Report and recommendations from the CALS international priorities committee

The CALS international priorities committee was asked to provide recommendations regarding the future of CALS international activities, in particular what the mission, administrative structure and resources for a successful international program would be. The committee completed their work and submitted a report, with recommendations, to the CALS dean’s office in June.

The following is an overview of the committee’s findings:

  • Based on its research, the committee believes that renewed investment in international activities will produce excellence in CALS scholarship and teaching, advance the College’s strategic planning goals, have a significant impact on our stakeholders, and generate a substantial return on investment. We believe this can be accomplished by providing catalysts for and facilitation of international activities while creating coordination of and efficiencies in the College’s international efforts.
  • As the result of its investigations, the committee believes that achieving these successes will require a single-purpose entity with the authority and the resources to catalyze, facilitate and coordinate major international activities by CALS faculty, staff and students.
  • Comparisons with other campus units and with comparable Colleges of Agriculture at peer universities suggest strongly that the most appropriate and effective structure for such an entity is a faculty-run leadership unit within CALS.
  • The committee’s investigations lead it to two clear conclusions regarding international work in CALS: First, that without a faculty-led, single-purpose unit for international programming the College will be unable to reach the threshold level of coordination and expertise required to win large international research and training grants such as those recently awarded to our peer institutions (USAID Feed the Future Labs, Gates Foundation, World Bank, and similar). Second, that the intellectual, educational and financial benefits of such a unit will amply reward the investment of creating it and launching it.

The full report is available here.

The committee welcomes comments and feedback on the direction and priorities for international activities in the College. Feedback can be sent to Ian Coxhead at or Laura Van Toll at, or shared via this qualtrics form.

The international priorities committee members are Caitilyn Allen, Marianne Bird Bear, Lori DePrete Brown, Ian Coxhead (chair), James Davis, Randall Dunham, Jon Roll and Michel Wattiaux.