International and Globalization


The International and Globalization Workgroup was charged with examining the benefits of expanding the traditional borders of West Virginia University activities. As a land-grant institution, WVU was born to serve the state, a focus that remains important economically and educationally. However, WVU must now increase institutional influence nationally and grow international ventures. WVU represents a major conduit for innovation and communication between West Virginia communities and the world at large. The International Workgroup was charged with exploring the benefits to the institution of increased national and international activity, while maintaining a strong regional presence. Benefits may include increased global visibility, promotion of diversity in many aspects of institutional life, academic agreements with foreign institutions, growth of distance learning and additional opportunities for research and intellectual property advancement. The International Workgroup was encouraged to interpret the charge broadly and to examine both internal and external issues impacting growth beyond the state’s borders. Specifically, the Workgroup addressed changing global scenarios and must identify the ways in which our peer institutions are planning to expand their horizons. The Workgroup was charged by the Strategic Planning Council (SPC) and tasked with reporting findings, identifying strategic and measurable objectives, quantifying benefits of change and identifying reasonable pathways to meeting objectives. The conclusions of the International Workgroup were assembled with data and conclusions from other groups to form a coherent strategic plan for WVU.

Expected tasks included:

  1. Identification of the extent of WVU (all campuses) involvement in national and international educational initiatives, recruiting and research opportunities.
  2. Examination of the possible benefits of growing activity and involvement outside of the region. Examination of the impact of increased national and global initiatives on campus culture.
  3. Both qualitative and quantitative identification of opportunities in teaching, research, service, recruiting and publicity available to WVU.
  4. Investigation of national and international initiatives at peer institutions and development of an understanding of differences and similarities in opportunity and effort between WVU and peer institutions.
  5. Identification of the resources needed to effect more national and global activity, by activity type. Identification of resources that would be required from WVU, and resources that might be available from external sources. Identification of activities that may become self-supporting, those requiring sustained support, and those that may offer significant benefit to the institution broadly. Consideration, in general terms, of the cost-benefit analysis for various activities.
  6. Identification of resource, structural and cultural barriers to growth in national and global involvement, both within WVU and beyond its borders.
  7. Compilation of facts, thoughts and conclusions. Creation of one or more realistic pathways or options to growing WVU involvement outside of the region.

Preliminary Recommendations

We support:

  • Revising the vision, mission, and goals for the strategic plan for WVU for 2020 to include: embracing cultural diversity and globalization
  • Asking each college to include internationalization and globalization in its vision, mission, goals, and fundraising.
  • Providing administrative, financial, and academic support for internationalization and globalization at all levels.
  • Redesigning our university structure to include a new WVU Global Gateway.

The WVU Global Gateway is our vision for a centralized physical and virtual presence, under the leadership of an academic officer, that will facilitate the international mission at the institution. The WVU Global Gateway will function as a vital portal for all initiatives related to cross cultural study across the university, state, nation and world. Only with appropriate funding will this gateway be adequately equipped to provide the linkages through which students and faculty can cross cultural bridges and examine the variety of diverse options that are available to them regarding university curricula, study abroad, research, employment, language preparation, arts experiences, cultural engagement, service opportunities, conferences, professional development, and student and faculty financial support.   

  • Providing promotion and tenure support for faculty who are involved in curricular applications related to cultural diversity and globalization.
  • Securing external funds that support cultural diversity and globalization.
  • Becoming, as students, faculty, staff, and administrators, an internationalized, globalized community sensitive to cultural diversity.  

Conclusions – August 16, 2010