By: Katherine Sumner, IEP Campus Coordinator

It’s no secret that public university staffing processes are a tad… shall we say… lengthy. Candidate searches, interviews, committee meetings, salary negotiations, and onboarding add up quickly both in time and university resources. One IEP campus faced this challenge when its 3-person Study Abroad Office suddenly experienced 100% turnover at the end of Spring semester. With Fall semester rapidly approaching and no suitable candidate in sight, this small, public, liberal arts college turned to IEP to fill its vacant Director position. In a matter of weeks, IEP was contracted by the college, surveyed its needs, and got to work.

In addition to managing basic Study Abroad Office responsibilities (application management, assisting on-campus international students, providing International Student Orientation and Pre-Departure Orientation), the IEP Campus Director quickly discovered additional essential duties. Utilizing IEP’s expertise and resources, the Campus Director collaborated with faculty, other campus offices (Registrar, Financial Aid, Advancement, etc.), Deans, and the Provost to accomplish the following:

  • Policy development for Faculty Led Programs, College Scholarship distribution, etc.
  • Developing Standard Operating Procedures for all office policies (Study Abroad Applications, Faculty Led Program Development, International Student Services, etc.)
  • Office Budget Management, Study Abroad Program Budget Management
  • Scholarship Advising (Fulbright, Critical Language Scholarship and campus scholarships)
  • HR- Office Staff Evaluations
  • Emergency Response/Crisis Management for current students abroad and international students on campus
  • Visa Advising for F-1 and J-1 students and scholars
  • University obligations/Campus Collaboration – Serving on campus committees, collaborating with other departments to develop programs (ex. Career Services’ international internships), contributing to Faculty and Staff meetings
  • Faculty-Led Programs Development
  • Communication with exchange partners and provider partners (renewals, updated pricing, etc) – Study Abroad Office website/program updates and management – dates, pricing, content, etc.
  • Organizing Vaccination Travel Clinic for students studying in tropical and remote locations
  • Implementing a lead management system for student advising
  • Terra Dotta Management
  • Creating Internal Program Guides for all college study abroad programs (the “nitty gritty” details and quirks of each program and its application)

And that was just the Fall semester!

Needless to say, this IEP campus definitely benefitted from trying an alternative to the standard candidate search. Much like hiring a contractor for food services, groundskeeping, or campus safety, IEP brings field-specific expertise and resources to fulfill a specific campus community need: study abroad. IEP Campus Directors and Coordinators integrate with a college’s infrastructure, serving its student, staff, faculty, and administration needs, without straining its HR, marketing, and other resources. So the next time your institution needs to fill a vacancy in its Study Abroad Office, give us a call first!

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IEP is a consultant organization focusing on U.S. University Education Abroad and International Student Services offices. For over a decade IEP has assisted U.S. Universities in the development, oversight and general direction setting of their International Offices. Interested in learning more? Contact our Executive Director, Scott Tayloe – scott@iepabroad.org