Global Engagement

Campus Internationalization Task Force

The Campus Internationalization Task Force submits the following report which examines the current status of internationalization at Clemson and provides recommendations for expansion, improvement, and implementation of internationalization across campus. The Task Force presents its findings and recommendations as crucial pillars in support of Clemson's mission "to develop students' communication and critical-thinking skills, ethical judgment, global awareness, and scientific and technological knowledge" and to achieve top-20 public university ranking. Even as the university, and indeed the nation, faces difficult fiscal and administrative decisions, the Task Force underscores the need for students to develop global competencies and cross-cultural knowledge and sensitivities that enable them to respond to a climate of constant change that reaches every corner of the globe--from Clemson to cities and towns, large and small, on every continent.

The Internationalization Task Force was convened by the Office of Global Engagement in the spring of 2008 and was formed based on discussions that took place at an International Programs Coordination Committee (IPCC) meeting. The stated goal of the Task Force's initial meeting was: To advance Clemson's internationalization efforts and to gain national recognition for them (e.g. measurable awards such as those from NAFSA: Association of International Educators and the Institute for International Education).

During the initial meeting, five topics were identified for further examination and committees were formed to examine each topic. These committees and the areas of focus they were asked to consider were:

  1. Marketing/Promotion: Clemson's appeal to international students; Clemson's strengths and weaknesses in recruiting international students.
  2. Programming: On-campus programming for the international community; integration of the international community in campus and community life.
  3. Academic Internationalization: Integration of study abroad and other international components into the curriculum.
  4. Study Abroad: Promotion of study abroad; study abroad as a requirement; coordination with other campus offices; exchange agreements.
  5. Global Rankings Strategy: Clemson's status in global rankings; criteria; and standards.

Each committee was charged with examining the current status of internationalization at Clemson and recommending how to expand and enhance current efforts with the goal of achieving national/international recognition for Clemson University. Committees were asked to make recommendations that recognized connections and encouraged collaboration across academic programs, administrative departments, student affairs offices, research, and outreach activities. See Appendix A for the original charge and background information.

The five committees conducted the bulk of their work during the fall 2008 semester. The committees consisted of a cross-section of members of the campus community (see Appendix B), and each sought input from a variety of constituencies as appropriate to the focus of its work. Pages 5 to 8 provide a summary of each committee's findings and recommendations. The committees' full reports are found in Appendices C to G.

Major themes and recommendations that emerged from the work of all five committees were:

  1. Internationalize the curriculum - through integration of study abroad and other international components.
  2. Ensure that international study is affordable and open to all students.
  3. Recruit, retain, and graduate more international students - through incentives and scholarships, academic support, dedicated staff, campus programming, and quality of life.
  4. Recruit and retain highly credentialed faculty.

The Task Force presents these findings and recommendations on internationalization as critical means to continue Clemson's steady and vital progress toward the university's 2011 Goals and top-20 public university status. For example, in the area of academics, research, and service, providing quality international experiences for our students fosters Clemson's academic reputation, and increasing the research and per capita publications of our faculty enhances both our national and global standing. In terms of campus life, increasing the number of international students, faculty, and staff on our campus increases our diversity and strengthens our sense of global community. Increasing the availability of international programming also serves to attract higher quality high school students. Based on the results of a recent poll by the American Council on Education (ACE), institutions that do not expand and encourage international experiences may find themselves at an increasing disadvantage in enrolling the current generation of students.

In 1999, an Ad Hoc Committee on International Priorities concluded that internationalization should be a major university priority. In the ensuing years, this conclusion has only gained importance and credence. Internationalization is critical to the success of our students, to the success of the university's vision to become a top-20 public university, to our mission to produce informed and productive citizens of South Carolina and of the world.


During the Campus Internationalization Task Force meeting, the following areas of focus were identified for further examination by working sub-committees:


Area of Focus

Chair: Clemens Schmitz-Justen

Clemson's appeal to international students; Clemson's strengths/weaknesses to recruit international students.

Chair: Kathy Woodard

On-campus programming for the international community; integration of international community.

Academic Internationalization
Chair: John Sweeney

Integration of study abroad in the curriculum.

Study Abroad
Chair: Randy Collins

Promotion of study abroad; study abroad as a requirement; coordination with other campus offices; exchange agreements.

Global Rankings Strategy
Chair: Bruce Rafert

Clemson's status in global rankings; criteria; standards