Assistant VP position to be reconfigured

Senior News Reporter

The position of assistant vice president of international affairs is in the process of being reconfigured and reclassified.
The assistant vice president for international affairs previously acted as the “president’s task force on internationalization,” according to Debbie Thorne, associate vice president for Academic Affairs. Now, the assistant vice president will have a more broadly defined position relative to international affairs, Thorne said at Wednesday’s Faculty Senate meeting.

“The spirit and culture of the university is wanting to move forward in all aspects—regarding teaching, regarding research, regarding everything that we do,” Thorne said.

The original expectations of the assistant vice president of international affairs have changed, Thorne said. In 2001, the position included duties such as student recruitment and more programming. After Sept. 11, 2001, the office had to remain focused on compliance with changes to regulations.

“Everything changed on a regular basis because of 9/11,” Thorne said.

The assistant vice president for international affairs will become a “repository” and a “facilitator,” Thorne said. He or she will have a leadership role.

A survey was conducted in January by the Office of Academic Affairs to determine what the “campus climate” was concerning the position, Thorne said. The office received about 250 responses to the survey, making it clear that there is interest in international affairs at the university.

The survey results revealed a leadership role and presence needs to be more clear in matters relating to internationalization, Thorne said. To some extent, the position needs to be centralized and provide a focal point.

“The exact role of this position, while it has been framed via the GOJA (Guidelines Oriented Job Analysis), can possibly be reframed via the survey responses,” Thorne said.

Texas State currently has a very low number of international students, said Maria Cyzewska, psychology senator. The university is partnering with two recruitment firms and has already brought in 12 new international students, Thorne said.
“A lot of students want to go (on study abroad trips), but they can’t afford it,” Cyzewska said.

For the next five years, $95,000 will be contributed to scholarships for students to go abroad, Thorne said. More money will become available for students in the coming years.