Dr. Gresham, Cabinet outline changes to study abroad funding in special meeting

By Brad Crofford, Editor-in-chief

University president Loren Gresham outlined changes to the funding policy for study abroad at a a rare all-campus meeting on Thursday, April 18 in the Royce Brown auditorium. The meeting attracted sufficient students, faculty, and staff members to fill most of one half of the auditorium.

The Cabinet had previously made changes to the policy on March 11, but gave the issue further consideration at a meeting in early April.

In the April 18 meeting, Gresham elaborated on the following points:

  • “Institutionally and endowment funded aid may only be used for SNU-operated programs (Quetzal Education Research Center and the Morningstar Institute), CCCU-operated programs, or select sister school programs (Nazarene) as approved by administration.”

  • “Institutionally and endowment funded aid may only be used for one experience during a student’s academic career.”

  • “For students whose major requires a study abroad program, institutionally and endowment funded aid will be limited to $4,000 for CCCU and/or sister school programs. (International studies is the only program that has this requirement at present.)”

  • “For students whose major does NOT require a study abroad program, institutionally and endowment funded aid will be limited to $2,500 for CCCU and/or sister school programs.”

  • “Other programs desiring “study abroad required” status must be approved through Academic Council and the administrative team.”

  • “Institutionally funded aid includes both university funded financial aid and tuition remission for faculty and staff offspring.”

  • “For Fall 2013, students who have applied and been admitted into the study abroad program by April 1 will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine whether family and personal need merit additional funding.”

After describing these outlined points, Gresham and members of the Cabinet responded to questions from those in attendance. [Editor’s note: a news story in next week’s issue will provide more information as to this question/answer time and responses to the meeting.]

The original changes from March had been controversial. For example,  some students wrote an open letter and garnered signatures from interested parties to submit to the members of the Cabinet. (Disclosure: I also wrote a letter about these policies to the Cabinet and engaged in email discussion with them.)

Commenting on The Echo’s website in response to its original article from March 27, freshman Grace Williams said, “Study abroad was an important consideration in my college choice. I felt that SNU really supported study abroad in it’s advertising and at multiple recruiting events where they told me my scholarships would transfer. I was extremely close to attending John Brown University in AK [editor’s note: John Brown University is in Arkansas] which also transfers study abroad scholarships. My choice would have been much easier if John Brown had not offered study abroad scholarships because that would’ve been a deal breaker for me.”

The topic also garnered much discussion at previous meetings of the recently-formed Campus Conversations Club. This club will be having meetings on April 18 and April 25 at 9 pm in the Flinner Room.

What do you think about these changes? Add your comment below.