Colorado State Receives Prestigious Award for Campus Internationalization

A national education organization has recognized Colorado State University – one of eight U.S. colleges or universities – for its campus internationalization efforts.

Colorado State University is one of only two land-grant research universities profiled in a report to be released this fall titled "Internationalizing the Campus 2008: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities." The report is published by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

The honorees will be recognized at NAFSA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., in May.

Institutions that are highlighted demonstrate significant strides in campuswide internationalization. In the award letter to CSU, the president of NAFSA, Everett Egginton, said, "The selection jury was especially impressed by Colorado State’s substantial, distinctive commitment to integrating international education into the University Strategic Plan."

President Larry Edward Penley has said Colorado State, through its strategic plan, is committed to growing areas of study that address global challenges and creating international partnerships to face those challenges. The university has sought like-minded institutions that share its vision and values for higher education in areas such as China, Argentina, Chile and Mexico.

As part of those efforts, Penley in 2005 hired Jim Cooney, a longtime international affairs expert with substantial experience at Harvard University, as CSU associate provost and director of the Office of International Programs.

Penley also has been active in international education and policy. He was one of only 100 university presidents and higher education leaders invited to attend an international education summit hosted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. He has accompanied governors on trade missions to Argentina and Chile, and he has traveled to China to sign International Memoranda of Understanding to engage specific graduate research programs at such universities as Beijing Normal University, China Agricultural University and Tianjin University.

"Every day, Colorado State University tackles some of the world’s most chronic, challenging problems such as poverty, hunger, pollution and infectious disease. But we know those solutions aren’t confined to laboratories and classrooms in Fort Collins," Penley said. "Today’s global economy means problem-solving must come as the result of international partnerships and outreach."

Tony Frank, provost and senior executive vice president, added that it is an honor for CSU to be selected by NAFSA since so many U.S. universities are now concentrating on internationalization initiatives.

"We must dramatically transform our international emphasis to prepare students for life in an increasingly interdependent world through such programs as Study Abroad," Frank said. "This honor is a real testimony to how closely we have tried to link the strategic plan and CSU’s internationalization approach. Congratulations to Jim and the Office of International Programs for this well-deserved award."

NAFSA’s annual Internationalizing the Campus report "recognizes institutions that are leaders in the growing effort across higher education to better prepare students for a global economy and an interconnected world."

"This recognition demonstrates the serious efforts Colorado State has made in the international area," Cooney said. "Our internationalization strategy is distinctive because it incorporates the traditional objectives of international programs with an aggressive connection to research and global challenges."

Other recipients of NAFSA awards include the University of Illinois, Goucher College, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Valparaiso University, Miami Dade College and Webster University.