Strategic Action Plan
2013-2017 AIEA Strategic Action Plan
Final version approved by the AIEA Executive Committee at its June 2012 meeting
The Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), a membership organization formed in November 1982, is composed of institutional leaders engaged in advancing the international dimensions of higher education. AIEA brings together international education leaders with their counterparts from around the world who are furthering institutional internationalization.
The purposes of the Association are to:
- provide an effective voice on significant issues affecting higher education’s international mission at all levels,
- improve and promote the performance of international work within institutions of higher education,
- establish and maintain a professional network among those in international higher education leadership roles,
- co-operate in appropriate ways with other national and international groups having similar interests: and
- advance the profession and the professional practice of senior leaders in the field.
As it looks ahead to the next five years and reflects on the successes of the last five years, AIEA wishes to maintain a cohesive identity focused on leadership for higher education in all its international dimensions. Our goal as an organization is to reach out to leaders and potential leaders in the development and execution of colleges’ and universities’ international missions and to provide a high-level, interactive forum for the exchange of ideas, experiences and opportunities for capacity-building among our member institutions and individuals, all with a view toward strengthening and transforming our educational institutions to meet the challenges of an increasingly diverse and interconnected world. In particular, AIEA provides a supportive forum for the discussion of trends and innovation in all areas of international higher education, including curriculum, research, applied work, faculty development, strategic leadership, institutional development, partnership development, community engagement, operational responsiveness, and experience abroad.
AIEA has used its current strategic plan to make considerable progress in developing and strengthening our organization, and in particular to improve our ability to serve our members’ needs as the role of international education leaders becomes increasingly complex, wide-ranging, and demanding. Our new strategic plan builds on these strengths and identifies a key set of goals toward which the organization should move in order to consolidate past gains and break new ground in ways consonant with its fundamental identity.
Strategic Goals over the next five years:
1.) Be intentional about knowledge innovation, capture and transfer. Our membership contains an invaluable reservoir of knowledge and experience about higher education in all its international aspects. One of our main goals should be to expand and extend this knowledge, distill the lessons of experience, and ensure that this knowledge is accessible to multiple constituencies. We will do this through the development of ‘best practices’ papers, through curriculum development for our high-level training programs and a “fast track” for new SIOs, and through our Neal Presidential Fellows Program and our new Senior Scholars program. We will develop new professional development workshops in key areas, as well as webinars. We will strengthen connections with colleagues around the world. We will also develop materials for the presidents and provosts of our educational institutions, to better acquaint them with issues and strategies relating to campus internationalization. All of these activities should take account of the diversity of our membership, while at the same time enabling conversations for exchange, peer learning, and growth.
2.) Strategically manage AIEA’s growth through selective recruitment. Our membership is relatively small but consists of a highly skilled group of leaders. However, we only represent about 300 of the approximately 4,000 institutions of higher learning in the United States--and an even smaller fraction of overseas institutions. Over the next five years, priority will be given to targeting leaders at those institutions engaged in best practices in internationalization which are not currently members of AIEA, with a goal of furthering quality and diversity within AIEA membership. We will also seek ways to expand and diversify our overseas membership.
3.) Fine-tune our current AIEA infrastructure. Our current structure and its operation serve us well. As our Association develops, however, the question of leadership and succession becomes more important. AIEA will make our nominations procedures more explicit and will find ways to encourage early involvement of AIEA members in the leadership of AIEA. For instance, paths to leadership will be more clearly defined, and will include involvement on committees, especially the Executive Committee. The general criteria for AIEA presidential nominations will be made more explicit, and will include experience as an SIO. Prior experience on the Executive Committee will also be preferred.
4.) Focus collaborative activities and partnerships on those that further AIEA’s core functions. AIEA is fortunate to have a number of collaborative activities with sister organizations in the US and around the world. We recognize the enormous value of these collaborations and their benefits to our members. At the same time, we are mindful of the need to focus on those activities and relationships which further AIEA’s core functions. Our several “Dialogues” programs are examples of valuable collaborative activities which we should continue. AIEA will continue to support these and other current partnerships and will consider future joint activities if they are specific and focused in nature and aligned with AIEA’s mission, identity and goals. To that end, a partnership policy will be developed based on our new Strategic Plan, to guide future collaborations.
5.) Enhance members’ ability to be advocates at all levels. ‘Advocacy’ can be done in different ways and at different levels, but is something required of all leaders charged with the international mission of an institution of higher education. Our organization therefore will ensure that we have a plan in place to develop key advocacy skills within our membership. Some members will focus on advocacy at the national or international level, while others will focus more on regional, local, and campus levels. At the campus level in particular, AIEA will collect examples and experiences from different institutions, provide forums for discussion and training, and seek to develop effective models for practice. In particular, we will seek to build capacity among our campus colleagues dealing with government relations, for more effective advocacy with respect to international issues, concerns and opportunities.
6.) Regularly engage in data collection to understand SIO profiles. We know far less than we should about the variety of roles and duties assigned to individuals in our membership, and about the various profiles and portfolios now functioning within the profession in general. AIEA will develop a framework for ongoing data collection about SIOs which will enable us to track changes, note trends, and use these results to better serve members and meet their current and future needs.
Final version, June 19, 2012