The University of Iowa

Linkages & Partnerships

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Types of agreements may include (but are not restricted to) student exchange, non-reciprocal study abroad programs, faculty/­scholar/staff exchanges, research collaboration, materials exchanges (such as library materials), training and technical assistance, dual and joint degree programs, and admissions articulation agreements.  In each case, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) should be signed before, or at the same time as, other, more specific agreements are processed. The General MOU serves as a foundation upon which specific programs are built. The establishment of a General MOU also allows for more expedi­tious processing of specific agreements, in the form of addenda to the MOU.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 in order to support UI units that seek to establish meaningful institution-to-institution relationships for the benefit of University of Iowa students, staff, and faculty. 

Because a MOU is a binding, legal contract, 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.    

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.

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:

  1. A history of cooperation between the two proposed partner institutions and a compelling case for developing a new relationship;
  2. Strong potential for mutual benefit;
  3. Compliance with legal restrictions and University regulations;
  4. Secured financial and infrastructure support (as necessary);
  5. Identified on-site coordinators or contact persons at each institution;
  6. Stated support from all colleges, departments and programs explicitly implicated in the agreement; and
  7. A plan for regular program evaluation and renewal.

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.

Contact Information

For more information on international linkages, contact:

Lauren Powers
Administrative Services Specialist
International Programs
1111 University Capitol Centre