Agreements with international institutions are legal contracts that must be approved by specific administrative departments as well as signed by the Office of the Board of Trustees (University President or Secretary of the Board of Trustees):
- academic unit head and the dean of the college or school initiating the agreement
- Global Carolina
- Office of the Provost
- Office of General Counsel (legal)
ACAF 2.06 International Academic Agreements describes the types of possible agreements and establishes the protocol for approval
of a new agreement or review of an existing agreement. Global Carolina, under the
Office of the Provost oversees the development of university agreements with international
Developing an Agreement Step-by-Step
- The department or academic unit interested in entering into an international agreement
contacts the Global Carolina Business Office regarding possible international collaboration.
Following a preliminary discussion, a draft agreement is prepared by the department.
The only exception is if Global Carolina refers a department interested in developing
an undergraduate student exchange agreement directly to the Study Abroad Office for discussion.
Global Carolina has sample agreements that cover common types of collaborations. In some cases, the international partner already will have prepared a draft agreement. In those cases, the department and the Global Carolina Business Office work together to edit the partner’s draft agreement.
- Once a draft agreement has been written, Global Carolina identifies the internal stakeholders
that must review the agreement and works with those stakeholders to draft a final
version agreement that complies with applicable university regulations. The internal
stakeholders that may be asked to review a draft agreement are:
- Provost’s Office (Director of Academic Programs): agreements that create a dual degree or other program that must be approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) or the SC Commission on Higher Education (CHE).
- Graduate School: agreements that relate to the admission of international graduate students or the granting of a graduate degree.
- Graduate Council: agreements that create a dual degree or other graduate program that must be published in the Graduate Bulletin.
- Undergraduate Admissions: agreements that relate to the articulation of transfer credit or the direct enrollment of students in undergraduate programs.
- Faculty Senate: agreements that create a dual degree or other undergraduate program that must be published in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
- International Student Services: agreements that might be in conflict with U.S. immigration law.
- International Support for Faculty and Staff: agreements that involve the hosting of international visiting faculty and scholars.
- Study Abroad Office: reciprocal exchange agreements not developed initially by the Study Abroad Office.
- Once a final version agreement has been agreed to by the department and the international partner, the department should prepare the following documents:
- The head of the department initiating the agreement should sign the Contract Approval
Form under "Certification of Requesting Party" and the dean (or designee) should sign
under "Certification of Department Head."
- The college agreement coordinator should submit the agreement for approval as a legal
contract by submitting the above mentioned documents electronically within the Global
Carolina database. Please contact the Global Carolina Business Office (firstname.lastname@example.org or call 803-777-3503) to find out the college's agreement coordinator or for instructions.
- Once signed by the president or secretary of the Board of Trustees, the agreement
returns to the Global Carolina Business Office, which notifies the department that
the agreement is ready to be sent to the international partner either for the partner’s
signature or as a fully executed agreement. The department is responsible for sending
the agreement to the partner.
- If the agreement has not yet been signed by the international partner, the sender
of the agreement should attach a cover letter to notify the partner to have the agreement
signed and then returned to the sender.
- When the agreement is returned by the international partner, the department needs
to notify the Global Carolina Business Office and hand deliver one original copy of
the signed agreement to the Global Carolina Business Office.
- Global Carolina will send one original copy of the signed agreement to the Office
of General Counsel to be finalized and will send an electronic copy of the signed
agreement to relevant internal stakeholders.
- Global Carolina updates all records relating to the contract and catalogs the agreement.
Agreements Related to Academic Programs or Degrees
Agreements with international institutions related to new or existing academic programs or degrees must follow the steps above plus also be submitted through the faculty governance review process as outlined in university policy ACAF 2.00 Creation and Revision of Academic Programs. In some cases, the activity covered by the international academic agreement will also need CHE and SACS approval prior to implementation.
Navigating the faculty governance review process is the responsibility of the department initiating the agreement. Global Carolina oversees the agreement development process and provides consultation with respect to the faculty governance process.
Tracking an Agreement in Development
Throughout the international academic agreement development process, the department's agreement coordinator can track the progress of the agreement via the Global Carolina database.