteer projects.
In the coming year, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations will develop “Quaker Choose,” a digital forum for alumni to support Penn students who propose research projects or meaningful volunteer opportunities overseas.
3. Enhance interaction between faculty members and global alumni.
The Office of Alumni Relations will expand efforts to engage faculty with alumni by raising awareness of faculty international travel, facilitating faculty presentations at alumni clubs, and helping faculty to develop personal connections with alumni who may be able to facilitate faculty research and global projects.
4. Strengthen international alumni connections to Penn by profiling alumni clubs and individual alumni on the Penn Global website.
The new Penn Global website will provide a single location to highlight the broad range of Penn’s global engagement (for full description, see Strategic Pillar II, Initiative 2, Project 4). The website will include a map of all Penn alumni clubs around the world, as well as a page dedicated to profiling international alumni.
Strategic Pillar II:
Strengthen Penn as a global agenda-setter
Initiative 1: Establish the World House.
In 2011, Penn’s centers and institutes organized more than 80 conferences on global issues. Various seminars were offered and other activities related to global topics were also undertaken all over campus. Nevertheless, Penn lacks a geographical or intellectual center that connects and unifies all these efforts. A new World House in the heart of campus will be the physical embodiment and focal point for Penn’s commitment to its wide-ranging global activities.
1. Create the World House.
The World House will provide a center for all organizations involved in global engagement at the University.
2. Develop a Global Solutions program.
As part of the World House, we seek to support programs dedicated to analyzing and developing innovative policy solutions on critical global issues. For each identified theme, the World House will host a range of global experts and identify institutions outside the United States as key partners. The World House will then convene major conferences and publish articles and volumes to draw more expertise and attention to the focus issue. To further enhance programming at the World House, we will develop programs to bring high-profile visitors and promising emerging leaders to campus.
Initiative 2: Strengthen the administrative infrastructure for Penn’s global initiatives.
Penn has had a range of strong offices supporting its international efforts. However, faculty, staff, and students are often confused about where to get information and advice, particularly for operational support for their international projects, as there has not been a single “go-to” office. In addition, there was no academic leader to focus resources on Penn’s global priorities. This past year, Penn made substantial progress in these areas by redirecting existing central resources to address needs identified by faculty as impediments to pursuing global activities.
1. Create the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives to set strategic direction and encompass key international programming offices on campus.
This new office was created with two main objectives: 1) to provide strategic direction for efficient investment of university resources; and 2) to catalyze cross-School collaborations that integrate knowledge to address key global issues. The office encompasses Penn Abroad, ISSS, and the new Office of Global Support Services (see Project 2 below) to facilitate greater collaboration, coordination, and support of global activities at Penn.
2. Redirect central resources to create the Office of Global Support Services to strengthen and coordinate operations for Penn’s global activities.
The Office of Global Support Services will: 1) serve as the single go-to office to support the administrative and business functions of the University’s international activities and the operational needs of faculty, staff, and Schools; and 2) improve risk assessment and management for global initiatives by coordinating offices that support global operations.
3. Develop a Global Information System to integrate information about Penn’s global activities.
We will create a Global Information System to integrate the collection of global information in an annual process, so that Penn has up-to-date information about its global activities and can gauge progress.
4. Launch a central website for Penn’s global activities.
The new Penn Global website (at left) provides a central location for students, faculty, administrators, and alumni to find information about Penn’s global activities on and off campus. It includes a map highlighting global activities of faculty, global opportunities for students, and the global reach of our alumni.
Strategic Pillar III:
Promote healthy, inspiring, and productive lives
Initiative 1: Develop partnerships in China and East Asia, South Asia, Africa, and Latin America aimed at advancing leadership development.
Approximately one-third of Penn faculty members report that they engage in global research and teaching, across 180 countries. Recognizing the value of building on our strengths, we have identified four key regions outside Europe with high concentrations of activity: China and East Asia, India and South Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Over the next five years, we will work to enhance partnerships between faculty working in these regions and local partners, with a focus on building leadership capacity to improve governance in institutions including education, business, healthcare, and social work. After consulting with faculty working in these four regions, we have begun a process to award competitive seed funding for cross-School research and service initiatives.
Projects by Region:
1. China and East Asia
Penn’s efforts in China and East Asia will focus on the development of two centers: one on the Penn campus and one in Beijing. In 2012, Penn launched the Center for the Study of Contemporary China, designed to bring together all the work across campus pertaining to contemporary China. We plan to launch a Penn Wharton Center in Beijing in the near future to facilitate research and teaching for the University community in China. We will work with the center to fully engage all of Penn’s Schools in its activities.
2. India and South Asia
Given its strengths in South Asia Studies, the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI), and a strong alumni network in India, Penn is well positioned to develop a robust set of projects related to India and South Asia. Strengthening and expanding CASI’s counterpart in India—the Delhi-based University of Pennsylvania Institute for the Advanced Study of India (UPIASI)—will facilitate partnerships with think tanks, universities and other institutions throughout South Asia and provide a base for faculty and students doing work in India. We also plan to develop new, interdisciplinary, cross-School partnerships related to India on topics such as governance, technology and innovation, culture and civilization, and markets.
For the past decade, the Botswana-UPenn Partnership has worked to enhance health leadership capacity in Botswana. In the coming years, Penn will continue to develop its research and programmatic partnerships in Botswana. In addition, Penn hopes to develop a multi-School partnership in another location in Africa that will focus on leadership capacity development in a range of fields. Efforts are also underway on campus to strengthen connections between the professional Schools and the Africa Center (based in the School of Arts & Sciences) to develop new Africa-focused projects.
4. Latin America
Penn has a long history in Central American countries through individual faculty projects, the Penn Museum, and the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, yet this is perhaps the least developed region in broad cross-School partnerships. In the coming years, the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives will partner with interested faculty to conduct a detailed assessment of possible collaborators and valuable projects to pursue in the region.
Initiative 2: Disseminate Penn knowledge worldwide through online learning.
Penn’s partnership with Coursera presents new opportunities to increase access around the world to our educational resources. Coursera students are proving to be vibrantly international, representing a wide range of regions and countries. As our courses expand in the years ahead, online access will help further Penn’s global reputation as a leader in higher education and in new methods of teaching and learning. This alliance will not only increase our global impact but also help draw to Penn more of the outstanding international students and faculty who can continue to advance our defining commitment to global engagement.