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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

April 1, 2005

IES to become two units

by Anne Krapfl

The Study Abroad Center and the International Students and Scholars program will become separate units on July 1, under changes announced last week.

Under the new organization, the Study Abroad Center will report to the associate provost for academic programs (David Holger), and International Students and Scholars will report to the vice president for student affairs (Tom Hill) or his designate. The programs previously were under a broader "International Education Services" (IES) umbrella and reported dually to Hill and the (former) vice provost for undergraduate programs.

International Students and Scholars assists students, faculty and temporary scholars from foreign countries with issues such as immigration requirements and U.S. employment laws, as well as with cultural, social and financial concerns. The Study Abroad Center assists students who want to study, work or travel in another country.

About 1,200 ISU students studied abroad this year. By bringing that program exclusively under the provost umbrella, the intent is to strengthen connections with the academic colleges to expand study abroad opportunities for students.

All clients of the two programs should be better served by the change, said Terry Mason, director of the Student Counseling Service who also has served as interim director of IES since Dennis Peterson's retirement from Iowa State last June.

"We're stepping up our commitment to our international students, faculty and scholars, too," he said.

Plans to separate the two programs began almost a year ago when the provost office reorganized to reduce administrative costs in response to ongoing budget cuts. Mason, assistant provost Ellen Rasmussen and associate vice president for student affairs Todd Holcomb worked through the details of separating the services and budgets of the two programs.

"The decision last year to restructure how undergraduate programs are administered, our desire to eliminate a very complex dual reporting and budget system with ISS and the Study Abroad Center, and a leadership change made necessary by Dennis Peterson's retirement all led to this new organizational structure," Rasmussen said.

Both programs have been housed on the second floor of the Memorial Union Suite since the ISU Foundation moved off campus. They will remain in that location.

Searches to begin soon

Under the new structure, the IES director position is eliminated. The two assistant director positions -- to lead the Study Abroad and International Students and Scholars programs -- will be eliminated and replaced with director-level positions. Campus searches for those director positions will begin very soon, Mason said. Three support positions that have provided broad administrative support for the two combined units also will be eliminated.

Another four positions will be created: two adviser positions in International Students and Scholars to work directly with clients, and a financial management position in each unit. No additional state funds are needed to make the changes.

"By position numbers, it's a wash," Mason noted. "But we have trimmed administration in favor of program positions and better service."

For example, Mason said, international students who seek help from an adviser in the International Students and Scholars office currently might wait two weeks for a scheduled appointment, or three to four hours if they use the walk-in service. Two more adviser positions should eliminate waits like that, he said.


"By position numbers, it's a wash. But we have trimmed administration in favor of program positions and better service."

Terry Mason, IES interim director