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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Int’l Affairs Executive Summary

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Executive Summary


The International Affairs Unit aspires to foster global citizenship across our diverse campus, community and world.

Mission Statement

The Kearney International Center promotes and supports global awareness, intercultural understanding, and individual sensitivity and appreciation of the diversity of life, culture and intellectual pursuits. In support of Minnesota State University, Mankato's mission to break down barriers, create solutions and achieve great things. The Kearney International Center recruits, orients, serves, and engages U.S. and international students and scholars in the following ways:

  • The Kearney International Center promotes and supports global awareness, intercultural understanding, and individual sensitivity to the diversity of life, culture and intellectual pursuits. In support of Minnesota State University, Mankato’s mission to break down barriers, create solutions and achieve great things, the Kearney International Center: Recruits, orients, serves, and engages U.S. and international students and scholars
  • Manages global partnerships and programs
  • Shares expertise to support faculty and staff in collaboration with other academic departments and campus offices to further University internationalization efforts;
  • Facilitates cultural programming for students, scholars, campus, and community;
  • Advocates within the University and community on behalf of our student and scholar population;
  • Provides advising and immigration services;
  • Administers and expands endowment resources;
  • Conducts ongoing assessment to improve programs and services.

International Affairs

The International Affairs unit was created in the summer of 2013, following the Provost’s appointment of an Interim Dean of International Affairs; it subsumes the Elizabeth and Wynn Kearney International Center and the international programs and services provided by the Center’s staff. International Affairs is responsible for planning, coordinating, and delivering the principal aspects of the University’s international education efforts, including international student recruitment and enrollment, study abroad and international student exchanges, international partnership initiatives, faculty exchange opportunities, international travel, and related international endeavors, in alignment with the University’s commitment to promote global solutions, embody quality and excellence, and increase student success.

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)

The International Student Office was founded in 1972, although international students had been finding their way to the University long before the office existed. The University received its initial immigration designation in 1948 and is now certified through the Department of Homeland Security, Student Exchange Visitor Program and must submit reports through the Student Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). In 2007, the office was renamed International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and co-located with the International Programs Office in the Elizabeth and Wynn Kearney International Center. The staff serves more than 900 international students and scholars through a variety of Department of State approved exchange and visa programs.

International Programs Office (IPO)

The International Programs Office was founded in 1999 and is responsible for developing and sustaining the University’s international partnerships and for education abroad promotion, implementation, and risk management. In 2007, the IPO was co-located with ISSS in the newly established Elizabeth and Wynn Kearney International Center. The staff coordinates the delivery of 30 University sponsored, faculty-led, study programs and coordinates the study abroad experiences of approximately 300 students annually.

Intensive English Language Institute (IELI)

The IELI was established in the fall of 2011 through a collaborative arrangement that included the College of University Extended Education, College of Arts and Humanities, and the Kearney International Center. In October 2013, the IELI was integrated into International Affairs and is now located in the Kearney International Center. The IELI offers students who require additional English language training provisional admission to the University; students participate in English language and regular university-level courses as well as cultural activities. Upon completion of the IELI program and after satisfying the University’s language proficiency requirement, an IELI student becomes a regular student. In addition to the IELI bridge program, the staff designs and delivers specialized English language training programs based on the specific needs of sponsoring agencies and various institutional partners. At present, the staff serves approximately 35 students per semester.

The Process and Parameters of the International Affairs Strategic Plan

The International Affairs Strategic Plan is the product of a collaborative, inclusive process that involved the Kearney Center staff, key campus stakeholders, and the broader campus community. The effort began in the summer of 2013 with the staff’s development of a vision and a mission statement. In the fall, staff members examined key provisions of Charting the Future, the University Strategic Priorities [2010-2015], and the Provost’s goals of improving student recruitment, retention, engagement, and success. Then working in inter-unit teams, the staff members drafted goals, objectives, and action plans that were aligned with one or more of the Chancellor’s, President’s, and Provost’s priorities and integrated the results into a planning template. In subsequent meetings, the staff members discussed, refined and further developed the objectives, actions, and timelines associated with the strategic plan as well as collected baseline data for key objectives. Upon completion of a comprehensive set of objectives, the staff evaluated and selected the most pressing priorities for inclusion in the draft document shared with key campus stakeholder groups and the rest of the campus community. The staff has proposed an ambitious set of goals, objectives, and action plans that are aligned with both institutional and system priorities and implementation of the International Affairs Strategic Plan over the next five years will contribute to achieving a new level of greatness for the University. The web-based version of the draft plan, including the objectives, action plans, rationale, and the employees responsible for leading particular aspects of the plan, can be accessed at the following link:

Aims And Goals

Aim I: to achieving University enrollment, diversity and global perspective goals.

Goal a. Increase the number of participants served by the Kearney International Center.

Goal b. Contribute to the achievement of global perspectives, competencies, and solutions across the University community.

Aim II: the impact of the unit through increased collaboration, communication and assessment.

Goal a. Collaborate and communicate effectively with current and prospective Kearney International Center stakeholders.

Goal b. Develop and conduct ongoing, formal assessment activities.

Aim III: our constituents by maintaining and applying our unique professional expertise.

Goal a. Ensure compliance with federal, state, MnSCU, and University requirements in matters pertaining to visas, immigration status, risk management, programming and personnel.

Goal b. Develop the resources to meet the demand for Kearney International Center services and programs.


  1. Strategic plan development timeline
  2. IPO
    • a. Education abroad participation
    • b. International partnerships
    • c. International exchange enrollment
  3. ISSS
    • a. International student enrollment
    • b. Sponsored student enrollment
    • c. International student retention
  4. IELI
    • a. Bridge program enrollment
    • b. Sponsored program enrollment
    • c. IELI matriculation to MSU