Office of International Affairs created

Adelaide Ferguson will become associate vice president of the new Office of International Affairs on July 1, 2008.

The new office will bring together the Office of International Programs, which supervises study-abroad programs and international campuses, and the Office of International Services, which provides services for international students. It will be responsible for all international activities except for international admission.

The new office is designed to expand Temple’s global engagement and to oversee the university’s extensive and burgeoning international programs.

Currently, Temple provides programs that allow students to study in more than 10 countries around the globe. Last year, the university spent close to $4 million for the operation of its campuses in Rome and Japan.

“Temple offers a wide array of study-abroad programs, but students and faculty do not always know about them,” said Fabienne Darling-Wolf, an assistant professor in the journalism department who also teaches at Temple University Japan. “For instance, in the summer program I teach, I often have as many students from other universities as Temple students. That’s a shame.”

Students also said they do not know much about the university’s international programs.

“[Temple should] have more information available and present more so people have more knowledge about the programs,” said Miesha Cooper, a freshman legal studies major.

Students face other problems, including curricula and financial constraints.

“If I want to study abroad, the courses I want to take would not be available there,” junior economics major Ian Pastura said. “Having to save up for the trip is another problem.”

Indeed, not only Temple students here in Philadelphia think money can be a problem.

“One of the main obstacles to Japanese students studying at Main Campus is money,” said Matt Wilson, senior associate dean and general counsel of TUJ. “While in Tokyo, students can save money by working and commuting from home. In Philadelphia, this is not possible.”

Ferguson’s first priority will be to develop plans for new initiatives by working closely with deans, faculty, administrators and international partners. She said that Temple has a strong base on which to build to improve the university’s internationalization and expanding its global reach, according to the release.

Yet, while the lack of student participation hinders Temple’s global expansion, faculty’s sporadic and scarce involvement also becomes a barrier.

“With the tenure requirements becoming increasingly challenging and more and more faculty members being in two-career households, leaving Main Campus for a couple years has become more difficult for a larger portion of the faculty population,” Darling-Wolf said. “People are worried about getting their research done, and their spouse may not be able to leave their job.”

Although both Darling-Wolf and Wilson agreed the administration provides enough support for them, they said they think the university lacks exchanges between Main Campus and Temple’s international campuses.

“Going forward, I hope that there will be even more opportunities for faculty exchanges,” Wilson said.

Esther Hiotang Castillo can be reached at hiotong.castillo@temple.edu.

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