SUMMARY OF THE TEXAS A M INTERNATIONAL BOARD MEETING by ANejman

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									       SUMMARY OF THE TEXAS A&M INTERNATIONAL BOARD MEETING
                             April 6-7, 2006



Board members in attendance: Francisco Alcalá de León, Klaus Aurisch, John Bethancourt,
Hildegard Boucsein, Vidal Gonzalez, Herb Goodman, Nora Janjan, Yoshi Kawashima, Pablo
Marvin, Dwain Mayfield, Jim McColgin, Edward Monto, Mahmood Mushtaq, David Preng, Ed
Price, Lane Rees, Gary Richardson, Philip Salem, Richard Smith, Edmond Solymosy, Reynaldo
Spinelli, Taft Symonds, Tom Todd, Tom Turzak, and Hilmar Zeissig.


Thursday, April 6, 2006

Welcome: Herb Goodman
Chairman Goodman welcomed everyone who attended and thanked all board members who had
traveled from overseas to be at this important Board meeting. Goodman recognized the recent
honors received by two board members: Rick Younts and Pablo Marvin. Rick Younts, who is
currently recovering from bypass surgery, sends his regrets for not being able to attend the Board
meeting. Younts was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award, which he will receive at the
commencement ceremonies this semester. Pablo Marvin received the Outstanding International
Alumnus Award, which was presented during International Week in March. Goodman reminded
the Board members of their previous decision to expand the membership of the Board, and
announced that they have offered Bill Way, of ConocoPhillips of Dubai, membership on the
Board. Goodman reminded the Board that their purpose in this meeting is to witness the
progress that has been made with regard to President Gates’ challenges to the International Board
(1. Integrating international students on campus and in the local community, and 2. Increasing
international awareness of all Texas A&M University students). He reminded the Board that
they would have an opportunity during the afternoon to share their comments and
recommendations in a Board-only forum. Goodman introduced Dr. Elsa Murano, Dean of the
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and asked her to share the international activities in
which her College is currently engaged.

International Activities of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Dr. Elsa Murano
Murano served on the faculty of Texas A&M for many years, where she was involved in
international work in the area of Food Safety. She shared with the board the impact of this early
work on her motivation to pursue international activities in the College of Agriculture and Life
Sciences. In her presentation, Murano referenced the land-grant mission of the University,
which entails conducting relevant research, teaching future leaders, and engaging in extension, or
outreach efforts. These three missions are what differentiate a land-grand university like Texas
A&M from other institutions. The College of Agriculture & Life Sciences pursues this three-
pronged mission through three different entities, coordinated by Dean Murano. Teaching is done
through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Research is conducted through the Texas
Agricultural Experiment Station. Extension efforts are carried out through the Texas
Cooperative Extension. These teaching, research, and extension efforts are coordinated to
complement one another. The College currently has projects in 35 different countries. They



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work throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia,
including Afghanistan and Iraq. The college carries out all three types of activities (teaching,
research, and extension) in these countries. For example, the SEAFAST program in Indonesia
teaches university students about food safety, and allows students in Indonesia to take courses
from Texas A&M professors. In Armenia, students participate in hands-on experiences in
agribusiness and take short-courses from Texas A&M. In El Salvador, there are short-courses in
agribusiness, and Texas A&M students go to El Salvador as part of an exchange. The College
has study abroad programs in countries such as Costa Rica, Spain, Tunisia, Australia, and many
others. The College also carries out research in East Africa, developing an early warning system
for famine, in Ethiopia, to conduct research on avian influenza, and in Afghanistan, to determine
the best conditions for crop development. In El Salvador, there is a research program that is
helping to develop food preservation techniques. In Indonesia, there is research into food
product development to help local individuals develop an industry and a market for their
products. Finally, the College also maintains several extension projects worldwide to take
knowledge from the University to local farmers. For example, demonstration projects are carried
out in Burma and Iraq. In Burma, extension agents try to show local farmers that they can
successfully grow corn instead of opium. Extension programs on entrepreneurship and producer
training are carried out through the College as well. The College of Agriculture and Life
Sciences has drafted three roadmaps, one for each of the different goals (teaching, research, and
extension), that address how the College plans to pursue these goals in the future. These
roadmaps are available on the College’s website. Dr. Murano concluded by sharing her belief
that agriculture helps individuals become self-sustaining, which gives democracy an opportunity
to flourish.

Ed Monto asked how the College deals with the financial change that comes when farmers shift
from growing opium to growing corn. Murano responded that extension agents show farmers
that they can support their own families and villages and can become more self-sufficient
through growing food crops. They also try to convey that the future of their country is not in
opium, because it would not be widely accepted or healthy in the long-term. While this is not an
easy message to promote, since opium provides easy money, the pride that people feel when they
are successful at growing corn is an important motivator. The biggest challenge the College
faces is ensuring that these programs are continual and sustained. A land grant university has the
strong commitment to teaching, research, and extension that is perfectly suited to these types of
situations.

Dwain Mayfield asked how the different programs in the College are funded. Murano responded
that some programs in the college receive funds through USAID, while others are able to receive
direct appropriations from the University. Texas A&M is also the only institution that has been
given a cash crop by the USDA to earn money for programs. Murano shared, however, that the
College would like to tap into other new sectors as sources for future funding. To do so, the
University needs to address all three sectors in the countries they serve: government, non-profit,
and education.

Francisco Alcalá asked what the first steps would be to establish an avian influenza research
program in a country like Mexico. Murano replied that individuals are first sent to train the
necessary scientists, and to teach them how to equip their laboratories. Murano believes that this



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is a very important issue that must be addressed, and feels that Mexico would be an excellent
place for such a facility. Don Francisco asked whether it would be best to initiate discussions
with the government, non-profit, or university sector. Murano replied that making a contact with
the government would certainly be beneficial. In the past, however, the strongest contacts have
been with the private sector, as it is generally the most proactive. Engaging the university sector,
on the other hand, would help increase the sustainability of such an endeavor. Each sector would
have a role to play in establishing an avian flu research center.

Murano shared that the International Agriculture Office is constantly busy, and is always
working to find new opportunities. Therefore, Murano would like to expand the ability of this
office to respond to new opportunities.

Taft Symonds mentioned that multinational corporations should have a role in some of these
agriculture related projects. For example, Tyson should have a role in avian influenza research,
given the obvious interest they would have in preventing this disease from reaching the U.S.
Murano confirmed that these types of corporations are usually very helpful, because of their
substantial investment in the product.

Goodman thanked Dr. Murano for her hard work, the efforts of the College of Agriculture, and
the effect that they have on the world, expressing that Texas A&M is lucky to have Dean
Murano as part of its leadership.

Status Report on Meeting President Gates’ Challenges: Herb Goodman
Goodman reminded board members that Drs. Gates and Prior have asked the Board to provide
them with input and recommendations to address two issues: 1) Integrating international students
on campus and in the local community, and 2) Increasing international awareness of all Texas
A&M University students. Goodman asked Dr. Emily Ashworth to share the progress that has
been made on the recommendations submitted by the Board to Dr. Gates in the fall of 2004.

Dr. Ashworth shared the efforts that have been made to create a welcoming environment for
international students. The International Programs Office (IPO) has worked to create a campus-
wide support program for international students, which includes a new staff member in the
International Student Services office to facilitate campus outreach programs. Also, the key
concerns of international students have been actively addressed by IPO, the Office of Graduate
Studies, and Student Affairs. The orientation program for incoming international students has
been strengthened. Additionally, an international student advisor is always on call, twenty-four
hours a day. The IPO staff is also working to maintain the current level of international student
enrollment, and to build partnerships with the local community through such programs as
“Community of Respect”. Efforts are also being made to enhance international student
recruitment utilizing the international Aggie Network. Based on previous Board
recommendations to increase efforts to reach out to freshmen at Texas A&M, a dinner held on
the evening prior to the Board Meeting allowed International Board members to interact with
members of freshmen groups to encourage their participation in international experiences. IPO
is also working to engage more faculty members in international activities, possibly through the
development of a research-based Faculty Abroad Seminar. Based on the request of the Board,
efforts are also being made to create more opportunities for joint program activities between U.S.



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and international students. Dr. Ashworth asked Board members for their help in creating an
effective marketing campaign for international events on campus to promote the activities of
IPO. The Board was also asked to provide feedback on current programs, and to make
suggestions for future efforts.

Board Response:

•   Presidential Award of Excellence for Faculty Service to International Students: Herb
    Goodman and Executive Committee Members

Goodman announced that the Executive Committee of the Texas A&M University International
Board will give an award for the first time during this meeting of the International Board. This
award, entitled “Presidential Award of Excellence for Faculty Service to International Students,”
will be given to a faculty member for outstanding service to international students. Taft
Symonds, Pablo Marvin, and Dwain Mayfield were asked to share with the Board some details
of this prestigious award.

Taft Symonds spoke about the origins of this award, explaining the desire of the Board members
to recognize efforts made by faculty to involve international students on campus. After speaking
with President Gates, they received permission to create the award.

Pablo Marvin addressed the criteria for this award, which determine who will be selected as
finalists. The goal of this award was to encourage faculty to be more involved with international
students.

Taft Symonds explained the selection process, which was carried out through an anonymous
committee appointed by Dr. Ashworth. This committee provided the Executive Committee with
three finalists for the award, from which one winner was selected. However, the Board has
decided to recognize all three of these finalists tonight to express their appreciation for their
efforts to serve international students.

Goodman asked for other ideas from Board members of ways to energize the faculty. This
award is funded by the Executive Committee of the Board, and includes a $2,000 award for the
faculty member and an additional $1,000 to be designated to an effort on campus to increase
international student integration.

Ed Monto suggested that the award be expanded to increase the number of recipients that receive
this award. Dwain Mayfield also mentioned that the level of this award could be increased, as
the amount of the financial award is not significant based on current standards. Hilmar Zeissig
suggested allowing the recipient of the award to choose a study abroad program of his or her
choice in which to participate. The costs for this type of idea, however, would likely be
prohibitive. Nora Janjan mentioned that all of the finalists for this year’s award were full
professors with tenure who would have had more time to spend in service to international
students. The question, then, is how to involve professors at all levels, inspiring younger
professors to become involved with international students at an earlier stage in their careers.
Clearly, the amount of the award would be a greater incentive for this level of faculty. Goodman



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mentioned that the qualifications to receive tenure could include international experience. Tom
Turzak suggested identifying companies who would benefit from hiring students with an
international focus to fund these types of awards. A company could fund an award to a professor
within a specific related discipline for efforts to produce quality international students for their
company. Dr. Ashworth asked the board members to further consider this issue during the
board-only portion of the meeting.

Karen Kubena shared that the tenure process currently in place would discourage professors
from being involved in international activities, as they will not affect their promotion to tenure.
Therefore, there would have to be a change in the overall culture of the tenure process. This
would take a great effort by the Board to change this entrenched culture.

Pablo Marvin shared that if something really is going to be accomplished, it has to be included in
the evaluation process for the individual involved. This is the only way to get it done.

Lane Rees also mentioned the need to expand this award to include recognition of staff members.
This could encourage more individuals to become involved in international activities.

•   Discussion by Board Members addressing Dr. Gates’ Challenges: Herb Goodman and
    Executive Committee Members
    - Recruitment of sponsored international students
       At the previous Board meeting, Dr. Ashworth asked Board members for help in
       recruiting sponsored international students. She asked Board members to continue their
       assistance in identifying sponsorship opportunities for international students.

    -   Outreach to freshmen
        This initiative, which resulted in a dinner held the evening before the Board meeting that
        allowed International Board members to visit with freshmen, was another Board response
        to Dr. Gates’ Challenges. Goodman asked those board members who participated in the
        freshman dinner the night before to give feedback on the event. Mahmood Mushtaq said
        that he felt that it was a useful meeting, and was impressed by the interest of the students
        involved. Tom Turzak felt that this was an excellent, interesting event. Goodman
        suggested asking for feedback from the students who were involved with the event, to see
        what changes they would make. Klaus Aurisch mentioned the lack of historical
        knowledge of many students, and suggested that presenting some historical information
        to students in future programs would be helpful.

Campus Response for 2005:
• Status Report on the Extension of 2005: Year of the International Student initiative:
    Dean Bresciani, Vice President for Student Affairs
Goodman asked Dr. Dean Bresciani to address the progress of the Year of the International
Student initiative. Bresciani, shared the overwhelming success of the initiative, which has been
extended until May of 2006. This initiative was developed to inspire change in the campus
culture, which has, up until now, been very limited. Students at Texas A&M are largely unaware
that we have one of the largest international populations on our campus in the whole nation
according to the Open Doors Report. The goal is to bring attention to this, and make it part of


 2006 Spring Texas A&M University International Board Meeting                            Page 5 of 16
the Aggie culture. The high-profile fire in the University Apartments provided the inspiration
for this initiative to address the needs of international students. International travel
opportunities, services for international students, and opportunities for students to educate each
other were all funded as part of the initiative. The initiative sought to foster events that would be
sustained and recurring. In addition to student groups, academic colleges, departments, and
programs within those departments were all funded as well. In all, $55,000 was used to fund the
various proposals. International Week had a large turnout this year, in spite of other activities
taking place on campus at the same time. This shows great progress in the effort to change the
Aggie culture. The staff members of the Division of Student Affairs have addressed several
issues to improve the quality of life of international students, including introducing a shuttle to
and from the Houston airport, providing transportation to shopping locations in the local
community (through MSC FISH), participating in trainings in intercultural communication. The
University Police Department will begin to offer driving instruction for international students,
and there is a group of “surrogate” Aggie moms for international students. Over 170 staff
members participated in various cross-cultural communication trainings. They have also tried to
raise the consciousness level of staff members with regard to international issues. The focus is
now on how to continue the year of the international student initiatives in the future.

Nora Janjan asked about the integration of international students’ families, and how family
members receive health care. Bresciani responded that international students can get a family
plan for medical care through the University. Suzanne Droleskey said that the ISS office
provides information on how to access health care in the Bryan-College Station community.
They have also conducted training for healthcare providers on how to work with the international
community.

Bresciani shared that many efforts that were funded by this initiative have been able to find their
own funding to continue the programs that were started.

Status Report on International Programs Office Initiatives:
The International Programs Office has also taken the following steps in establishing new
programs to address these challenges:

   Community of Respect- Linda Edwards, Suzanne Droleskey, Panel of local community
   members
   Droleskey and Edwards had announced at the fall 2005 Board meeting that the Community
   of Respect proposal had been funded, and had several partners in the local community
   including: Texas A&M University, Blinn College, the City of Bryan, the City of College
   Station, and the B-CS Chamber of Commerce. This project, which aims to equip people with
   communication tools to interact with the international population, has made significant
   progress this year. By increasing communication skills, the program hopes to increase
   interaction and understanding between local citizens and international faculty, scholars, and
   visitors. Linda Edwards introduced a panel of community members who shared their
   experiences with the Board. The Community of Respect effort is sponsored by funds from
   NAFSA, which come from the federal government. However, each of the community
   partners has also contributed to this effort. The program has now trained 35 trainers, and has
   received many offers to expand it or include it permanently in some human resource



 2006 Spring Texas A&M University International Board Meeting                            Page 6 of 16
  programs. This program began with a leadership summit, and then proceeded to train the
  trainers who would be delivering this curriculum to the local community. The curriculum for
  the program is divided into three modules:
      1. What is culture?
      2. Our community mosaic, concepts that help decode cultural behavior
      3. Cultural crisscross- application of cross-cultural skills to real life situations.

  A leadership summit was held on January 30, 2006, that involved 200 community leaders.
  This summit discussed the needs to be addressed, obtained the buy-in of participants, and
  received feedback from participants that is now being analyzed. This program has been very
  flexible in meeting the needs of clientele. Each trainer has the flexibility to adjust the
  delivery mechanisms and timeframes based on his or her clientele’s needs. Therefore, each
  organization has ownership of the program. The program has, nevertheless, established
  learning outcomes that are consistent throughout all trainings. Feedback and adjustments to
  these programs will be shared as they are available. A trainer from Blinn College addressed
  the outcome of one training at Blinn, sharing that individuals felt that the training was
  valuable.

  Dwain Mayfield asked whether international students were used in the training. Suzanne
  Droleskey responded that groups of international students and U.S. students were trained
  together, and that there will be opportunities to imbed international students in further
  trainings. International students have also been used in some simulations.

  Tom Turzak asked whether an effort was made to define what makes an “American” and
  American culture. Edwards responded that they did try to categorize different countries
  according to their responses and beliefs in various situations. One panel member shared that
  one of the first activities for all participants involves drawing what culture means for them.
  This addresses the definition of culture for each participant. Another panel member
  mentioned that the training seeks to present both the visible behaviors of culture and the
  reasoning behind those behaviors.

  Rosy Saenz shared that, since the Community of Respect program was launched, many
  community members have responded favorably to requests by international organizations to
  be involved in campus activities. Saenz feels that this is evidence that the program is
  working.

  Nora Janjan asked what kind of follow-up is done with the trainers who are trained in the
  program. A number of follow-up sessions have been conducted with the trainers to give
  them additional feedback and tips on handling difficult situations. A final evaluation will be
  done 2-3 months after the initial training is given to assess how well the training is being
  implemented by those who participated. There is also a listserve for trainers, so that they can
  communicate with one another directly. In fact, many have chosen to conduct the training
  jointly. Pre- and post- evaluations are conducted after each training.




2006 Spring Texas A&M University International Board Meeting                         Page 7 of 16
  International Student Enrollment- Rick Giardino, Suzanne Droleskey
  Goodman invited Droleskey and Giardino to share with the Board members the efforts that
  are underway to increase recruitment of international graduate students. Suzanne shared that
  international student enrollment is declining overall. She shared a graph showing enrollment
  data for the past 23 years at Texas A&M. Ph.D. enrollment has flattened out, while masters
  students have decreased significantly. Undergraduate students have increased, due to the
  international students taken in during the Katrina aftermath. Sponsored students are the
  individuals who were most affected by the aftermath of September 11. The majority of
  sponsored students is, and will likely remain, in the engineering disciplines. Vi Cook handed
  out three graphs to Board members depicting applications and enrollment information for
  sponsored international students. Many applicants were not even acted upon, an internal
  problem which must be addressed. Giardino shared that the decentralized nature of the
  admissions process at Texas A&M has caused much of this to happen. Different departments
  handle applications differently, and if any time passes before international students are
  accepted, it will likely be too late.

  Dwain Mayfield asked whether or not there was a way to instill more discipline in the
  admissions process. Giardino responded that yes, this does need to be addressed. The
  University used to have a centralized graduate school, but it was dissolved.

  Cook shared with the Board that the number of international Fulbright students has increased.
  One such Fulbright opportunity is the Tsunami Relief effort.

  Overall enrollment is down because of the economy. A partnership has been developed with
  the government of Kazakhstan to offer students technical programs. This effort has brought
  more international students to the campus. The majority of sponsored students are interested
  in engineering. The vast majority of sponsored students are PhD students, though some new
  sponsored students from the Middle East are undergraduate students.

  Taft Symonds asked whether visa issues were involved in the inaction on so many
  international applications. Droleskey responded that this would not be a reason to not act on
  an application, as most of the hassles associated with visas are dealt with by the student, not
  the academic departments.

  David Preng asked about the acceptance rates for international students, and asked whether
  analyses of peer institutions has been done to see if other universities are having the same
  problems. A study of this nature has not been done, and Dr. Ashworth is unsure as to
  whether other institutions would share this data.

  Rick Smith pointed out that sponsored students who applied, but were not even contacted
  might give Texas A&M a bad reputation in their home countries.

  Nora Janjan mentioned that the sponsoring agency involved in each of these ignored
  applications should be identified, as these companies could also decide not to send any more
  students to Texas A&M if applications go unacknowledged.




2006 Spring Texas A&M University International Board Meeting                          Page 8 of 16
  Giardino addressed some of the challenges that the University faces in increasing
  international student enrollment. One of these challenges is that departments are charged
  with the effort to recruit international students. Some departments have done a wonderful
  job, while others do not recruit at all. He also shared the guiding principles of recruitment,
  mentioning that no one method can be applied to all countries or regions. Strategies must be
  flexible, and targeted recruitment efforts must be made to meet the needs of individual
  countries or industries. The needs of individual students are also being addressed, especially
  with the Tsunami Relief Fulbright students. One other important effort is the attempt to
  create dual degree programs with foreign universities, where students from both universities
  participate in exchanges.

  Pablo Marvin asked for an explanation of the decentralized nature of graduate programs and
  recruitment. Giardino explained that he has hired an individual who is dedicated to
  recruitment, and knows how to recruit students. Through this individual, Giardino seeks to
  assist the departments with recruitment, though it is still the responsibility of the individual
  departments on campus. Marvin again mentioned the need to place recruitment in the
  evaluation rubric for faculty members. Giardino responded that because of President Gates’
  interest in and emphasis on this topic, action will likely be taken.

  Central American Aggie Summit and Future Expansion of the International Aggie
  Network- Marty Holmes, Gabriel Carranza
  Marty Holmes expressed the desire of the Association of Former Students to increase the
  participation and involvement of international former students, both financially and through
  donating their time and talent. The Association is a partner with IPO in several initiatives.
  For example, the Association gives $20,000 to IPO to fund activities such as the International
  Student Welcome Party, I Camp, International Student Organizations, the Outstanding
  International Alumnus Award, and International Excellence Awards. They have also
  contributed to efforts to expand the international Aggie Network. The Central American
  Aggie Summit was one such effort that occurred recently. This summit sought to identify
  ways that Texas A&M and Central American Aggies can help each other. This sent a clear
  message to Central American former students that the University appreciates and desires
  their continued participation. It was agreed at the Summit that Texas A&M will work to help
  facilitate the admission process for future Central American Aggies, and will help to develop
  regional programs, research, and outreach programs. Central American Aggies can help
  Texas A&M with recruitment, regional programs, and by staying in touch with the
  University. One resource that has been established for Central American former students is
  access to virtual communities, which allow former students to communicate and stay in touch
  after graduation. Some of these communities will be limited to certain members, while
  others will be open to all students. The majority of all former students live in the state of
  Texas, most within 200 miles of College Station. Only 3% of former students live
  internationally. Holmes ended his presentation by sharing a video clip with board members
  which showed students, faculty, and staff thanking the Association for their involvement.

  Dwain Mayfield asked about the International Excellence Awards mentioned by Holmes.
  Dr. Ashworth responded that these awards are still in the proposal stage, and that IPO is in
  the process of asking the Association for funding for these awards.



2006 Spring Texas A&M University International Board Meeting                           Page 9 of 16
   Nora Janjan stressed that if the University hopes to be a world class institution, it must send
   more students abroad.

   Cultural Enhancement Programs: “Celebrating Arab Cultures” in Fall 2006- Linda
   Edwards, Susan Williamson, Rachid Baghdad
   In the spring of 2005, Texas A&M held its first Arab Week celebration. It is now in the
   process of planning for the 2006 Arab Week. Rachid Baghdad, of Sponsored Student
   Programs, shared with the Board members what is being planned for this celebration.
   Organizers seek to present a positive image of the Arab world. As Arab faculty, staff, and
   scholars, they want the community to know about them. Six work groups have been
   developed for the Fall celebration:
       • Cultural Display Committee
       • Website Committee
       • Promotion and Advertisement Committee
       • Cooking Committee
       • Speaker Committee
       • Presentation Committee (to make presentations in the local schools and community,
           which they hope to do throughout the year)

   Baghdad asked for suggestions, as they are still in the planning stages of the celebration.
   Philip Salem said that while it is good to show Arab culture, it is even more important to
   show the contributions of Arabic individuals to various academic fields throughout history,
   as this is largely unknown to the public. Salem offered to speak with Baghdad to make
   further suggestions. Mahmood Mushtaq recommended that someone speak on the Islamic
   religion, as there are many misconceptions on this issue. He suggested that a speech
   addressing the similarities between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism would be helpful. Herb
   Goodman mentioned that this would be an excellent time to highlight the Qatar campus, as it
   is trying to bring the two worlds together. Susan Williamson said that they will definitely
   use the Qatar campus as a resource, and students from Qatar will be involved in the planning
   process. Linda Edwards said that they will follow up to set up a meeting time for Salem and
   Mushtaq to meet with Baghdad. Francisco Alcalá suggested teaching the geography of the
   region. This was done last year, and could be done again. As soon as a date is chosen, the
   Board will be informed.

   Presidential Award of Excellence for Faculty Service to International Students
   During the Board dinner at Miramont Country Club, the Presidential Award of Excellence
   for Faculty Service to International Students was given for the first time. To show its
   appreciation for the efforts of this year’s finalists, the Board decided to recognize each of
   them during this ceremony. Dr. N.K. Anand, Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs in the
   College of Engineering and Professor and Associate Department Head in the Department of
   Mechanical Engineering, was recognized as a finalist, as was Dr. J. Lawrence Mitchell, a
   Professor in the Department of English. Dr. David A. Bessler was announced as the winner
   of this year’s Presidential Award of Excellence for Faculty Service to International Students.
   Dr. Bessler is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics.



2006 Spring Texas A&M University International Board Meeting                           Page 10 of 16
Friday, April 7, 2006

Status Reports and Updates on Research and Regionally Focused Programs:

Update on the Qatar Campus – Establishing Research Centers and Graduate Studies:
Richard Ewing, Rick Giardino
Susan Williamson shared an update on the Qatar campus with the Board members, presenting
statistics on the current student population. For fall 2006, there have been 738 applications. The
Qatar campus expects to admit 90 students and to enroll a class size of 65. Texas A&M at Qatar
will have 67 staff members and 47 faculty this fall. This year’s Student Leadership Exchange
Program between the Qatar and College Station campuses just concluded, and was very
successful.

Dr. Ewing spoke about the research initiatives taking place at the Qatar campus. The mission at
the Qatar campus is the same as at the College Station campus, encompassing the goals of
teaching, research, and outreach. Therefore, they hope to establish graduate and research
programs at the Qatar campus. Through research and outreach, Texas A&M hopes to be a
significant contributor to the future of the Qatar economy. A research roundtable was held on
the 14th of October, 2004, which brought together industrial, governmental, and academic leaders
to discuss and identify research needs and priorities for Qatar. Participants were able to identify
a large set of projects that were meaningful to the Qataris. They recognized the need for base-
level funding to establish a research infrastructure, and identified two priority areas: the Center
for Production and Utilization of Natural Resources, and the Center for Resource and
Environmental Sciences. They also discussed additional potential generic research support from
a Qatar National Research Foundation. The benefits of these centers are numerous: research
supports educational programs, builds the quality and reputation of the institution, will result in
world-class research facilities, will provide a national research agenda targeting areas of priority
concern, and will provide a workforce with skills to solve the complex problems facing Qatar.
The Qatar campus will not be able to attract top-quality professors without research facilities.
Faculty members will not go to the Qatar campus if they have to abandon their research projects.
Partnerships with the College Station campus will be essential in rapidly establishing these
centers. The Qatar Foundation will provide base funding for undergraduates, but funding for
graduates is still needed. Industry will help to obtain equipment for research, and will fund
specific, targeted research. The Center for Production and Utilization of Natural Resources will
work on petroleum and natural gas production and processing technologies, safety,
infrastructure, industrial emissions and pollution, and energy materials. The Center for Resource
and Environmental Sciences will work on management of water resources, air quality
management, coastal ocean health, ecological health and vulnerability, metrics of sustainability,
and the integration of science, technology, and public policy. As a result, Doha can be a key
resource for producing tomorrow’s workforce.

Rick Giardino spoke about the graduate studies initiative at the Qatar campus, which is currently
being developed. Graduate program offerings are moving forward, and go hand-in-hand with
research efforts. Because Qatar wants to manage its own petroleum resources, it wants to create
new educated leaders. The mission of the graduate programs at Qatar will be to prepare



2006 Spring Texas A&M University International Board Meeting                           Page 11 of 16
engineering students through teaching and research, to create and utilize knowledge and
technology, to enhance the undergraduate research-teaching focus, and to improve the quality of
life for the inhabitants of Qatar and the world. The desire is to have both faculty and students
achieving the highest levels of excellence in teaching and research. They will offer Masters of
Engineering and Masters of Science degrees. These masters degrees will not only benefit
existing students, but will also draw professionals from the government, industry, or academics.
Giardino shared a timeline for the implementation of these graduate programs, with the degree in
chemical engineering beginning as soon as 2007. He also shared with the Board that the
engineering building is tentatively scheduled to be opened on March 19, 2007.

Pablo Marvin asked whether the number of students projected would be sufficient to sustain the
research programs that are being developed. Giardino responded that they expect to attract even
more students from College Station and the Gulf region, and not only rely on current Qatari
students.

Hildegard Boucsein offered her congratulations for the efforts being made at the Qatar campus,
as she was just there in person and found that everything exceeded her expectations. She also
said that the University seemed to be very well thought of by the Qatari government. The
atmosphere was one of vigorous growth and development.

Hilmar Zeissig asked for funding details regarding how much Texas A&M pays for the Qatar
campus versus how much Qatar pays. Ewing explained that Texas A&M does not fund anything
at the Qatar campus. Qatar provides all of the necessary resources.

Taft Symonds asked about the “well of knowledge” fund, and how it is administered. Ewing
responded that these details are still being worked out. Ewing said that funds are being requested
that are independent of this fund.

With regard to liberal arts research, the Qatar campus has contacted the Texas A&M campus to
work with the College of Liberal Arts on issues of family and the integration of science,
technology, and public policy.

Ed Monto asked about K-12 education in Qatar. Ewing responded that Qatar is working to
revamp their K-12 education, and that TAMUQ is helping with this effort. The College of
Education at the College Station campus is working on these issues.

Salem shared his opinion that what Texas A&M is doing in Qatar is revolutionary and historical,
and very different from other U.S. institutions in the Middle East. He also feels that the
commitment to research will be very important, as education is the key to achieving peace.

Nora Janjan asked what other universities are located in Education City. Currently, Cornell has a
teaching hospital, Carnegie Mellon has a business school, and Georgetown is just now arriving.
Texas A&M is the only institution pushing a research agenda in Qatar.

Hildegard Boucsein shared that she feels that holding some type of meeting on the Qatar campus
for Board members, if possible, would be very eye-opening.



2006 Spring Texas A&M University International Board Meeting                         Page 12 of 16
China Initiatives:
• Report on China – U.S. Conference – Richard Ewing and Julie Barker
   Dr. Ewing gave a brief report on the results of the 2005 China-U.S. Conference in Beijing,
   which was an enormous success. In spite of difficulties faced while organizing such a large
   event in Beijing, the Conference went very well. Fifteen Research Roundtables brought
   faculty from China and the U.S. together for research collaborations across a variety of
   different disciplines. Sponsors included corporations, institutes, and organizations from both
   China and the U.S. Organizers are still seeking an endowment to ensure future funding.
   Another component of the conference which was very successful was the participation of
   Texas A&M students, who were included in the conference activities and in a televised
   forum with other university students. This was a life-changing experience for these students,
   and many of them came back to College Station eager to pursue other international activities.
   The next conference is planned to be held in mid-October in Washington DC, to try to obtain
   even more participation by high-level U.S. leaders and experts. Julie Barker thanked Ian
   Weber, a faculty member from the Department of Communication, for taking the student
   group to the 2005 China – U.S. Conference.

•   Future Direction of the Institute for Pacific Asia – Emily Ashworth and Randy Kluver
    Dr. Ashworth invited Dr. Randy Kluver to address the Board, and to share his plans for the
    Institute for Pacific Asia (IPA). Kluver will be moving to College Station to begin his job as
    Director on June 1, 2006. Kluver shared with the Board the origins of his interest in Asia,
    through the efforts of his family to sponsor Vietnamese refugees. He also shared his recent
    research activities in China and Singapore. Kluver feels that although Texas A&M has great
    initiatives in China, it is still largely unknown in Asia outside of the oil industry. As one of
    his main goals, Kluver hopes to increase the visibility of Texas A&M in Asia. He also plans
    to initiate several signature research projects, including one on information technology in
    China. He asked for future help and support for the board, and expressed his desire for their
    suggestions for the future of IPA.

Update on the Advisory Board of the Texas A&M University Center in Mexico: Francisco
Alcalá, Pablo Marvin, Taft Symonds, Gabriel Carranza
Don Francisco Alcalá addressed the Board to share the progress toward making a five year
business plan for the Texas A&M University Center in Mexico, based upon the dedication of
Texas A&M University to teaching, research, and public service. The most recent meeting of the
Mexico Center Advisory Board took place on March 22, 2006 in Mexico City. The Advisory
Board is made up of seven members. Alcalá reviewed the role of the Advisory Board, and the
Strategic Priorities and Areas of Focus. Alcalá highlighted the recommendations made at the
October 4, 2005 meeting:
    • The development of a business plan
    • The creation of a 5-year budget
    • The identification of priority areas
    • The creation of a new Faculty Abroad Seminar program for lead researchers
    • The formulation of a marketing strategy for the Mexico Center




2006 Spring Texas A&M University International Board Meeting                            Page 13 of 16
Progress towards fulfilling these recommendations was shared with the Advisory Board
members during the March meeting at the Mexico Center. A Business Plan has been developed
for the Center based on its mission to bring people from Mexico and Texas A&M together for
the generation, acquisition, and exchange of knowledge. In each of these areas, the Mexico
Center has decided upon the following priorities:
    • Research – become a Think Tank on bilateral issues
    • Education – become a resource for bilateral academic exchange
    • Outreach – become a center of excellence in continuing education

Dr. Ashworth expressed her appreciation to the Advisory Board of the Mexico Center for their
suggestions on improving the Business Plan. Also, significant steps that have been taken to
integrate the Mexico Center staff with staff members in the Office for Latin American Programs
to allow the two offices to work much more closely together.

Pablo Marvin mentioned the importance of international experiences for Texas A&M students,
and emphasized the importance of the southern border with Mexico in fulfilling this need.

Taft Symonds mentioned the need to expand the focus of the Center to include not only Mexico
City, but all of Mexico, especially through the Border Governor’s conference.

Ed Monto inquired as to the office of the State of Texas in Mexico. Dr. Carranza said that while
this office does exist, it has little interaction with the Center.

Nora Janjan mentioned the opportunity that might exist with including Bush School capstone
projects in the activities of the Center to develop its capacity as a Think Tank. This would be a
good issue for follow-up.

Dwain Mayfield suggested having someone from the Bush School speak on the capstone projects
at the next Board Meeting.

Giardino mentioned a pilot program in Mexico where two graduate courses from Texas A&M
are taught through TTVN and then hold seminar presentations that focus on border-related
issues.

Reynaldo Spinelli suggested using the Texas A&M campus in Laredo as a resource as well.

Pablo Marvin also mentioned the possibility for collaboration with the Bush School in the area of
the fast link railroad in Texas. This same railroad could be linked to Mexico, and the
possibilities of this could be explored through a joint effort by IPO and the Bush School.

Carranza mentioned that the Border Governors Conference is also looking to pursue research on
the issues of health and migration. Another important focus will be on water issues, where a
conference is already being planned called “Water Across the Border.”

Status Report on European Union Center of Excellence: Hildegard Boucsein, Hilmar Zeissig
and Dr. Johan Lembke


2006 Spring Texas A&M University International Board Meeting                          Page 14 of 16
Lembke reviewed the current activities of the European Union Center of Excellence in the areas
of campus service, outreach and public service, communication and publications, research and
scholarship, education and teaching, and funding and scholarship services. Many of these
activities deal with the overarching themes of climate change and society, shared security and
safety, and knowledge, economy, and innovation, which are all key areas of focus for the Center.
Texas A&M’s European Union Center of Excellence is the only such center in the southwest
United States, which puts it in a good location to reach out to several geographic areas, including
Mexico. Lembke mentioned the horizontal and vertical collaboration of the Center with various
colleges and departments on campus.

Hilmar Zeissig noted that a copy of Transatlantic Monthly was distributed to the Board Members
for their information. Zeissig is concerned that while many programs are being conducted
through the Center, not many people know. The marketing of the Center needs to be increased.
European activities throughout the campus need more publicity. An inventory of these activities
needs to be done and their methods shared so that they can be used as an example to initiate
other activities on campus. Zeissig also feels that the publication Transatlantic Monthly should
include more examples of European activities on campus.

Hildegard Boucsein complemented Lembke on what has been accomplished so far, and on
increasing the visibility of the Center. She reported that there has been a government change in
Berlin which could have potentially affected funding opportunities for the Center. However, the
transatlantic fund will be kept, but at a much smaller level. If the Center has a good proposal, it
might be funded, but the chance will be smaller. Boucsein would be happy to provide Lembke
with more European contacts for the Center. Finally, she also mentioned the importance of
engaging the Bush School in future activities.

Update on the Casa Verde Project: Guillermo Vasquez de Velasco, Dr. Gabriel Carranza
Dr. Vasquez de Velasco shared with the Board members the origins of the Casa Verde project.
Bill Soltis, a former student, approached Texas A&M with the idea of donating a 250 acre piece
of land in the Costa Rican rainforest to establish a permanent University presence there. The
objective of this donation is to save the forest, and to provide students and faculty with a
valuable resource for teaching and research. This facility would truly have no equal. In January,
a group of faculty and administrators went to visit the site to start surveying. More than 50
students have already been involved in this initiative from the Departments of Architecture,
Construction Science, and Civil Engineering. These students are working on designs for the
proposed facility. The students are assembled in multidisciplinary teams, which allows for more
collaboration. They have also worked with students from the University of Costa Rica.
Professors at this university have provided Texas A&M students with lectures via
teleconference. The Director of the Tropical Architecture program at the University of Costa
Rica gave individual attention to each Texas A&M student to critique his or her design.
Organizers hope to select two or three student teams to work on this project through the summer.
On May 8, there will be an exhibit of all projects that have been developed by students so far.
Board members are invited to attend and offer their opinions on which designs should be
pursued. Organizers hope to break ground at the Casa Verde site by the end of the year.

Study Abroad Initiative: Suzanne Droleskey



2006 Spring Texas A&M University International Board Meeting                           Page 15 of 16
Based on the Vision 2020 Goal which requires 100% access to international education, students
should be able to participate in experiences abroad while at Texas A&M. Droleskey shared data
from the past six years on Texas A&M students studying abroad. The number of students going
on non-credit trips has increased, as has the number of students going abroad independently and
transferring credits back. Faculty led programs have decreased, as they are more difficult to
promote because of salary and funding constraints. Four major strategies have been developed
to increase access to international experiences:
    1. Identify new faculty salary funding mechanisms for faculty led study abroad programs.
    2. Expand the program types to meet the wide variety of interests among the student
        population. For example, more programs are now available in Asia, and internship
        collaboration with the Career Center is underway.
    3. Expand outreach on campus, especially to freshmen. More efforts will also be made to
        integrate U.S. and international students. The exchanges with Qatar are an important part
        of this effort.
    4. Address barriers to participation, which include administrative difficulties, security
        concerns, international education myths, and financial needs.

The funding problem is one of the biggest problems which prohibit Texas A&M students from
studying abroad. Droleskey shared the current funding sources for studying abroad, which
include the International Education Fee, a fee charged to all students to offer scholarships for
study abroad.

Herb Goodman asked how the different types of exchange programs work. Droleskey explained
that reciprocal programs require a balance between students sent to and from partner institutions.
Students can spend a semester or a full year abroad, but they do have to have a language
capability to participate in these types of programs.

Rick Smith asked where the money that is collected is used. Droleskey explained that all money
is used for scholarships, some which are need-based, and some which are competitive. For
example, the International Education Fee can only be used for merit based scholarships.

Board Discussion on Future Directions:
Board members met alone to discuss and provide recommendations to Ashworth on international
program efforts at Texas A&M. The Board adjourned after a lunch with Texas A&M students
and faculty.



                                                        Next Board Meetings: October 19-20, 2006
                                                                               April 12-13, 2007




2006 Spring Texas A&M University International Board Meeting                          Page 16 of 16

								
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