The mission of CALS International Programs is to facilitate and expand international activities among CALS faculty, staff and students.
The College’s international activities reflect the following underlying premises:
- CALS expertise can help address some of the most pressing issues facing the world today and tomorrow.
- CALS expertise can help poor people in poor countries
- International involvement can make faculty and staff careers more productive and more personally rewarding.
- CALS international activities can help the Wisconsin and U.S. economies.
- We have an obligation to educate our students about the world outside the United States.
CALS IP office seeks to facilitate the utilization of its core missions of research, education, and outreach to develop academic partnerships that effect positive change in the world. CALS IP is working to develop programs that contain elements of these overlapping areas, with learning, discovery and engagement informing and strengthening our efforts.
Today, significant international involvement is found in nearly all the CALS departments. Many faculty conduct collaborative research with international colleagues and the college has been called the “most international college on campus” because of the high number of graduate students from abroad. New opportunities continue to evolve in countries like China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, India, Japan, Mali, Mexico and other parts of Central America, Thailand, Uganda and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
CALS IP works with national and international organizations to help influence funding streams through US government and non-governmental organizations as well as potential international partners including other institutions of higher education and international research and developmental organizations. The IP office also plays a role in pushing for a larger international agenda for all land-grant institutions through participation on national boards and seeking a greater international focus through partnerships with U.S. government agencies such as USDA, USAID, NSF, and other U.S. government agencies as well as working to connect our efforts with both the private and public non-governmental organization network. We fully acknowledge that national and international connections are vital to the development of collaborations that work.
Wisconsin and campus relations are also an important for CALS IP. It is essential that CALS be a part of the larger Wisconsin and UW-Madison campus international efforts. Consequently, CALS IP supports the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Relations (DATCP) International Division in their work to expand international trade focused on Wisconsin products and at the campus level, CALS IP engages with the International Division and CALS administration and its Board of Visitors to make sure that programmatic efforts are not duplicated and/or that the unique nature of CALS work is understood at the larger campus level. This work is also through the CALS International Committee, which advises and gives guidance to CALS IP in all of its work. These efforts also include working with and helping to keep informed our department chairs and the larger CALS faculty, staff and student communities of the international opportunities that exist for their engaging in research, teaching and outreach work around the world.
The CALS International Programs office continues to plays different roles in different activities, working with faculty and staff to identify international research opportunities, helping to write proposals for funding, developing institutional linkages, and sometimes just cheering from the sidelines.
Finally, while the primary responsibilities for the undergraduate experience is administered out of the CALS Office of Academic Affairs, CALS IP believes that missions of research, teaching and outreach cannot and should not be separated and each can build off of each other, so we believe we have a lot to contribute to the undergraduate experience through the development and support of study abroad and international internship opportunities that come out of the research and outreach collaborations of our faculty and staff. We do this by working with faculty and staff who are interested in expanding their research and outreach activities to areas outside of the U.S. and then working with them to explore ways to include undergraduate and graduate students in their work.