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Update on Faculty Engagement with the Academic Mission of NYU's Global Sites

 

TO:              Faculty Colleagues

FROM:         Linda G. Mills, Vice Chancellor, Global Programs and University Life
                    Matthew S. Santirocco, Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs

RE:              Update on faculty engagement with the academic mission of NYU's global sites

DATE:         May 5, 2014

 

Overview and Thanks
 

In the fall, we wrote to you regarding a number of new initiatives that were being put in place to respond to concerns about the need to involve faculty more fully in the academic development of our global sites. We write today to update you on the progress that has been made and to outline next steps.

At the outset, we would like to acknowledge the faculty, deans, directors and other global partners who have all contributed to the ongoing work of developing our global sites. Among these are the Faculty Advisory Committee on NYU's Global Network, the Faculty Senators' Council Global Network University Committee and the 10 Site-Specific Advisory Committees. Through these many discussions, and a recent gathering of these committees when the global site directors were in New York, we continue to advance communication, deepen our engagement with faculty across our many NYU communities, and ensure that the courses at our sites - as well as other scholarly activities, conferences, and graduate student opportunities - are consistent with our highest academic traditions.

 

Progress to Date

 

1. Global Site Partnerships/Affiliations. As of May 5th, 86 academic partnerships and 105 affiliations have been established by departments or schools across eleven global sites.

As you may recall, an "academic partnership" indicates that a department or school has a significant scholarly and curricular stake in a given global site, currently offers or is developing coursework there (also known as "curricular pathways"), and is willing to take an active role in determining the site's academic direction through participation on the Site-Specific Advisory Committee. An "academic affiliation" with a global site means that a department or school currently offers or plans to offer at least one course at that site; these may be courses that are required for multiple majors or for general education programs. This is an important relationship, as each department or school with an affiliation will sponsor coursework in a global site. An affiliation also gives rise to occasional participation on a Site-Specific Advisory Committee. You can review the current partnerships and affiliations list here. Please note that these designations continue to evolve over time. If you believe that your department or school should be listed under a "partnership" or an "affiliation," please let us know. You can contact us by sending an email to global.feedback@nyu.edu.

2. Site-Specific Advisory Committees for 10 Global Sites.  To date, more than 82 faculty members, drawn from the departments and schools that have developed partnerships with the global sites, as well as from the sites themselves, have participated in these Site-Specific Advisory Committees.

Site-Specific Advisory Committees were established for 10 of our 11 global sites (the exception being Paris [see below]). Each committee includes faculty representatives from partner departments and schools (selected by the faculty in those units), the global site's director, and a local faculty member teaching at the site. The role of these committees is to set the stage for the sites' academic development over time, including courses offered to undergraduate and graduate students as well as other research and scholarly activities. Most committees have now concluded three meetings and discussed significant topics such as site structure and staffing, current and planned academic programs, synergies across departments and schools, the potential for a larger intellectual identity, and the importance of measuring the value of study-away experiences from multiple academic and student life dimensions. The Site-Specific Advisory Committees anticipate addressing a number of other topics at upcoming meetings, including student advising to ensure that new curricular pathways being developed at the global sites by departments and schools are effectively relayed to students. In addition, two of the 10 site committees have already selected faculty chairs - we anticipate that all the committees will be chaired by faculty, no later than next Spring.

3. Global Site Curriculum Review by Sponsoring Departments.  All the courses currently offered at the global sites are being reviewed by faculty in their sponsoring departments and schools, as well as by members of the Site-Specific Advisory Committees. Departments and schools, working closely with the Office of Global Programs and the directors of the global sites, are making adjustments to the curriculum, if needed. This process is presenting exciting opportunities to think in new ways about the curriculum in the global sites and to develop relationships with faculty who are engaged to teach our students at the global sites. The curriculum will continue to evolve through these collaborative efforts involving the departments and schools that sponsor courses at the global sites, and the site directors and local faculty with expertise in the relevant scholarly fields. Moreover, the global curriculum will continue to be reviewed on a regular basis through existing departmental and school faculty processes as well as through course-evaluations at the end of each term. Notations are kept regarding departmental reviews, ensuring that departments and schools can track the reviews that have occurred. This marks a major step forward in ensuring that the curriculum offered at the sites is sponsored and overseen by New York departments and schools that are offering coursework in each of these locations.

 

Next Steps
 

Looking ahead, there are tremendous opportunities for new developments at the global sites. We want to highlight a few of these opportunities in anticipation of faculty representatives bringing them to your attention.

1. New Courses, Partnerships, Affiliations, and Graduate Opportunities.  Departments and schools continue to propose and develop new curricula in the global sites and are creating new partnerships and affiliations. Another focus of the departments and schools has been on developing new graduate offerings or refining the graduate programs that are already in place. Please be in touch if your school or department would like to talk with us about new graduate or undergraduate initiatives - we stand ready to assist in bringing these programs to fruition. Please email us at global.feedback@nyu.edu.

2. Paris Site-Specific Advisory Committee.  At the end of the spring semester, we will be moving to a new academic center in Paris, on Boulevard Saint-Germain. Last November, in preparation for this move, we collected information from departments and schools about their interests in partnering or affiliating with the Paris site. Working closely with the units already offering courses in Paris, as well as with those that have expressed an interest in being represented there, we are pleased to announce the inaugural list of partnerships and affiliations in Paris. As with other sites, the process for discussing departmental or school engagement in Paris is ongoing, and we welcome ideas and programs from others interested in the site. The first Paris Site-Specific Advisory Committee meeting will be held in May. Please let us know if your school or department has an interest in developing a partnership or an affiliation in Paris.

3. Abu Dhabi and Shanghai as Study Away Sites.  While some departments and schools already have longstanding relationships with NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai, many units want to understand better how these campuses can serve as study away sites for their students. Hilary Ballon (NYU Abu Dhabi) and Joanna Waley-Cohen (NYU Shanghai) will be reaching out to units that have expressed an interest in these two campuses, explaining how best to connect the Square with their campuses through coursework and other avenues. We are working closely with our colleagues at NYU Shanghai and NYU Abu Dhabi to identify courses at these campuses that may be relevant to New York schools and departments. If your department or school is interested in developing a new academic pathway with Abu Dhabi and/or Shanghai, you can contact Deputy Vice Chancellor Hilary Ballon or Dean Joanna Waley-Cohen at global.feedback@nyu.edu with a brief description of your interest. We intend to hold inaugural NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai Site-Specific Committee meetings in the fall, once these campuses have had an opportunity to complete their outreach to interested departments and schools.

4. Affiliated Departments and the Global Sites.  As noted above, affiliated departments and schools at the global sites offer one or two courses, but have decided that they are not prepared to commit to a full partnership with that site. The Site-Specific Advisory Committees have so far been focused on working with partner departments, which are key to developing the academic programming and identity of the sites. Committees are now in discussion about inviting the affiliated departments and schools to attend a Site-Specific Advisory Committee meeting dedicated to cross-curricular opportunities. Departments and schools will be contacted, as determined by the faculty on the Site-Specific Advisory Committees.

5. Faculty Visits to the Global Sites.  We have set aside funds for grants for faculty from partner departments and schools to travel to sites for short visits to learn more about course offerings and research opportunities and to deepen the connection between New York faculty and the faculty teaching at the sites. A process for these visits will be announced in early fall. Meanwhile, if you have an urgent curricular need to visit a site before then, or a proposal for a new research connection or other site-based activities, please let us know at global.feedback@nyu.edu. In addition, the Faculty Advisory Committee on the Global Network is currently discussing extended stays for faculty who may want to teach at the sites, with a focus on several issues including cost, legal and visa concerns and the impact of this kind of circulation on departments and schools. Finally, please note that the Global Research Initiative(GRI) remains active, enabling faculty and graduate students to conduct research and scholarly activities at eight of the global sites.

6. Global Pathways Scholarships (GPS). As you may have already heard, a generous gift has made it possible for undergraduate students who want to study away to have an additional grant of up to $4000 added to their financial aid package in order to pursue their global studies. Students who qualify and apply for need-based aid will automatically be considered for these scholarships if they plan to study away; they no longer have to participate in an additional financial aid review process.

 

Conclusion
 

Over the past several months, the process of engaging faculty through partnerships and affiliations and through the Site-Specific Advisory Committees has contributed significantly to developing academic and scholarly pathways that better define the identity of NYU's global sites. We are immensely grateful to the faculty who have participated in this process. They have contributed to creating a rigorous curriculum in each of our global sites for both undergraduate and graduate students, have developed new research and scholarly opportunities and have started to create imaginative synergies across departments and schools. This effort occurs now both on committees that are dedicated to shaping the sites as well as the overall global network, and also takes place in schools and during departmental planning activities.

In order to help share information about happenings across the global sites and campuses, we have also launched a new blog, Global Dimensions (http://blogs.nyu.edu/global-dimensions). Contributors to the blog will come from throughout the NYU community, and include site directors, as well as students and faculty either based at the sites or spending semesters away to pursue their research and studies. If you have story ideas for Global Dimensions, please let us know by emailing global.feedback@nyu.edu.

Please don't hesitate to be in touch with us if you have feedback of any type, as we continue to develop and enhance the faculty governance structures relating to the global sites.



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