International Inter-Institutional Agreement                     UPPS No. 02.01.02

Policy and Procedures                                                       Issue No. 3

Effective Date: 10/14/2013

Review: April 1 E5Y

Attachments I, II, III, IV

 

 

01.       Policy StatemenTS

 

01.01  The purpose of this UPPS is to provide guidelines for the creation and maintenance of international partnership agreements and associated documentation. Texas State University periodically receives opportunities to interact with universities, governments, and non-governmental organizations outside the United States. Texas State is committed to the efficient and detailed development of these opportunities and partnerships to ensure that they support the mission, shared values, and strategic plan of Texas State, which is overseen by The Texas State University System Board of Regents. In addition, Texas State strives to ensure that incoming as well as outgoing clients receive equitable treatment, are placed in a safe environment in which to pursue their educational goals, and that sufficient funds are in place to support each partnership.

 

01.02  All international agreements must adhere to all applicable federal and state laws, policies of Texas State, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and SACS, federal export control regulations, and other regulations as applicable in specific cases. This is to limit Texas State from incurring unplanned costs and unforeseen liability. Therefore, agreements are only valid if they conform to this policy.

 

02.       Definitions

 

02.01  A faculty exchange agreement (FEA) occurs when one or more faculty from Texas State travel to an entity outside the United States, while representatives from the international entity come to Texas State to participate in activities outlined in an international agreement. The faculty exchange may or may not occur concurrently or financially commit either institution. The FEA is a specific type of international agreement.

 

02.02  An international agreement (IA) is a specific commitment to pursue a predetermined activity or set of activities with identified resources. An IA shall include program-specific agreements, language training programs, international field research, and any agreement that commits the university to exchange faculty, staff, and students or to any financial obligation with an institution or entity outside the United States.

 

02.03  A memorandum of understanding (MOU) is a general preliminary document to establish that each party is prepared to develop collaborative activities related to student or faculty exchange, research, or instruction between cooperating institutions. An MOU must involve at least one Texas State department as the university representative and may provide an avenue for future collaboration through an IA. An MOU does not necessarily commit either party to a specific activity or funding. MOUs often precede, but are not required to precede, international agreements.

 

02.04  A reciprocal exchange agreement (REA) occurs when one or more students from Texas State attend classes at an international host university while students from the same university come to Texas State (the receiving institution) to attend classes. Students pay tuition and fees at their home institution. The student exchange may or may not occur concurrently, but must maintain a balance of incoming and outgoing students. A reciprocal exchange agreement is a specific type of international agreement.

           

02.05  An international entity is any governmental agency, non-governmental organization, higher learning institution, for-profit entity, or non-profit entity located outside of the United States.

 

02.06  A university representative (sometimes referred to as the academic program director or APD in student exchange agreements) develops and manages an MOU or IA; establishes that sufficient time, funding, and other resources are available; and identifies and maintains contact with the international entity.

 

Types of International Partnership Documents

Names

Definitions

 

Faculty Exchange Agreement (FEA)

Occurs when one or more faculty from Texas State travel to an entity outside the United States, while representatives from the international entity come to Texas State to participate in activities outlined. The faculty exchange may or may not occur concurrently and may or may not include reciprocal financial arrangements.

International Agreement (IA)

A specific commitment to pursue a predetermined activity or set of activities with identified resources. An IA shall include program-specific agreements, language training programs, international field research, and any agreement that commits the university to exchange faculty, staff, and students or to any financial obligation with an institution or entity outside the United States.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

A preliminary document to establish that each party is prepared to develop collaborative activities related to student or faculty exchange, research, or instruction between cooperating institutions. An MOU must involve at least one Texas State department and may provide an avenue for future collaboration through an international agreement.

Reciprocal Exchange Agreement (REA)

An agreement in which participating institutions agree to send and receive students by a negotiated method of charging and collecting tuition and fees and maintaining an equitable balance between incoming and outgoing students.

 

03.       RATIONALE FOR AGREEMENT

 

03.01 Texas State’s international engagement activities operate at many levels throughout the university. While some activities are implemented without formal agreements, the effectiveness and sustainability of international activities is enhanced through an MOU or IA.

 

03.02 Before initiating a new MOU or IA, consideration should be given to the following elements:

 

            a. alignment with university’s strategic plan;

 

            b. potential for mutual benefit;

 

            c. current or past efforts with the international entity;

 

d. stated support and plan for continuity from departments involved in the

    agreement;

 

e. health, safety, financial, and legal restrictions associated with the

    international program or location; and

 

f.  potential export control regulations under which certain types of information, technologies, and commodities can be transmitted, both within the United States and abroad.

 

03.03 After these elements have been considered, the university representative may proceed to negotiate a draft MOU or IA in consultation with the representative’s supervisor and the International Office. Consultation with the Office of Study Abroad is required when proposed agreements involve reciprocal student exchange. Attachment I provides a flow chart for this protocol.

 

04.       PROCEDURES FOR INITIATING AN MOU

 

04.01  An international entity’s representative or a Texas State faculty member, staff, or administrator (university representative) may initiate an MOU. Prior to any negotiations with regard to a proposed MOU, the representative should discuss the concept with his or her supervisor regarding interest in, benefit and sustainability of the proposed relationship.

 

04.02  The MOU initiator begins the approval process by completing the International Inter-Institutional MOU Checklist, Attachment II, and routing the itemized list as indicated. Should the international entity provide a draft MOU or a document that constitutes an MOU, the MOU initiator should attach it to the checklist.

 

04.03  The Texas State MOU initiator should prepare the MOU in English and in the language of the international entity, if required by that entity. MOUs that originate from another institution where English is not the language of record must have a corresponding English language version.

 

04.04  The International Office will provide a template for use in creating a Texas State MOU.

 

04.05  MOUs should contain specific language that addresses the length of the proposed collaboration and indicate the terms for extending or terminating the MOU.

 

04.06  MOUs written in another language are acceptable if both parties sign the corresponding English version. An English translation must accompany the other language versions to ensure both contain identical details. Translation is the responsibility of the initiating department or office and may increase the time required for the approval process.

 

04.07  Because MOUs initiated from international institutions vary in form and international spellings and grammar from those most common in the United States, Texas State will accept such MOUs as long as both institutions understand the intended meaning.

 

04.08  The director of the International Office, the department head, the college dean, the dean of the Graduate College if graduate studies are involved, the director of undergraduate admissions as appropriate, the assistant vice president for research, the associate vice president for academic affairs, the system general counsel, and the provost and vice president for academic affairs, must review and indicate their concurrence with the MOU before it will be forwarded to the president for approval.

 

04.09  After signing the MOU, the Office of the President will return two sets of originals to the International Office via the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

 

04.10 The International Office will file the originals to be retained by Texas State and send the appropriate originals to the university representative and the international entity in paper or electronic formats, as specified by the MOUs.

 

05.       Procedures for INITIATING AN International Agreement

 

05.01 Activities and programs stemming from IAs require a significant commitment of faculty and staff time and resources. Before initiating an IA, it is critical that sufficient interest, support and infrastructure are in place to ensure sustainability.

 

05.02  A representative of an international entity or a Texas State faculty member, staff, or administrator may initiate an IA. Prior to any negotiations, the person responsible for initiating the IA at Texas State should discuss the concept with his or her supervisor regarding interest in and potential benefit of the proposed relationship.

 

05.03  If the IA involves the reciprocal exchange of students, the initiator of the IA should consult with the Office of Study Abroad for current guidelines regarding the development of REAs. All new exchange partners are vetted through a comprehensive checklist provided by the Office of Study Abroad. Where appropriate, the initiator should also consult with the appropriate admissions office and other offices at Texas State to insure that admissions policies and procedures are recognized and included in the development of the IA.

 

05.04  Approval is sought by completing the International Inter-Institutional Agreement Checklist, Attachment III. Route the completed checklist as indicated, with the copy of the IA attached, prior to making firm commitments to the proposed partner.

 

05.05  REAs should address the following points:

           

a.   Admission requirements, including current standing at home institution (GPA, year and class level) and language requirements;

 

b.   Enrollment status expected at Texas State (undergraduate, graduate, non-degree, visiting, post-bacc, TSIE, Bridge);

 

c.   Student selection process;

 

d.   Academic credit (undergraduate, graduate, maximum, transfer to degree program);

 

e.   Texas State classes of specific interest, if any;

 

f.    Tuition policy;

 

g.   Grade equivalents; and

 

h.   Plan to ensure a balance between incoming and outgoing students.

 

05.06  All IAs, including FEAs and REAs, should contain each party’s responsibilities, including:

 

a.   the number of students involved in the program from each entity;

 

b.   the number of faculty (include the names and positions, if known) involved in the program for each entity;

 

c.   the activities each entity will perform;

 

d.   the location of the activities;

 

e.   insurance requirements, such as medical and liability;

 

f.    housing and living expense arrangements; and

 

g.   immigration requirements.

 

05.07  IAs should contain specific language that addresses the length of the proposed activities and indicate the terms for extending or terminating the IA.

 

05.08  The International Office will provide a template for use in creating a Texas State IA.

 

05.09  The Texas State IA initiator should prepare the agreement in English and in the language of the international entity, if required by that entity. IAs that originate from another institution must have a corresponding English language version. Prepare two original IAs in English and two in the international entity’s language. Translation is the responsibility of the initiating department or office and may increase the time required for the approval process.

 

05.10  Because IA formats initiated from international institutions vary in form, spelling, and grammar from those most common in the United States, Texas State will accept such IAs as long as both institutions understand the intended meaning of the IA.

 

05.11  The IA initiator must refer to and follow UPPS No. 03.04.06, Non-Resident Aliens – Honorarium and Contracted Services Payments, when providing compensation or reimbursement in any form to an international person.

 

05.12  The director of the International Office, the director of Study Abroad (for REAs), the department head, the college dean, the dean of the Graduate College if graduate studies are involved, the director of undergraduate admissions as appropriate, the assistant vice president for Research, the associate vice president for Academic Affairs, the associate general counsel and the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, must review and indicate their concurrence with the IA before it will be forwarded to the president for approval.

 

05.13  After signing the IA, the Office of the President will return two sets of originals to the International Office via the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

 

05.14  The International Office will retain all Texas State originals and send the appropriate corresponding originals to the university representative or international entity in paper or electronic formats.

 

06.       PROCEDURES FOR INITIATING AN ADDENDUM TO AN EXISTING MOU OR IA

 

06.01  If an MOU or IA already exists with a proposed international entity, the university representative should determine whether the current agreement encompasses the proposed activities. If not, the representative should seek guidance from the International Office. If the existing MOU or IA includes or covers the new initiative, the university representative should complete and submit a Request for Additional Action Form, Attachment IV to the International Office. If not, the university representative will develop a new MOU or IA as described in this policy.

 

06.02  The department head, the academic dean, the dean of the Graduate College, the director of the International Office, the director of Study Abroad (REAs only) the associate vice president for Academic Affairs, the assistant vice president for Research, the associate general counsel, the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs must approve all addendums to the IA. The university representative should ensure all addendums are in English or accompanied by an English version. Addendums should contain at a minimum, the following:

 

a.   Terms of the supplement and a reference to the original MOU or IA;

 

b.   An annual budget, including the sources of funding for all planned activities and expenses;

 

c.   The activities that each party performs;

 

d.   Expiration date of the supplement; and

 

e.   Intellectual property agreements, if applicable.

 

07.       PROCEDURES FOR EXTENDING OR TERMINATING AN MOU OR IA

 

07.01  Extending the Duration of Current MOU or IA

 

a.   The International Office will notify the respective Texas State representative at least one year prior to the IA end date or in accordance with the terms of the MOU or IA, whichever is longer.

 

b.   The appropriate university representative for the MOU or IA should complete and submit a Request for Additional Action Form, Attachment IV to the International Office at least six months before the expiration date.

 

c.   If necessary, the director of the International Office will request a meeting with the appropriate offices, university representative and others associated with the MOU or IA to discuss the activity to date.

 

d.   After receiving documentation to support the extension of the MOU or IA, the International Office will circulate the renewal draft.

 

e.   The university representative must provide evidence to support the extension of the MOU or IA or the agreement may be terminated in accordance with Section 07.02.

 

07.02  Terminating a Current MOU or IA

 

a.    The termination notice should follow the terms of the MOU or IA.

 

b.    The appropriate department representative or university representative for the MOU or IA should complete and submit a Request for Additional Action Form, Attachment IV to the International Office at least one year prior to the expiration date.

 

c.   After receiving documented evidence to support termination, the International Office will forward a letter, approved by the associate vice president for Academic Affairs, to the corresponding office at the international entity.

 

.08.      REVEWERS OF THIS UPPS

 

            08.01  Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

 

Position                                                         Date

 

Associate Vice President for                      April 1 E5Y

Academic Affairs

 

Director, International Office                      April 1 E5Y

 

Director, Study Abroad Office                    April 1 E5Y

 

Chair and Professor, Department of        April 1 E5Y

Modern Languages

 

Dean, Graduate College                            April 1 E5Y   

                                                                       

Director, Office of Undergraduate             April 1 E5Y

Admissions

                                                                                   

Vice President for Finance and                April 1 E5Y

Support Services

 

Assistant Vice President for Research    April 1 E5Y

and Federal Relations

 

TSUS Office of the General Counsel      April 1 E5Y

 

09.       CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

 

This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

 

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; senior reviewer of this UPPS

 

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

 

President