IUPUI Office of International Affairs
Annual Planning and Budgeting Report 2009-2010
Additional question: How are you dealing with the projected base budget reductions for 2009-10 and 2010-11? For instance, how will the projected base reductions affect your ability to deliver your current level of services to students, faculty, and staff? Will some planned initiatives have to be delayed or terminated?
The OIA is responding to the budget reductions with a multi-pronged strategy, as follows.
1) Substantial cuts in travel expenditures.
Travel is essential to the work of the OIA (to recruit students; cultivate and advance international partnerships; organize and oversee study abroad programs; position IUPUI within the national and global arena of internationalization; and maintain the cutting-edge knowledge of visa regulations, admissions practices, and the global trends in higher education necessary for guiding IUPUI’s international activities).
The OIA nevertheless began making significant cuts in its travel expenditures prior to the university reductions mandated in August 2009. More specifically, the OIA is looking at a $40,000 reduction in travel expenditures by:
Cutting in half the number of staff attending professional conferences
Restricting in-state mileage reimbursements
Cutting the standard per diem reimbursements for international travel by 25%.
2) Reassigning OIA income to cover cuts in essential staff positions.
For some time now, 40% of the OIA base budget has come from income generated by application and visa services fees, as well as per capita rent payment for students studying English at the ELS Language Center on the IUPUI campus. In some years this income enabled us to just squeak by; in others it provided funding for new endeavors, such as new staff to match growing student numbers, and support for faculty and school international initiatives. This income is folded into the base budget projections of the OIA.
In 2009-10, the OIA received enough such income to cover the loss of 50% of the funding of two important staff positions (a cut of approximately $60,000 in total). This has, however, necessitated reducing the use of this income for other activities including both basic office operations and new initiatives. The two positions thus salvaged were a) an international processing position that had been refilled just before the new policy on vacant positions was announced but which nevertheless fell under the 50% cut policy; and the loss of 50% funding for another admissions processing position that had been provided by the Kelley Direct program prior to the administrative move of Kelley Direct to IUB.
The OIA has now reached the point, however, where there is no more play in its base income, especially since there has been a nation-wide decline in enrollments in intensive English learning centers such as ELS due to the global recession. (The number of international students pursuing degrees in the U.S. has remained healthy, but the number simply pursuing English language acquisition has declined.)
3) Substantial cuts to the operating budget of the Center on Southeast Asia.
Over the next two years, we are contemplating reducing the $30,000 budget of the CSEA by as much as $20,000. Some of this will be compensated for by starting to spend the earnings on the CSEA’s foundation account (which heretofore has always been plowed back into the account in the hopes of building up enough for a faculty position). Even with use of this account, there will nevertheless be a reduction in the CSEA’s ability to support new school and faculty initiatives.
4) Substantial cuts to the OIA’s Special Fund for Supporting New International Development Initiatives (IDEV).
The OIA is contemplating a reassignment of these monies to basic operating expenses, thereby reducing the OIA’s ability to support new School and faculty initiatives. The $25,000 fund may be cut by as much as $15,000.
5) Cuts in hours the OIA Front Desk is open for walk-in student/scholar queries.
We are contemplating reducing the Front Desk hours from 40 to 30 per week, thereby reducing hourly staff costs by $10,000 annually. The OIA Front Desk receives as many as 100 walk-in and 100 email queries per day (with considerable paperwork connected to these queries), so this would intensify what is already considered one of the heaviest work-study jobs on campus.
6) Suspension of International Travel Award program for OIA staff.
Three years ago the OIA initiated a travel award program for members of its staff who do not normally travel abroad for their work. We held an annual competition in which staff proposed projects that would advance the work of the office while simultaneously enhancing their international expertise. We have given 1-2 $3000 awards each year. This program will be suspended indefinitely.
7) Salary cuts or non-replacement upon retirement of Senior Staff.
Three senior OIA staff are expected to retire within the next two years. At least one of these positions will not be refilled, and there may well be salary reductions for the new occupants of the other position(s). This will result in anywhere between $60,000-150,000 in base reductions.
8) Even greater use of IT to replace travel.
The OIA will step up its initiatives in using IT for partnership negotiations and advancement, for professional development opportunities, and for collaborative, interactive international teaching.
9) Continued automation of admissions and visa processing activities.
10) Continued outsourcing of time-consuming credentials analysis cases to private consultant, rather than spend costly staff time on them.
11) Support growth of study abroad through new fees.
It is standard operating procedure across the U.S. to fund the growth and management of study abroad growth at least partially through fees. IUPUI had no such fees until 2008-09, when a Study Abroad Program Fee of $75 per student was instituted. Our first substantial income from this fee is expected during summer 2010 (perhaps $20,000). This will be used to cover some of the costs of managing, developing, and recruiting students for IUPUI’s growing number of study abroad programs.
The OIA (and the faculty Study Abroad Committee) would prefer a different sort of study abroad fee, however, and will continue to advocate for this alternate form. This alternate form (a $5-$10 international learning fee for all students each semester) is increasingly being adopted across the U.S. If IUPUI were to adopt such a fee, the funds would be channeled into stipends for faculty to develop new programs, significant increases in study abroad scholarships, and – for the first time – an emergency fund to handle the crises that sometimes arise in study abroad programs.
12) Raising visa services fees to level of IU-Bloomington (a 30% increase).
13) Continued application for external grants for student/faculty mobility and curriculum development.
The OIA will continue to support faculty in applying for external funding for their international work (e.g., the Fulbright program) while applying for campus-wide grants itself. This last year, we were awarded a Fulbright-Hayes Group Travel Award that enabled us to support 12 IUPUI faculty and IPS teachers in spending a month in intensive seminars and experiential learning with our strategic partner, Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya.
14) More aggressive campaign for international initiatives through the IU Foundation.
15) Collaboration with other units and community organizations to cost-share in advancing internationalization.
The OIA has been actively pursuing a number of avenues in this regard:
Split admissions positions with units interested in more school-specific processing (e.g., Kelley Direct position)
Negotiate office time-sharing, as we are now doing with School of Education
Continue to work closely with Multicultural Center, Student Life, Enrollment Services, Consortium on Learning, University College, Office of Research, Graduate School, Campus Housing, Student Scholarships, and schools – to develop jointly sponsored activities
Advocate for strong IUPUI presence in allocating university-wide international funds.
Advocate that all high-end scholarships (e.g., Bepko, Plater, etc.) include study abroad stipends
Seek Enrollment Shaping Initiative funds to support student recruitment efforts
Seek RISE funds to support development of study abroad
16) Reworking of the International Development Fund (IDF).
The IDF is administered by the Office for Research, in consultation with the OIA. It was established some 10 years ago as a source of seed grants for a wide range of internationalization initiatives. Its funding comes from 20% of the administrative indirects of all internationally-oriented grants at IUPUI. Due to a variety of historical circumstances, the IDF has never been funded to the level it was supposed to be, and its grants have been focused only on research collaborations. Through much discussion with the Vice Chancellor for Research as well as the faculty IDF Committee, we found ways to raise the funding total for IDF grants from $75,000 per year to $100,000 (still nowhere near the amount mentioned in its founding documents) and to add new categories of grants. This development will compensate for some of the cuts in OIA funds for supporting new initiatives, and comes from a sustainable, renewable source, as long as faculty apply for external grants following their seed funding.
As newly restructured, the IDF gives small seed grants for:
international research collaborations
international travel grants
creative use of IT for international work
There is also an additional new internal grant category to support visiting international scholars.
17) Continued development of strategic international partnerships.
With the unanimous support of the IUPUI administration, Deans Council, and the faculty International Council, the OIA has been guiding the campus in developing a small number of strategic partnerships as cost-effective and philosophically appropriate means of internationalization. Such partnerships build platforms that enable multiple students, faculty, staff, and programs to become involved – at considerably less cost than each unit generating its own. They also provide the dialogue and collaboration essential to 21st century internationalization. Because they generate 2+2 and similar programs, such partnerships also contribute to the income generation described in the next item.
18) Working for increased campus-wide income from increased international student enrollment.
Increased non-resident international enrollments add to the general economic health of the campus, while furthering internationalization. Over the last 10 years, since the OIA added a campus-wide recruiter, the number of international students studying at IUPUI has more than doubled. Currently 2/3 of the non-resident undergraduates at IUPUI are international students. These students are also retained at significantly higher percentages than domestic students and have higher 5-year graduation rates.
Phrased another way, compared to 10 years ago, IUPUI annually receives at least $12,000,000 more in tuition alone due to OIA recruitment, admissions, and support efforts. This yields income for Schools and the Enrollment Shaping Fund (through tuition), and for the OIA (through application and visa services fees).
For the last three years, the OIA has been engaged in an even more aggressive international student recruitment program that has yielded significant results. We are targeting specific high yield countries and also supporting schools in recruiting activities. We are working to make IUPUI ‘s web presence more effective for prospective international students. We are aggressively seeking students who come with scholarships from their countries of origin.
We are also facilitating the developing of 2+2 programs between IUPUI schools and partner universities abroad. There are currently two such programs in existence and 12 more under construction. In such programs, students spend two years at a partner university overseas and then two years at IUPUI, in a very focused curriculum that yields degrees from both. These students are generally full-tuition paying students who bring substantial income to IUPUI.
The OIA is feeling the impact of the budget reductions already made. The cuts in travel are significant for a unit whose work is international in scope. The cuts in staffing are significant for a unit where student numbers and new programs are growing. We can weather the cuts this year and are making plans for other cuts next year. If there are further cuts, however, there will certainly be a reduction in the international services and leadership we provide. Admissions and visa processing times will increase, and we will limit ourselves to the basic activities mandated by U.S. law and IU policy. Expert support for study abroad will decline. And the program of international partnerships, which garnered IUPUI the prestigious Heiskell Award in 2009, will suffer significantly. IUPUI may well revert to its standing at the bottom of its peer institutions in terms of measures of internationalization.