Data-Driven Decision Making in International Education


The University at Albany’s International Education Leadership Expert Series presents a module with Dr. Yusuf Joseph Ugras focusing on the use of financial and quantitative data to make better informed institutional decisions, drawing upon examples from international education operations and programs.


Offered Periodically


Registration Fee: $399

About the module

This course focuses on decision making in the international education environment. During the course we will examine financial as well as qualitative data that an international education leader would need for the decisions being considered including risks that need to be considered in each decision. We will examine international education scenarios and explore the type of data that would be needed to arrive to a decision.

Some of the decisions international education leaders face relate to: international site operations and branch campuses, evaluation of program abroad continuation or elimination, special pricing and incentives for a partner institution, outsourcing of the services including using agents for international recruitment. In addition to financial and qualitative factors, the course will relate ethical issues to the decisions.

Successful participants will receive a digital micro-credential acknowledging their completion of this professional development expert module from the International Education Management & Leadership Program at the University at Albany (SUNY).

Who Should Attend?

Senior international officers

Who Should Attend?

Upper-level international administrators tasked with working with other internal university stakeholders (such as provost, deans, department chairs, administrators of other departments such as student affairs and admissions)

Who Should Attend?

Leaders of different component offices (study abroad, international student and scholar services, international admissions, international research, international alumni relations and development) who report to the SIO

Who Should Attend?

Middle managers within international offices

Who Should Attend?

Early-career international educators

Who Should Attend?

International office spokespeople or employees tasked with communicating to outside constituencies, including the media, elected officials, and the general public

Who Should Attend?

Academics with international-education expertise who seek to more effectively discuss their research with practitioners and the public

Expert Series Presenter

Dr. Yusuf Joseph Ugras

Dr. Ugras is a leader in International Education. He brings over 30 years of academic experience that includes academic leadership as well as teaching and research in Accounting, Finance and International Business Strategy. His academic leadership started with leading a very large MBA program at La Salle University that evolved into leadership of the School of Business. He then served as the first Associate Provost for International Education at La Salle University. As Associate Provost he provided leadership to international education policy at the university and chaired the International Education Team for campus wide effort to internationalize the university. He has held elected and appointed board positions at American Institute of Recruitment Council (AIRC) and University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). Dr. Ugras regularly presents and consults on International Education issues nationally and internationally. His recent international seminars took place in China, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey, and Vietnam. Most recently, he was invited to speak at Shanghai University in China, Galatasaray University in Istanbul, Turkey and at Moscow State University, in Russia. Dr. Ugras is currently an Associate Professor at La Salle University in Philadelphia, U.S.A. He also has a strong background in corporate training. His research interests are Strategic Decision Making, Business Ethics, Educational Programming and Leadership. He holds a Ph.D. in Accounting from Temple University. He has recently completed Value Investing Certificate and holds a Certified Management Accounting (CMA) certificate.

We will be utilizing the following open access site for learning the decision making content:

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Able to identify factors to include in decision making in international education decisions.
    1. Prepare contribution margin analysis.
    2. Calculate the financial impact of the decisons being considered.
    3. Evaluate the qualitative factors in each decision.
    4. Assess risks in each decision being considered including black swan event possibilities and how to plan for them
  2. Recommend decisions based on analytical data and supporting methodologies.
    1. Evaluate data for decisions such as adding/dropping an international site, adding/discontinuing a program abroad, special pricing for customized program for a partner institution, outsourcing some of the services including using agents for international recruitment.


Decision Analysis Scenarios – Four Written Analyses due in weeks 2-5

During the class we will analyze 4 international education decisions. The decisions will be related to the content being considered for that week. For each decision, the students are expected to submit a PDF document that includes the following components:

  1. Description of the problem.
  2. Assumptions for the decision.
  3. Data needed for the decision.
  4. Quantitative analysis process for the decision analysis.
  5. Qualitative factors to be considered for the analysis.
  6. Risks in the decision and approaches for mitigating for the risks.

Each PDF document is to be submitted by Sunday (end of day EST).

Expert Series Design structure

Participants will receive 7.5 hours of synchronous sessions with the instructor. The synchronous sessions will include the following 5 meetings of 1.5 hours each via Zoom (UAlbany).

Synchronous Sessions:

  • TBD
  • TBD
  • TBD
  • TBD
  • TBD

Instructions for connecting to synchronous sessions and accessing the online material will be provided after registration.

Registration Fee: $399

15% Discount on registration for SUNY employees.

Reach Us

1400 Washington Ave
Albany, NY, 12222

+01 (518) 442-5080

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