Faculty Exchanges & Professional Development
Faculty are encouraged to work with the OIP staff in exploring and applying for a wide range of international exchange opportunities. These include the Fulbright Exchange Program, reciprocal department exchanges, and exchanges based on agreements between UNC Charlotte and foreign institutions of higher learning.
In addition, OIP seeks to strengthen the international dimension of UNC Charlotte by supporting faculty research and professional activities abroad, by encouraging the development of new international courses, and by sponsoring seminars and forums on international topics.
OIP administers an International Travel Grant Program which supports faculty travel to present scholarly papers at international conferences and to conduct collaborative research abroad. It also supports an annual Faculty International Education Award which recognizes outstanding contributions to the enhancement of international studies/education at UNC Charlotte.
Exchange of Duties with a Colleague at a Foreign University
During the past several years, an increasing number of UNC Charlotte faculty members have participated in formal institutional linkage programs as well as bilateral exchanges with faculty members from universities outside the United States. Following are suggestions and procedures to assist faculty members in planning such exchanges in a manner that will provide maximum gain from the experience for both the individuals and for the universities involved. As plans for an exchange are developed, they must be examined from the perspectives of department peers and the University as a whole, as well as the perspective of the individual faculty participant. Three aspects are involved:
- What are the benefits to the faculty member of a new environment in which to learn and develop intellectually?
- What is the plan of the department for meeting the responsibilities that otherwise would have been covered by the absent faculty member? Although some of these activities may be appropriate to the visitor, others may require experienced departmental hands.
- What special benefits is the visitor expected to bring to the department and the University?
Because a visitor is different from a regular member of the faculty, these benefits may come not from short-term formal contributions (courses taught, for example), but from less specific long-term contributions such as new research methodologies and new perspectives on old subjects. Careful planning is required to take full advantage of such opportunities.
A plan that merely permits a UNC Charlotte faculty member to teach the usual courses in a new environment in exchange for a visitor who is able only to cover standard courses here may not be worth the extra effort involved. On the other hand, a plan that puts a UNC Charlotte faculty member into a stimulating teaching and research environment and brings a visitor with important contributions to make to faculty members and students at UNC Charlotte can provide long-term returns that far outweigh short-term limitations and inconveniences. Development of a detailed plan for the work to be done at UNC Charlotte by the visitor shifts the balance in favor of the exchange both from the points of view of the faculty members and the universities.
- Consult/Plan a meeting with the Assistant Provost for International Programs to discuss possibilities.
- Discuss the options with the department chairperson and the Assistant Provost for International Programs.
- Prepare a prospectus for consideration by the department chairperson. The prospectus should include a detailed explanation of the reason you seek this exchange opportunity, what you expect to gain from the experience, research you wish to accomplish, what impact this will have on your department, a realistic assessment of the funding required, and a listing of any factors that may discourage participation. The alternatives for the foreign visitor should be known, and a preliminary plan prepared for his or her contribution to UNC Charlotte while in residency.
- If the prospectus is reviewed favorably by the department chairperson, it should be forwarded to the dean with a statement verifying the benefits to the department. A description of the plan to cover the faculty member's responsibilities during the period of absence and the long-term return expected from the visitor also should be included.
- Meet with the Assistant Provost for International Programs to discuss locations, budget, and other exchange issues.
- Submit the proposal, with supporting documentation from the department chairperson, dean, and Assistant Provost for International Programs to the Provost.
- If University approval of the exchange is obtained, work may begin in earnest to make the exchange a reality.
- Consult other faculty members who have participated in similar overseas experiences.