Responsibilities of the Division of International Affairs
Section III. Item 26.
The Division of International Affairs is within the Division of Academic Affairs and reports and is responsible to the office of the Executive Vice President and Provost. The Vice President of the Division of International Affairs serves on the Council of Deans.
The Division of International Affairs exercises primary supervisory, coordinating, and developmental responsibilities in regard to all NIU institutional (as distinguished from personal professional) involvement in international programs and activities, including the university's relations with foreign institutions, agencies, and governments.
The Division is responsible for the following specific responsibilities:
- Manage, on behalf of the University, in collaboration with academic units, the logistics of all study abroad activities that are for academic credit (such as: study abroad activities during the regular academic year, summer and other short-term periods, field courses abroad, student exchange programs, independent study abroad, and internships abroad). These logistics include such matters as:
- Obtaining permission from academic units for the use of NIU undergraduate course equivalencies to be used for study abroad activities managed by non-NIU organizations;
- Entering, monitoring, and managing all study abroad courses ("Z" courses) that are in the NIU registration and records system;
- Monitoring academic quality of study abroad activities sponsored by NIU and administered by non-NIU organizations, including obtaining evaluation feedback from student participants;
- Marketing all study abroad activities on and off campus;
- Assisting NIU faculty leaders of NIU short term study abroad activities to plan, organize, implement, and evaluate those activities;
- Developing budgets for all NIU sponsored and organized study abroad activities;
- Working with organizations abroad that provide services (e.g., classrooms, field trips, cultural and social activities, local instructors, etc.) for study abroad activities, including developing appropriate contracts for the services, obtaining invoices for the services, and paying for billed services;
- Assisting students to decide which study abroad opportunities best fit their personal, academic, and career goals;
- Assisting students to work with their academic advisors in order to obtain approval for relevant courses that apply to their study abroad activity;
- Processing the admission of students into study abroad activities, consistent with those activities' quality criteria (e.g., minimum GPA, limits concerning which majors may participate, foreign language proficiency requirements, course pre-requisites, etc.);
- Working with the NIU Student Financial Aid Office in order to advise and assist students to obtain financial aid and scholarships for the study abroad activity;
- Working with the Student Financial Aid Office, the Scholarship Office, and the Bursar's Office in order to coordinate the release of student funds for study abroad activities;
- Assisting faculty members and students to obtain appropriate visas for the study abroad experiences;
- Providing travel advances for faculty members who lead short terms study abroad activities, to be used to pay for local arrangements that can not be paid through direct payments;
- Processing personnel paperwork for NIU and non-NIU faculty members involved in study abroad activities;
- Assisting faculty members and students to obtain transportation to and from the study abroad sites, and in some cases, when needed, working with NIU Procurement Services to purchase group travel to and from the study abroad site;
- Registering students who participate in study abroad activities and posting their final grades;
- Providing relevant and accurate orientation materials to faculty and students who will participate in study abroad activities concerning such matters as: the study abroad activity itself; the cultures they will be encountering and how to adapt and live and study effectively within those cultures; the customs they need to consider while abroad; safety and health conditions in the locations that they will be in while abroad and ways of dealing with them; emergency procedures at the study abroad site and at NIU; and student codes of conduct that apply while abroad;
- Maintaining contact with students while they are abroad, in order to facilitate: needed adds and drops of courses; registration for when they return to campus; financial aid, scholarships, and other payments; and to assist them with other needs that they might have during their stay abroad;
- Providing re-entry counseling to students who have participated in study abroad activities;
- Maintaining data bases of participation in all study abroad activities for reporting purposes; and
- Maintaining sound financial records for all study abroad activities that fulfill NIU and Illinois financial audit requirements.
- Review and approve the delivery abroad of existing academic degree programs to primarily non-US students and US students not normally enrolled at NIU, as per the "Policy Regarding Degree Programs Abroad Conducted by NIU." Any new (not already existing) proposed degree program must first go through the normal NIU curricular approval process.
- Review and advise on non-credit activities delivered abroad that are organized and managed by any campus unit.
- Serve as the Campus Fulbright advisor for the Fulbright Scholar and Fulbright US Student programs.
- Issue, on behalf of NIU, appropriate visa application documents for exchange scholars and faculty, undergraduate students, and immigration documents after initial admission of graduate students by the Graduate School.
- Prepare and process appropriate forms for the employment of non-US faculty and staff at NIU.
- Review and approve all international academic exchange agreements and memoranda of understanding.
- Review and approve all international contracts that involve NIU as an institution.
- The Division is also responsible for the following general responsibilities:
- Provide leadership to the internationalization of the curriculum.
- Stimulate an international dimension within all aspects and units of the University.
- Coordinate international activities at the university level.
- Coordinate and facilitate all NIU international exchanges of faculty and students.
- Coordinate and facilitate international development assistance efforts.
- Assist with and facilitate international training programs for international participants.
The Division of International Affairs works collegially with all academic and non-academic units within the University in order to fulfill its specific and general responsibilities.
Updated Division name by Provost Office, October 20, 2016
Adopted by the International Program Advisory Council, March 31, 2000
Endorsed by the NIU Council of Deans, May 24, 2000