The internationalization of higher education is no longer a desirable academic ideal. Rather, it is an essential component for higher education. In the era of globalization, colleges and universities are deploying widespread initiatives to infuse a global dimension into their teaching, research and service functions. Faculty play an important role in advancing strategic international agendas, yet little work has been published around their involvement, benefits and rationales to support the internationalization of higher education. The purpose of this study is to examine factors influencing faculty participation in internationalization at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. In particular, the researcher studies the views of faculty members from the University of Minnesota's Schools of Nursing and Public Health. Factors identified during the literature review were included throughout the design of this study.Within the case study, a mixed methods sequential explanatory research design is conducted. The design includes an Internet survey and interviews. Responses to the survey are examined using descriptive and inferential analyses. Individual interviews are also conducted to seek elaboration and alignment from survey responses while revealing additional information.The findings indicate that the nature of faculty participation in internationalization varies between schools, gender and appointment types. For example, faculty members from the Schools of Nursing tend to participate in activities more closely associated with internationalizing the curriculum while faculty in the School of Public Health participate more readily in teaching and research activities occurring outside of the classroom. In addition, there are statistically significant differences in the nature of activities which male and female faculty members participate in with respect to internationalization. For example, a statistically significant higher proportion of males conduct research outside of the United States. Conversely, a statistically significant higher proportion of females teach courses that include strategies for students to improve their intercultural skills. Furthermore, tenured faculty members demonstrate a higher percentage of participation in 16 of the 18 internationalization activities when compared to non-tenured faculty. The willingness to participate in internationalization activities is influenced by factors relating to the University's commitment to internationalize, institutional leadership and organizational practices. Key organizational factors that support faculty participation in internationalization include hiring practices, opportunities to internationalize the curriculum and institutional partnerships. Personal and professional agendas also affect the participation of faculty to in internationalization. Overall, participants feel internationalization is a higher priority for the University than for their individual departments and divisions. Many participants report a desire to participate in internationalization activities, however, factors related to institutional planning, promotion and tenure policies, and insufficient resources restrict widespread participation among faculty. Furthermore, the lack of implicit roles and responsibilities cause uncertainty for faculty at the operational level. Results from the current study support the limited research previously conducted on faculty engagement and development in internationalization. Additionally, they emphasize the importance of effective institutional strategic planning to accomplish comprehensive internationalization. As institutions continue to expand their international reach, this case study carries important implications about institutional and individual factors affecting faculty participation in international activities. At the same time, the researcher presents practical suggestions to remove institutional barriers and improve organizational structures, with the goal of ultimately generating greater participation among faculty in internationalization.
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. May 2013. Major:Educational Policy and Administration. Advisors: Deanne L. Magnusson and R. Michael Paige. 1 computer file (PDF); xiv, 198 pages, appendices A-G.
Beatty, Matthew R..
Factors influencing faculty participation in internationalization at the University of Minnesota's schools of nursing and public health: a case study.
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