Global Programs Advisory Committee (GPAC) Fall 2019 Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, September 13, 2019


Anis Bouselmi, Allen Davis, Henry Fadamiro, Valentina Hartarska, Tung-shi Huang, Wayde Morse, Russell Muntifering, Alicia Powers, Kelly Pippin, Mollie Smith, Yi Wang, Yifen Wang, Stanley Windham, Amy Wright


Yifen Wang called the meeting to order at 11:10 a.m.

New member introduction: Anis Bouselmi (ACES), Russell Muntifering (ANSC) and Yi Wang (BSEN)

Stanley Windham retired as of July 31, 2019. He attended his last GPAC and was issued a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of his contribution from 2014 – 2019.


Study Abroad:

Amy Wright announced several major changes on the College of Agriculture Fellowship:

  • Students can only receive the Study Abroad Fellowship once during their academic career at Auburn University
  • Fellowship application due dates for the reviews are October 5 and February 5 only (previously had three review times)
  • The study abroad program must be led by a faculty and offer at least one credit hour
  • The total amount of available funding has decreased significantly
  • The College of Agriculture can no longer award students directly, everything needs to go through the Office of University Scholarships and follow their protocols

Wayde Morse (Forestry) did a short presentation about The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) – a regional center dedicated to research and graduate education in agriculture, and the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Morse would like a faculty group to visit CATIE in November 2019 to explore opportunities in research collaborations and study abroad.

Faculty Abroad:

The College of Agriculture Dean’s Office continues to support faculty travel abroad for research, education and outreach activities. The college assembled two faculty delegation groups to travel to Cuba and Honduras this year. Several faculty also received funding support to present their papers during international conferences. The amount of support is based on the nature of the international activities. Please email Kelly Pippin at kzp0025@auburn.eduif you would like to request travel support from the college.

3+2/3+1 Programs; College-level general MOU(s):

Refer to OGP’s Spring 2019 report (online) to find recently signed/renewed MOUs.

Working groups:

The Cuba working group still maintains their level of activity and exposure in Cuba and to their Cuban collaborators. A faculty group recently traveled to Cuba to attend the SISA 2019 conference during which the college expressed its strong will to maintain academic collaborations and tried to find ways to make travel and visa easier for both sides.

The college’s collaboration with Zamorano University (Honduras) has been strengthened by time. Zamorano’s internship programs approves to be a win-win collaborative model for some Ag departments and industries.

The college also put efforts into re-activating its Latin American working group by assembling two faculty delegations to travel to Earth University (Costa Rica) and CATIE (Costa Rica).

Comments/updates from members:

Chair Yifen Wang presented the history of GPAC to new members and shared an International Metrix report with the audience.

New member Anis Bouselmi mentioned that he’s always had some connections with Tunisia and Morocco and comments that these two countries would also like to have collaborations with the U.S. Stanley Windham also comments that Tunisia is about the size of the state of Georgia, yet it has four Ecosystems operations, which could be something that we want to explore.

Allen Davis commented that it appears that Auburn University is currently not at a very strong place in terms of international ranking, however, the criteria to evaluate the rankings may not be suitable for AU’s current situation. He is interested to know where we can find out how we, as a College of Agriculture, are doing comparing with other Ag colleges.