Internationalization at Cornell


President David Skorton (2006-2015)

In 2012, then-president David Skorton issued a white paper, "Bringing Cornell to the World and the World to Cornell," to launch a process of internationalization designed to make Cornell a top 10 global university.

The white paper was followed by a faculty task force that offered more than two dozen recommendations to enhance the university’s already extensive international activities, and to address areas where Cornell was underperforming compared with its peers.

The university's strategy now focuses on five key areas:

  • internationalizing the student experience by expanding opportunities and developing new courses; 
  • supporting internationally engaged faculty by strengthening the Einaudi Center and its programs and recruiting and retaining faculty, in part through a new fellowship program; 
  • cultivating new international partnerships and exploring the possibility of creating "Cornell consulates" – study centers or regional hubs – in a select number of world cities; and
  • mobilizing funding for internationalization by generating new endowments, and forming internal and external advisory councils to enhance coordination.

An Internationalization Council, comprised of leaders from each college and school, was formed to advance Cornell’s global dimension across its campuses and worldwide by addressing organizational barriers to internationalization. An external advisory council was also created to offer strategic advice and to work on expanding options for student internships abroad.

Several symposiums have sought to advance Cornell's internationalization. The symposium in 2011 was an opportunity to celebrate the Einaudi Center's achievements in its first 50 years, reflect on the changing role of international studies in the American research university, and consider how best to chart a course for the future.

In 2014, a symposium on "meaningful international experiences" helped to improve the university's collective thinking on globally oriented learning goals, different types of international experiences, and pre- and post-departure programs. It was also an opportunity to “raise the bar” by critically reviewing Cornell's approaches and learning from others.

In 2015, the internationalization symposium focused on integrating international experiences into the curriculum. It included more than 180 participants from across campus and three outstanding colleagues in the field of international education: Lynn C. Anderson, Academic Director, Cultural and Educational Programs Abroad (CEPA) Foundation; Harvey Charles, Vice Provost for International Initiatives and Director for International Education of the Northern Arizona University; and Hillary Landorf, Director of the Office of Global Learning Initiatives, Florida International University.