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The Office of International Agriculture was established as a means for fostering and supporting Sponsored International Programs, largely those underwritten by the Agency for International Development and other federal agencies. Subsequently, OIA worked with faculty in extension and research to organize study tours for Alumni, extension staff, and agricultural producers. Increasingly, faculty and departments are leading student groups to international destinations for study tours and Study Abroad.
The OIA main office and a conference room is located in 012 Comer Hall since 2012.
Currently, the OIA has the following main functions in the College of Agriculture and related units of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station.
1. OIA receives and processes all Requests for International Travel (RAT50) for Dean signature. OIA issues a weekly summary of RAT50 forms that have been filed.
2. OIA provides support and guidance for international research proposals. International Business Specialist Billy Earle is a university-wide expert on federal requirements, contracting, and visa issues. Some faculty in some departments seek to autonomously submit international proposals without consultation, yet seek counsel when unanticipated costs or requirements complicate their work. It is in everyone's interest to seek assistance in cost and budget development from OIA at the outset to avoid problems later on. OIA facilitates faculty interactions with university offices to assure smooth and timely processing of proposals, budgets, and payments. Nonetheless, the Principle Investigator retains final authority and responsibility for the proposal budget, within the confines of AU and Sponsor regulations.
3. OIA prepares expenses vouchers for international travel. Simple expense reports can be processed by departments. Trips that involve multiple countries, extraordinary expenses, and other complexities should be processed by OIA. The objective is to make the traveler whole in their work on behalf of the university; OIA knowledge of AU rules for international travel facilitates prompt and accurate reimbursement for documented expenses.
4. OIA facilitates faculty-led and student-initiated Study Abroad activities. Study tours, service learning, study abroad, and international are four pillars of the globalization process for our students. We have experience and contacts in many countries that can assist faculty initiatives. OIA should be involved in the formulation of financial arrangements with partner institutions. Establishing accounts, paying bills, and receiving money should be handled by OIA, or in a collaborative mode with departmental personnel. Exchange rate fluctuations and other vagaries of international business often emerge in what initially seem as straightforward transactions. The AU Office of International Education Studio Abroad system is the central mechanism for managing study abroad and awarding credit. OIA helps faculty navigate the process.
5. International Visitor arrangements are supported and coordinated through OIA. OIA receives advance notice of your visitor's scheduled presence and needs. Forthcoming requirements from the AU Research Security Office trigger more detailed attention to the presence of non-U. S. visitors and their access to facilities. OIA administers the bench fees, travel expenses,or other funds that may be associated with the visitor's sponsorship. OIA facilitates the DS2019 form and other arrangements that hosting faculty must make for their visiting colleagues. Nonetheless the sponsoring faculty member bears primary responsible for receiving and supporting the visitor. OIA provides information about housing and settlement strategies for longer-term visitors.
6. OIA provides international travel awards. Faculty can request $500 grants for international travel to professional meetings from OIA funds. The York International Scholarship Program supports faculty and graduate student research and experience in less developed countries through twice-annual proposal processes. OIA convenes review committees to receive and rate proposals, and to review award decisions. The Stallworth, Torbert, Orr and other donor accounts provide a very limited amount of support for undergraduate travel.
7. OIA supports visiting delegations. The office supports your department's reception of visitors, access to the Dean, and other AU offices. OIA can host a meal for the visitors and a small group of faculty.
8. OIA builds teams in response to extramural funding proposals. USAID and other funding opportunities often require multi-disciplinary collaboration. OIA convenes and guides such teams through proposal development, budget preparation, and submission.
9. OIA recruits faculty to serve as Mentors for international Fellow and training programs (Cochran, Borlaug, and others). USDA and other agencies support visiting scientists and training programs. OIA seeks to coalesce faculty interest in such programs and supports document development and proposal submission. OIA support the submission of proposals, budgets, and settlement arrangements that allow faculty to focus on substantive collaboration with the Visiting Scientists.
10. OIA provides liaison to the Auburn University Office of International Education. This office provide leadership and relevant administrative support to academic units and faculty across Auburn programs and activities; to faculty and students interested in having an international education experience; and promotes international understanding and cooperation. OIA guides and facilitates access to the immigration, Study Abroad, and program planning services offered by OIE.
Last Updated : February 01, 2013