Exploring U-M’s Opportunities Around the World


International Committees

The U-M supports a number of faculty/staff committees that guide and support our global engagement work.

Council on Global Engagement

The members of the Council on Global Engagement are nominated by their respective Deans and Directors and appointed by the Provost’s Office.  The 2020-2022 chair of the Council is Dr. Judith Pennywell, Director of the International Center in the Division of Student Life, jpenneyw@umich.edu.

About the Council

Global engagement is core to the educational mission of the University of Michigan. The scope and excellence of our international learning opportunities are U-M differentiators and we are dedicated to helping all of our students experience the wider world through academic and co-curricular programs abroad.  Equally important is the cultural and intellectual diversity that our international students and scholars bring to the U-M campus.  The U-M continually seeks new ways to both expand education abroad capacity and to create a campus culture that helps students from all backgrounds learn from one another.  The Council on Global Engagement (CGE) helps the University build greater cohesion, innovation and quality in these efforts.

The CGE grew from a Study Abroad Council convened in 2008 by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.  The Council was founded at the request of our undergraduate deans, who identified two keys areas of need: 1. to increase U-M student participation in education abroad, and 2. to increase coordination and administrative efficiencies among academic units sponsoring these experiences for our students.

The group took its current name in 2009, reflecting the growing diversity of its membership.  CGE members are appointed by their respective Deans and include both faculty and professional staff with decision-making authority for education abroad (both academic and co-curricular/undergraduate and graduate levels), on-campus programs with a global emphasis, and support for incoming international students and scholars.  The Global Engagement Team manages the Council on behalf of the Provost and also appoints the Council Chair, who may be a faculty or staff member and serves a three-year term.

CGE members participate in monthly meetings and represent their units in the following efforts:

  • Provide expert advice to campus leadership on strategic initiatives for international education.
  • Identify common challenges to global engagement and develop solutions that meet the needs of our diverse campus community.
  • Submit recommendations to the Provost’s Office that build U-M education abroad capacity, facilitate a welcoming climate for incoming students and scholars, and increase collaboration and administrative efficiencies across campus.
  • Provide feedback on university policies and business processes related to education abroad.
  • Share standards of excellence in program development, management, and travel health and safety.

While CGE membership is by appointment only, the Provost’s Office Global Engagement Team maintains a broader M-Community group for international education announcements, events and information sharing: IE-announce@umich.edu.  Any U-M faculty and staff are welcome to join this M-Community group.  Please contact Asinda Sirignano to be added to the IE-announce list: asirigna@umich.edu.

International Education Network

The International Education Network is a community of practitioners open to all U-M faculty and staff who work on international programs: education abroad, international student and scholar services, or global academic programs.  Members range from faculty advisors for international programs to professional advising staff to global librarians and English as a Second Language instructors.

The Network meets once per month to share best practices and ideas.  The M-Community group for the Network is: ie-announce@umich.edu (“international education-announce”).  This address can be used to share announcements about relevant events, student opportunities, and professional resources.  U-M faculty and staff can contact Asinda Sirignano (asirigna@umich.edu) in the Provost’s Office to be added to the Network list and may access the Network’s webpage here.

International Travel Oversight Committee

ITOC provides guidance and policy recommendations regarding the health, safety and security of U-M faculty, staff and students who travel outside of the United States. The Provost’s Office Chief International Safety Officer chairs the ITOC. The Provost’s Office appoints members who serve three-year terms.

Current ITOC Members and Term End Dates:  

  1. Patrick Morgan, Chief International Safety Officer, Office of the Provost (ITOC Chair, morganpt@umich.edu)
  2. Amy Conger, Managing Director of the Center for Global Health Equity, Michigan Medicine (2023)
  3. Aline Cotel, Arthur F. Thurnau Associate Professor Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Faculty Advisor for International Programs in Engineering (2023)
  4. Chip Hartke, Risk Analyst Lead, Risk Management (2022)
  5. Francisco Javier López, Director, Officer of International Affairs at U-M Dearborn (2022)
  6. Judith Pennywell, Director, International Center (2021)
  7. David Marthaler, Strategic Intelligence Coordinator, Department of Public Safety and Security (2022)
  8. Sarah Pattison, Associate Director for Global Engagement U-M Flint (2023)
  9. Rachel Reuter, Senior International Health & Safety Advisor, College of Literature, Science & the Arts (2023)
  10. Jason Shellhaas, Physician, University Health Service (2021)
  11. Adam Simon, Arthur F Thurnau Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences within the College of Literature, Science and the Arts and the School for Environment & Sustainability (2022)
  12. Asinda Sirignano, Global Engagement Project Manager, Office of the Provost (Standing Member)
  13. Gretchen Spreitzer, Keith E. and Valerie J. Alessi Professor of Business and the Associate Dean for Engaged Learning & Professional Development within the Ross School of Business  (2022)
  14. Ayesha Usmani, International Travel Safety Coordinator, Office of the Provost, (Standing Member)
  15. CAPT Rick Vanden Heuvel, Director of Research Development in the College of Engineering and retired US Navy (2022)

Key ITOC Roles:

Advising: ITOC members offer feedback to the Provost’s Office regarding campus health and safety resources; U-M policies related to international travel; U-M communications regarding health, safety, and security risks; and emergency assistance during events that affect multiple U-M units.

Risk Assessment: ITOC members monitor countries that have higher levels of risk and make recommendations to the Provost’s Office regarding University Travel Warning and Restriction destinations. The committee meets at least once per year to discuss health, safety, and security trends in international destinations, potential changes to Travel Warning/Restriction list. The ITOC also reviews U-M Travel Warning and Restriction destinations on an iterative basis using a variety of sources, including: US Department of State Travel Advisories, CDC Travel Notices, other non-U.S. government advisories, and U-M’s assistance provider’s risk ratings.  

Travel Plan Review: The ITOC reviews safety plans for individual and group travel.  The committee communicates iteratively to review plans and meets once per year to review the process. The current Travel Plan review process is as follows:

  1. The travel registers travel in the U-M Travel Registry and is notified of the Safety Plan requirement.
  2. The traveler or a program leader completes the  INDIVIDUAL Safety Plan or GROUP Safety Plan in M-Compass.
  3. The Chief International Safety Officer receives a Safety Plan from the traveler or program leader via M-Compass and conducts an initial assessment.
  4. The Chief International Safety Officer sends the completed Safety Plan to the ITOC for review.
  5. ITOC members assess the Safety Plan and send any concerns or questions within 48 hours of receipt. Plans are shared with the UHS representative only in cases where infectious diseases are a concern.
  6. Acting as the Provost’s Office designee, the Chief International Safety Officer weighs input and makes a decision regarding travel.

  • 60+

    More than 60 languages are offered at U-M

  • No.4

    U-M ranked 4th in the nation in the number of U.S. students studying abroad for the 2018-2019 academic year