University of Florida

International Center

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UFIC History

The UF International Center (UFIC) was formed in the Fall of 1991. The founding director of the Center was a faculty member whose position was half-time. At the time, the Center was located in Tigert Hall. As the office began to grow, it occupied some of the third floor of Tigert Hall and the Center's Office for Global Research Engagement unit moved around the campus (Walker Hall, UFF). The Director resigned in the fall of 1993 and an interim half time faculty director was subsequently appointed. It was almost two years before the position was permanently filled again. In 1995, the Center moved to Grinter Hall, a building that was closer to the middle of campus and therefore more accessible to students. However, there was not enough space there for all Center staff, so the Office for Global Research Engagement unit was located in Peabody Hall. The Center was finally moved to a renovated suite of offices in The Hub in March 2007, its current location. This more spacious and central location has enabled UFIC to position its entire array of resources into one building where students and faculty can more easily find them. Its proximity to a common area where students eat and study creates a comfortable, accessible, and highly visible environment for the Center's work and integration with the rest of the campus.

Although the focus of the Center has always been on internationalization of the campus, there have been periods of growth and alternating periods of relative stagnation in this goal under differential funding environments and campus leadership, whose commitment to the internationalization mission has varied. In 1992, for example, the entirety of the Center's core funding was state funds. There were about 300 study abroad participants per year and fees generated from this activity funded the study abroad unit operations within the Center. As study abroad grew, new staff were hired. In the 2008-2009 school year, the Center administered programs that sent more than 2,200 students abroad, documented and tracked more than 4500 international students, and provided administrative support for a sizable cohort of visiting scholars, non-U.S. born faculty, and J-1 visa holders. In addition, the Center garnered well over $2 million in program support funding from external sources.

UFIC Organization

UF has a long and distinguished tradition in international education and research in addition to a wide range of resources including faculty, staff and students with international interests. The International Center serves as an internal and external liaison for the University, providing a source of assistance to faculty, administrators and students and enhancing their ability to pursue and develop international activities and initiatives.

In 2010, the International Center consists of four main units: Exchange Visitor Services, International Student Services, Study Abroad Services, and Office for Global Research Engagement. Internal operations of the Center on a day-to-day basis are led by the Executive Director of UFIC. The Dean is responsible for all efforts and activities led by the Center and also has a principal obligation to connect the Center with external entities on campus and around the world. There is currently a total of 38 staff at UFIC, including 34 full-time positions and 4 OPS and student worker jobs.

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