Appointment of an ad hoc Committee on International Student Experiences and Institutional Impact

February 10th, 2014

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Among Boston University’s great strengths is a student body that is increasingly reflective of the world around it. Today, BU is proud to host a diverse, truly global campus community – a thriving center of research and scholarship that includes more than 7,000 international students representing 130 countries from around the world, the 12th largest such population among U.S. universities.

Our international students are helping to shape our shared identity as a university through the unique perspectives, ideas and commitment to excellence they bring to their studies and interactions with fellow students. So, too, do their experiences at BU play a critical role in their own intellectual, social and professional development.

International undergraduate and graduate student enrollments on our Charles River and Medical campuses today comprise approximately 21 percent of our overall student population. As this population continues to climb (6-10% annually for the last five years), it is our collective responsibility to ensure that BU’s academic programs, practices, cultural climate and quality of services, facilities, activities and curricula are responsive to the changing nature of its student body. In addition, as our international student population increases, we need to ensure that our faculty have the resources and support that will enable them to work effectively with students both inside and outside the classroom.

Accordingly, I am launching an effort to assess whether we are meeting the needs and supporting the success of students and faculty as our international student population grows. I have asked Willis Wang, Vice President and Associate Provost for Global Programs, to convene an ad hoc committee of experts and leaders from within our academic and administrative units to: (a) gauge Boston University’s effectiveness in meeting the needs of international students from an academic and social-well being perspective; (b) assess whether we are providing appropriate support for faculty in their interactions with students both inside and outside the classroom, (c) identify areas of strength and weakness in this evolution; and (d) make recommendations for implementation of best practices and improvements.  This ad hoc committee will engage members of the faculty, administration, and student body to ensure that the assessment is comprehensive and leads to recommendations for constructive change.

A full list of committee members is below. I have asked the ad hoc committee to present its recommendations to me by June 2, 2014.

As Boston University continues its ascent and evolution as a uniquely global research institution, it is our shared responsibility to provide an environment that at once promotes academic rigor and inclusiveness to individuals of all backgrounds, creeds, cultures, and beliefs. I look forward to receiving the recommendations of this committee and to working with all of you to achieve this goal.

Ad hoc Committee on International Student Experiences and Institutional Impact

  • Willis Wang, Chair, Vice President & Associate Provost for Global Programs
  • Tim Barbari, Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, ENG
  • Linda Hyman, Associate Provost, Graduate Medical Sciences, and Professor of Microbiology, MED
  • Susan Jackson, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Associate Professor of  French, CAS
  • Tom Little, Associate Dean, Educational Initiatives, and Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, ENG
  • Beth Loizeaux, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, and Professor of English, CAS
  • David Nersessian, Assistant Dean, Global Programs, and Senior Lecturer of Markets, Public Policy  & Law, SMG
  • Janet Peters, Faculty Liaison to the Advanced Standing International Program and Associate Professor of Dentistry, GSDM
  • Laurie Pohl, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Affairs

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