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From the Presidents Office

Building a global learning community

May 9, 2016

To: University of the Pacific Community
From:  Pamela A. Eibeck, President
Re: Building a Global Learning Community

More than ever in today's increasingly global economy, institutions of higher education must prepare students to thrive in an international workforce.

University of the Pacific's strategic plan, Pacific 2020, and the Strategic Enrollment Plan, which was approved by the Board of Regents last Friday, both recognize the value to our students of living and studying side by side with classmates from other cultures, languages and geographic regions. Such experiences allow students to develop important cultural skills and gain a more global perspective, advantages that will serve them throughout their lives and careers.

To this end, and following robust conversations throughout the university with faculty, staff and our leadership, we are embarking on an international student initiative that will create a more global, diverse community, advance Pacific's mission and elevate the university's reputation worldwide. Our new initiative will bring our number of international students to between 14 and 17 percent, in line with our peer institutions.

A few days ago, with Board of Regents approval, the university signed a contract to partner with Shorelight Education, an organization that matches international students with appropriate universities and offers wrap-around support to help ensure every student experiences successful academic and social acculturation. Shorelight's charge is to recruit and educate individuals who will flourish as Pacific students and future alumni.

We expect the first new international students will join us through direct admission to our degree programs this fall. Moving forward, the most qualified students will have the opportunity for direct admission, while students with strong subject matter expertise but in need of English language development to reach proficiency will enter the International Accelerator Program (IAP), a 6- to 18-month English preparation and acculturation program. These students will matriculate into university degree programs if they successfully complete the IAP and meet admission progression standards set by Pacific. More information about this new partnership is available in this frequently asked questions (FAQ) document (log-in may be required).

While innovative, our international student initiative is firmly rooted in our history and values. Pacific was the nation's first institution of higher education to send an entire class to an overseas campus. We were the first to establish a Spanish-speaking inter-American college, Elbert Covell College, which taught classes in Spanish and drew half its students from Latin America. Another pioneering college, Callison College, offered a year of study in an Asian culture. Although these cluster colleges were absorbed into the rest of the university decades ago, their emphasis on global education lives on in the School of International Studies, founded as the first university-based undergraduate school of its kind in California.

My sincerest thanks to Provost Maria Pallavicini, Vice Provost J. Michael Thompson, Vice President of Business and Finance Ken Mullen, Associate Vice President of Business and Finance Ron Ellison, Chief of Staff to the Provost Jared Gaynor, the Academic Council leadership, and the many faculty, staff and administrators who worked diligently and tirelessly on the Strategic Enrollment Plan and the Shorelight agreement. I hope you will join me in celebrating this exciting new step toward our Pacific 2020 vision, and help to welcome the newest international members of our Pacific family.

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