Go to the U of M home page

Monday, November 9, 2020

Committee on International Programs established

The Committee on International Programs (CIP) is a new addition to CLA's consultative bodies. The committee’s purpose is to provide advice and guidance to the college on: 

  • the direction and development of international programs within CLA; 
  • issues affecting international studies, research, and students in the college and at the U; 
  • ways in which CLA’s activities link to broader international initiatives at the University of Minnesota; and 
  • responses to issues at the campus level on international-related matters. 
CIP will address issues related to the role of internationalization in teaching, research, and engagement and will consider ways in which internationalization promotes CLA Roadmap goals in these areas as well as the ways in which internationalization deepens collegiate and University goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Historically, CLA has robust global engagement. Not only do we offer 23 modern foreign languages, we offer more courses fulfilling the Global Perspective Liberal Education requirement than any other college at the University of Minnesota. Our undergraduate students take advantage of the wealth of opportunities offered by the Learning Abroad Center, and many of our graduate students actively participate in research abroad. Our faculty are not only involved in scholarship and creative activities with global reach, but they collaborate on teaching and research with colleagues abroad. CLA research centers support the work of faculty and students and actively engage the community through events and outreach projects. The Institute for Global Studies is designated as a National Resource Center in international studies by the US Department of Education. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has, of course, had a tremendous impact on how we do this work. Travel for students and faculty was shut down. International visitors went home early. For those needing to do field work or work in archives abroad, research plans were significantly disrupted. Yet being forced to work remotely can contribute to rethinking how we do international work. 

As part of its charge for 2020-21, the committee will consider:

What lessons have we learned about alternative modes of working internationally/globally? 

  • While the mobility of students – sending students abroad and receiving international students - will continue to be important, can we think of alternative global experiences for students? 
  • How do we restart research abroad? How do we evaluate research delays caused by the pandemic? 
  • While faculty will continue to conduct research abroad, can remote teaching make scheduling this research more flexible? 
  • Can remote programming expand the reach of our research centers, not only expanding audience size but engagement of scholars from other institutions both at home and abroad?  
  • What challenges and opportunities did the pandemic present for engagement with community partners? How might we broaden and deepen this engagement? 
  • What opportunities and challenges do these changes pose for considerations of diversity equity and inclusion? 

The committee will consider these questions and prepare a report or series of short reports that will serve as background for future action. Given the number of the questions and the challenges of working in the present circumstances, the considerations of these issues will likely extend into academic year 2021-22. 

Possible additional issues that may arise for committee consideration: 

  • Recruitment of international students 
  • Recruitment of visiting faculty on international exchange agreements 
  • Planning for college wide international grants 
  • CLA input into campus-level discussions over international-related issues (e.g., changes in federal regulations) 

The membership term is two years. Dr. Evelyn Davidheiser, Director of the Institute for Global Studies and CLA Assistant Dean for International Programs, chairs the committee. Jennifer Ashley, Institute for Global Studies, is providing staff support. 


  • Alejandro Baer, Director, Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, Associate Professor, Sociology 
  • Evelyn Davidheiser, Director, Institute for Global Studies, CLA Assistant Dean for International Programs (Chair)
  • Tanisha Fazal, Professor, Political Science 
  • Nanette Hanks, Assistant Dean for Curriculum, CLA  
  • Deborah Jane, Outreach Coordinator, Institute for Global Studies 
  • Megan Mehl, Director of Alumni Experiences & College Events, CLA  
  • Sonali Pahwa, Associate Professor, Theatre Arts & Dance 
  • Molly Portz, Assistant Dean, Global Programs and Strategy Alliance 
  • Suvadip Sinha, Assistant Professor, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies 
  • William Viestenz, Associate Professor, Spanish & Portuguese Studies 
  • Josef Woldense, Assistant Professor, African American & African Studies 

Please contact Dr. Davidheiser or any member of the committee with concerns or opportunities you might like the committee to discuss.