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Creating a New International Linkage

The following is the process by which all international linkage agreements between Illinois State University (ISU) and institutions outside of the United States should be developed. While it is possible that the actual order may differ, all steps must be completed at some point during the development of the agreement.

This process applies to both linkages in which services are exchanged (exchange program) and linkages in which only one institution provides services to the other (one-way study abroad program).

Creating Faculty-Led Programs

Initial Contact

  1. An interested party contacts OIE to discuss/explore the possibility of the establishment of some form of relationship between ISU and a foreign institution.
  2. OIE initiates contact with the institution outside of the United States. This may include research about, a site visit to, and/or hosting visitors from the institution.
  3. Further research is conducted to determine the benefit of possible international collaboration The faculty/staff member who initiated contact may wish to involve the appropriate personnel in their school/department and OIE in order to facilitate this research.:
    • Is the proposed partnership a good fit for ISU?
    • What does each party hope to gain from the proposed collaboration?
    • Is there an interest to reciprocate?
    • Are courses taught in English?
    • Is there support from colleagues in the department, the department chair, and the dean for this initiative?
  4. Meeting(s) take place with the staff from the Office of International Engagement to determine/assess merits of the proposed relationship.

Planning and Proposal

  1. A proposal is completed that outlines the details and necessary information to develop programs between the two institutions. The proposal should be completed by the faculty/staff member who initiated contact with the partner institution.
  2. A formal risk assessment and, if deemed necessary, a follow-up site visit (for logistics and recruitment purposes) is completed by OIE staff member(s) and/or faculty members. OIE will fund the travel of OIE representative(s), the department is responsible for funding the travel of the faculty member(s).
  3. The feasibility proposal is approved by all involved members of the ISU community, including, but not limited to: Initiating faculty (hereafter referred to as Faculty Director), Director/Chair of the school/department developing the linkage, Dean of the college developing the linkage, OIE, and Graduate School (if applicable).

Finalize the Agreement

  1. OIE drafts an agreement between the two institutions. The terms of the agreement are determined through discussion with the appropriate individuals at the partner institution, OIE, the faculty/staff member who initiated contact, ISU Office of Risk Management, General Counsel, and any other parties who will be involved in future programs between the two institutions.
  2. The agreement draft, upon approval by both institutions, is sent to the ISU's General Counsel for legal review. General Counsel will indicate their approval by signing the designated space on the agreement.
  3. Following legal approval, two copies of the agreement are signed and dated by ISU's Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education; the Director of the Office of International Engagement; occasionally, the Dean of the college developing the program, and all designated signatories at the partner foreign institution.
  4. After the agreement is signed by both parties, recruitment and application of students (conducted by program faculty director and OIE) may begin.

Exchanges and Monitoring

  1. Whenever feasible, the foreign institution and ISU will encourage the exchange of faculty between the two institutions for purposes of research, service, and/or teaching. The faculty director should contact the Coordinator for International Students and Scholar Services for more information about the immigration process for incoming international students and scholars.
  2. The responsible parties for administering each exchange of faculty will be the head of the academic department sending the faculty and the head of the academic department receiving the faculty. The financial considerations for faculty exchanges will be determined on a case by case basis, and will be detailed in a separate agreement for each faculty exchanged between the foreign institution and ISU.
  3. A (1, 3, 5-year) plan is put in place for monitoring and evaluation of the program outcomes.

Timing and Support

We strongly recommend for new linkages to be approved approved by OIE at least two semesters prior to the intended program start date, so there is ample time to recruit. The proposal process can take between two weeks to two months to complete.

OIE recommends that any faculty considering developing a new Study Abroad program review the Study Abroad Faculty Director Handbook. This guide provides important information that is crucial to the development and success of international linkages.