TitleRaising MSU's International Profile Request Date2012-11-30
DepartmentOffice of International Programs
RequestorNorman Peterson Phone994-5325
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts The Office of International Programs (OIP) provides services to all MSU colleges and departments. Funding of this proposal would benefit academic departments and colleges through providing international experiences for MSU students, recruiting international students and supporting faculty international activities.
Proposed Dates Start: March 1 2012 End: December 31 2015
This proposal seeks funding to achieve international objectives as outlined in the MSU Strategic Plan, and to address President Cruzado’s call for a higher profile international footprint for MSU. It includes a number of elements, including: 1) strengthening education abroad capabilities through establishing a director level position to work with faculty to integrate study abroad into the curriculum, 2) increasing base funding to recruit a diverse international student body, and 3) expanding OIP’s Faculty International Research and Program Development Fund to support faculty initiatives.
Virtually every major objective in the new MSU Strategic Plan includes an international element. The Plan includes eighteen references to international, global or world level activity. It calls for international activity and accomplishment across the tri-partite education, research and outreach functions of the University. This proposal addresses several of the main objectives of the Plan as detailed in the description below.
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Salaries       60629       
Benefits       19401       
Materials & Supplies       35000       
Travel       30000       
Contracted Services              
Other Operations              
TOTAL 145030     
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.

I.1 Developing Students’ Global and Multicultural Skills

  • Cost includes salary and benefits for Director.

I.2 Increasing International Students 

  • Material and supply costs for international student recruitment include $10,000 to invest in social media advertising campaigns and production of a recruitment video, and $5,000 to purchase i-Graduate’s International Student Barometer to assess student attitudes about MSU from application through graduation.
  • Current funding supports two to three major international recruitment trips per year. This proposal would allow two additional trips to be made as well as the inclusion of faculty members to accompany MSU’s international recruiters for the purpose of developing strategic partnerships and showcasing MSU’s academic programs through presentations in schools and advising centers abroad. Stability in recruitment requires work in diverse student markets, and our current budget allows for minimal representation in a very limited number of countries.

I.3 Supporting Faculty International Engagement

  • Costs include faculty grants and administrative personal.
Describe the Proposal

This proposal is a multi-dimensional initiative to address several of the main international objectives in the MSU Strategic Plan.  It is also intended to begin to accomplish President Waded Cruzado’s initiative to raise the international profile of Montana State University.  It includes several mutually supportive elements.

 II.1 Developing Students’ Global and Multicultural Skills   The MSU SP calls for our students to develop the skills to be active, informed citizens and leaders of Montana and the world (p.3).  Toward this goal, they will need to have global and multicultural understanding and experiences (p.12). To achieve this, the goal is to double the percentage of students with cross-cultural experiences (p.12). 

  • OIP proposes to establish a Director of Education Abroad to work closely with the faculty to increase international study, work, and service opportunities and to enhance global and multicultural learning.  This critical academic leadership position is missing at MSU.  Virtually all MSU peer institutions have such a position to ensure the integration of education abroad programs into the curriculum.  The proposal includes base funding for the position within OIP.  

II.2 Increasing International Students  The SP emphasizes the importance for MSU to welcome and support students from around the globe,  bringing distinctive perspectives to campus (p. 16-17); and to diversify the student body by increasing international enrollments by 20% (p. 19). 

  • A persistent and consistent presence at international schools, advising centers and partner organizations is required for MSU to compete with peer institutions in the recruitment of a diverse international student body. Utilizing funding to engage faculty in recruitment will help to engage partner institutions, students and parents, giving an expanded view of MSU’s academic capabilities in critical global markets. Current funding levels allow for minimal representation of MSU in international markets by OIP staff only, and this request for increased funding will allow for a more robust overall recruitment program.
  • We propose to build onto the efforts that we have found to be successful, including increasing the number of articulation agreements and dual diploma programs, deepening our relationships with sponsoring organizations, and expanding our use of social media. We aim to engage faculty, alumni, and our students who study abroad much more actively in our recruitment and branding efforts.
  • OIP has successfully responded to the charge to recruitment international students, but receives only $35,000 per year in our base budget to fund recruitment. This amount has been supplemented through one of OIP’s designated accounts ($25,000/year) and through annual requests for initiative-specific funding from the Provost (averaging $30,000/year). Stable, base budget funding will allow for improved strategic planning of a comprehensive international recruitment plan.

II.3 Supporting Faculty International Engagement  The SP calls for the faculty to be more engaged internationally in several ways.   They should address the world’s greatest challenges (p.2); raise their international research prominence (p. 7); and engage with diverse global communities (p. 10). OIP is dedicated to supporting faculty international engagement.

  • One of the most powerful ways to engage faculty in the campus internationalization process is to promote their direct engagement in international research, teaching and outreach activities. OIP requests funds to significantly increase its Faculty International Research and Program Development Fund.  Established by OIP in 1996 the Fund provides small grants to enable faculty to engage in international research and creative activity and to enhance the MSU faculty international profile.  Since its inception the Fund has assisted over 60 faculty members to undertake international projects. 
  • The Fund is a RFP based program and awards are decided on a peer reviewed basis.  It is currently very limited in its scope because it has relied upon funds from OIP’s indirect cost income from grant funded projects.  Awards are currently limited to $3,000 or less and total awards are limited to $6,000 per year.  OIP requests base funding of $20,000 per year to expand grants to $5,000 or less and total funding per year of $26,000.  The proposal also includes $5,000 of funding for salary for an administrator to establish policy/procedures to solicit RFPs that are tied to the Strategic Plan and MSU’s international priorities and to develop an effective campus-wide outreach plan.
Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

The funding request will have overarching benefits for Montana State University.

  • The funding will address President Cruzado’s call for MSU to have a more prominent international profile.  As a result of recent international travel by President Cruzado, she identified the need to enhance MSU’s international brand recognition.  Although MSU possesses a strong network of global partners, we are not as globally engaged as we should be.  The elements of the investment proposal will be key resources to accomplish strengthen our worldwide reputation.   The project elements are mutually reinforcingEach of the areas included in the proposal will enhance one another.  Greater faculty international engagement will increase the global and multicultural skills and knowledge of students and our global profile.  Increased international student enrollment will expand students’ knowledge about the world and diversify the student body.  


  • The funding for the Director position will further the objectives of the MSU strategic plan by engaging faculty, assisting in curricular integration for specific programs, further engaging in global communities through institutional partnerships, and providing senior level leadership for an experienced study abroad team.  During the academic year 2011-2012 OIP facilitated study abroad opportunities, for academic credit, for 217 MSU students.  Through our institutional international partnerships MSU welcomed 102 exchange students during the same time period.


  • Increased Tuition and Fee Income from International Students.   Although a portion of the request for international student recruitment is needed to maintain our position in an increasingly competitive global higher education market, the proposed additional funds can be expected to increase overall international student tuition and fee income.  International students contributed over $11 million to MSU and the Bozeman community in tuition, fees and living expenses in the 2009-2010 academic year.  According to the most recent data available through NAFSA:  Association of International Educators.   Current contributions are higher due to increased student enrollment. 


  • Faculty are the most critical factor in achieving a more internationalized campus. Engaging faculty is essential to expanding students’ global competence and internationalizing the campus. Providing faculty financial incentives promote faculty initiation of and participation in international activities.
Implementation Plan

III.1 Developing Students’ Global and Multicultural Skills  

  • During Spring 2013 a drafted job description for Director of Education Abroad will be completed.  In the Summer of 2013 a national job search will be conducted to fill the position.  The director level position will be filled in Fall 2013.


III.2 Increasing International Students 

  • Upon receipt of funding in Spring 2013, development of a monthly social media branding and advertising campaign to attract international attention to MSU will begin, taking two months. The campaign will launch in May 2013 and will be ongoing.
  • The recruitment video will be planned during the Spring Semester and filmed and produced during the months of April-July 2013. It will be posted on You Tube and the MSU website, as well as distributed worldwide to educational partners upon completion.
  • The International Student Barometer project will begin with a student survey in Spring 2013, followed by data collection and analysis by our international recruitment team. Data will be used in decision-making on recruitment and student service activities. The process will be repeated starting Spring 2014 for a second year.
  • An increase in focused international recruitment travel to four or five major trips per year will support two spring trips, one summer trip and two fall trips to major and secondary/niche student markets annually.

III.3 Supporting Faculty International Engagement 

  • Starting in Spring 2013 workshops and information sessions will inform faculty of institutional internationalization priorities.  Faculty will be encouraged to submit proposals which support activities that will make significant contributions to MSU’s long term and coordinated goals and objectives.
Assessment Plan

IV.1 Developing Students’ Global and Multicultural Skills 

  • The first year assessment of the Director of Education Abroad will be the completion of a successful search.  Year two assessment will include analysis of study abroad outgoing/incoming enrollment numbers.  In subsequent years assessment will include a quantitative and qualitative analysis of integrated curriculum across disciplines at MSU; looking closely at specific discipline participation numbers.

IV.2 Increasing International Students 

  • All recruitment activities are measured by increases in international student applications and enrollments. Investment of time and funding into any international market is adjusted both regularly and over time according to return on investment data. Our recruitment team meets weekly throughout the year to assess and adjust activities and also spends a day each April in a planning retreat to review data and trends in detail.

IV.3 Supporting Faculty International Engagement 

  • Assessment will include gathering course syllabi, research published, and new institution partnerships and projects in regions deemed significant to MSU’s strategic internationalization. 
If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?

V.1 Developing Students’ Global and Multicultural Skills 

  • Director of Education Abroad will be an annual appointment letter in line with MSU policy.  If funding is terminated the position’s contract would not be renewed. 

V.2 Increasing International Students 

  • Recruitment travel and activities can be adjusted with relative ease. Programs and initiatives would be revised or cancelled if results are not positive.

V.3 Supporting Faculty International Engagement 

  • Faculty awards would need to be reduced, if the program is determined to be ineffective. 
Department Head: Norman Peterson (
Dean/Director: David Singel (
Executive/VP: Martha Potvin (