The University of Iowa supports meaningful formal relationships with foreign universities and institutions. When they work optimally, such relationships bring a wide range of educational benefits, such as enabling both sides’ faculty and students to study and conduct research abroad. International Programs has developed this central resource to support UI units that seek to establish meaningful institution-to-institution relationships for the benefit of University of Iowa students, staff, and faculty.
Get answers to common questions regarding the process to establish international agreements between the University of Iowa and an outside entity.
A special note regarding student exchanges: Undergraduate or graduate student exchange may not be included in a general Memorandum of Understanding, because such exchanges obligate resources. Student exchanges must be detailed in a separate, negotiated contract document.
It is very important that each new formal agreement be entered into with the utmost seriousness and care. Individuals who are not currently employed by the University of Iowa may not initiate or be designated as the primary contact for a MOU. The associate provost and dean of International Programs and the UI president must sign each new MOU and renewal. Other signatories, including deans and DEOs, may also be included.
In initiating any new linkage agreement, UI faculty, staff, and administrators are asked to first carefully consider the following questions. As a general rule, if any of the following elements is lacking, an MOU should not be signed:
- A history of cooperation with the proposed partner institution and/or a compelling case for developing a new, formal relationship.
- Strong potential for mutual benefit:
- What relevant strengths does the proposed partner institution bring to the linkage?
- What benefits will this bring to the UI currently or in the future?
- Who are the UI faculty, staff and/or students who will benefit from this linkage?
- Compliance with legal restrictions and University regulations:
- Do all elements of the agreement comply with U.S. federal law (including immigration, export/import, and other regulations) and with the laws of the government of the proposed partner institution?
- Do all elements of the agreement comply with the rules and regulations of both institutions?
- Secured financial and infrastructure support, as necessary:
- What type of UI financial support has already been pledged or secured?
- What will be the source of this support?
- What type of support, if any, will the proposed partner institution provide during the term of the agreement?
- In addition to any financial support, what arrangements are in place for other forms of support such as office space, clerical assistance, or faculty course leave?
- Identified on-site coordinators or contact persons at each institution:
- What individual at each institution will be responsible for coordinating the activities that comprise the relationship, e.g., initiating publicity, communicating information to the partner institution, etc?
- Stated support from all colleges, departments, and programs explicitly implicated in the agreement.
- A plan for regular program evaluation and renewal.
- How will the linkage be evaluated prior to the renewal of the agreement?
- What will the criteria be for a successful linkage?
UI faculty who would like to initiate a new Memorandum of Understanding for the UI must first complete the “Memorandum of Understanding Proposal Form” which must be sent to the associate provost and dean of International Programs for review/approval before proceeding.
For information regarding UI policies in regards to engaging in research with international collaborators, please see the UI Division of Sponsored Programs' International Engagement website.
For more information on international partnerships, contact:
Administrative Services Specialist
1111 University Capitol Centre