international Educational partnerships

The University at Albany’s International Education Leadership Expert Series presents a module with Dr. David Di Maria that explores critical issues pertaining to higher education partnerships within an international context.


Offered Periodically


Registration Fee: $399

About the module

International higher education partnerships play an important role in global engagement strategies. Senior level administrators and international office staff are tasked with identifying institutional partners, developing goals, negotiating agreements, and determining the success of related programs and activities.

This course is suitable for international educators at all levels, with participants developing individual writing projects that reflect their personal and professional needs and priorities. Topics include methods for identifying and vetting international partners, cross-cultural negotiation, contract management, diplomatic protocol and more.

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?

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

Who Should Attend?

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

Who Should Attend?

Senior international officers and upper level higher education administrators working with other university stakeholders.

Expert Series Presenter

Dr. David L. Di Maria

Dr. David L. Di Maria is Senior International Officer & Associate Vice Provost for International Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Prior to joining UMBC, he served as Associate Provost for International Programs at Montana State University, Director of International Programs and Services at Kent State University and Assistant Director of International Student and Scholar Services at St. Cloud State University. He is also a former President of the American International Recruitment Council and Chair of NAFSA’s International Education Leadership Knowledge Community. Dr. Di Maria regularly presents, publishes and consults globally on critical issues in international education. His most recent book is Achieving More with Less: Lean Management in the International Student Office. Dr. Di Maria earned a doctorate from the University of Minnesota, where he focused his research on campus services for international students.

  • Participants will receive a set of resources tailored to the course, both readings and workbook materials

Pre-course task: Participants will describe their motivation for taking this course and an international higher education administrative process they wish to improve in terms of workflow and efficiency.


  1. Explain common models for structuring strategic international partnerships. Strategic international partnerships are more than simple collaborations between individuals in one or more country. We will discuss strategic goals for establishing international partnerships, the most common models by which they are structured and the type of agreement most appropriate for each model.
  1. Identify and evaluate prospective international partners. We will discuss strategies for identifying and vetting prospective international partners. Case studies and resources from the professional literature will be shared to assist students in the development of an international partnership rubric.
  1. Describe key elements of contracts as pertain to international partnerships. Differences in culture, language and law often make the development and execution of international contracts a challenge for attorneys and international educators alike. Additionally, clauses referencing indemnification, mediation and choice of law may prove to be non-starters for some institutions. We will explore when a contract is needed and what elements to consider based on the type of activity proposed. Finally, we will examine key considerations international education leaders should make at each stage of the contract life-cycle.
  1. Develop protocol for leading and hosting international delegations. We will explore basic concepts related to international and diplomatic protocol as relates to leading campus delegations abroad and hosting international delegations on campus. Such concepts include cultural considerations for meetings, gift giving and display of flags in international settings. Additionally, we will examine the impact of culture on negotiation. By applying this knowledge to various critical incidents, learners will demonstrate an ability to inform an institution’s global engagement strategies.
  1. Track and report on international activities. The ability to track and report on international activities is essential for assessing the success of individual partnerships as well as an institution’s overall strategy for global engagement. Additionally, increased concern about undue foreign influence and the failure of higher education institutions to comply with Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 has led to several high-profile federal investigations into international partnerships at colleges and universities. We will discuss these emerging challenges and review tools for tracking and reporting on international activities.
  • Before Session 1: Participants will read American Council on Education’s International Partnerships, Part 1: Definitions and Dimensions.
  • Before Session 2: Participants will read American Council on Education’s International Partnerships, Part 3: A Hub and Spokes – Configuring Campus Stakeholders for Partnerships Success. Review and reflect on two case studies highlighting the role partnerships play in global engagement strategies.
  • Before Session 3:Participants will read American Council on Education’s International Partnerships, Part 4: From Strategy to Implementation – Launching and Managing Individual Partnerships.
  • Mid-Course Assignment: Review the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and develop a proposed international partnership that would support one or more goals.
  • Before Session 4: Read pages 12-14 and 17-23 of the U.S. Department of State’s Protocol for the Modern Diplomat.
  • Before Session 5: Read University Actions to Address Concerns about Security Threats and Undue Foreign Government Influence on Campus. Review the U.S. Department of Education’s resource page on Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and conduct a search for foreign gifts and contracts awarded to an institution at which you have worked or studied. Be prepared to present your findings.
  • Final Assignment: Develop an international partnership rubric.

Expert Series Design structure

Participants will receive 7.5 hours of synchronous sessions with the instructor and up to 7.5 hours of asynchronous sessions completing individual and small-group assignments. The synchronous sessions will include the following 5 meetings of 90 minutes each via Zoom (UAlbany).

Synchronous Sessions:

  • TBD
  • TBD
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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.

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1400 Washington Ave
Albany, NY, 12222

+01 (518) 442-5080

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