Memorandum 46

International Inter-Institutional Agreements

Approved March 2015


This policy governs the initiation, review, approval, and signature processes in connection with any agreement entered into, by or on behalf of Norwich University, 1) between the university and one or more foreign governments and/or universities or other organizations domiciled outside the United States regarding the use of Norwich University’s faculty, student, library, or other instructional or research resources, or 2) that commits Norwich University to the deployment of faculty, student, library, or other instructional or research resources outside of the United States.


Any agreement under the scope of this policy, prior to being executed, must be reviewed and approved by the Assistant Vice President for International Education (AVPIE); each Dean, Director, and/or Department Chair through whose units such proposed agreements arise; any other university official having jurisdiction over the resources involved, if any; and, ultimately, the President of the university or his/her designee. This review and approval process must be accomplished, for each agreement, through the execution of the International Agreement Proposal Form and the subsequent International Agreement Approval Routing Form, the completion of which will be facilitated by and coordinated through the International Center (IC) under the leadership of the AVPIE.

  1. Agreements governed by this procedure include, but are not limited to, the following (with or without financial obligations): twinning agreements (1), dual-degree programs (2), pathway programs (3), Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)/Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) involving exchange of students, exchange of faculty, exchange of academic materials and other information, joint research activities, and other general agreements (affiliation agreements, cooperation agreements, etc.).
  2. University colleges, schools, departments, and or programs, before negotiating or entering into any international agreement, as described above, are responsible for consulting with the AVPIE and completing and forwarding to the AVPIE the International Agreement Proposal Form.


The Assistant Vice President for International Education (AVPIE) will be the initial point of contact regarding any international inter-institutional agreements and is responsible for ensuring that all policies related thereto are followed by the entire university. The AVPIE, through the International Center, is responsible for coordinating, facilitating, supporting, and serving as a key resource for the development and implementation of international agreements; conducting an initial review of any proposed international agreements; facilitating the approval process; serving as the final repository for original hard and soft copies of international agreements (historic and current); and overseeing the ongoing operationalization and administration of the agreement jointly with the college, school, department, and/or program named in the agreement.

The President or his/her designee exercises final approval of all international inter-institutional agreements.


  1. At the earliest stages of conceptualization of an international opportunity, the initiator (faculty or staff member) will consult with the Assistant Vice President for International Education (AVPIE) and will subsequently forward to the AVPIE for initial review the completed International Agreement Proposal Form, along with a draft of the proposed agreement. (NOTE: The AVPIE, through the International Center, maintains and regularly updates a variety of models/templates of agreements for use in drafting new agreements. These models/templates are available to all members of the university community upon request.)
  2. The AVPIE will complete a preliminary review of the agreement in relation to the strategic priorities of Norwich University and other international obligations of the university and determine, in consultation with the initiator and other university stakeholders, if, when, and/or how to proceed. Next steps may include calling a meeting of all internal stakeholders for further consultation, entering into formal negotiations with the proposed partner institution, making changes to the draft agreement, scheduling a visit to the proposed partner institution, etc. before proceeding to approval and routing of the agreement for required signatures using the International Agreement Approval Routing Form. Ultimately, the goals of the review process include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Identify motivating factors
    • Identify primary and secondary objectives
    • Examine alignment with university, college, school, department, and/or program strategic goals
    • Examine quality and integrity of potential partner
    • Examine institutional compatibility (similar/complementary)
    • Examine regulatory and/or language issues and other areas for potential roadblocks
    • Examine existing connections
    • Ensure a coordinated and consistent process for the university and the partner institution
    • Identify areas of mutual benefit
    • Determine whether sufficient support exists (e.g., resources and structures to support partnership over time)
  3. If the draft agreement does not pass the preliminary review, it will not be routed for further approval until and unless additional steps are taken by the AVPIE, the initiator, and/or other stakeholders to address any concerns or deficiencies.
  4. Once the draft agreement passes preliminary review, the AVPIE will convene all parties to the agreement on the Norwich University side for a final read-through and discussion.
  5. The AVPIE will then sign the International Agreement Approval Routing Form and begin the routing process for all required signatures for approval.
  6. Upon final execution of the agreement by the President or his/her designee, the AVPIE will work with the relevant parties to arrange signature(s) from the international partner institution.
  7. The final signed agreement will be retained and maintained by the International Center in both hard and soft copy format.
  8. Once an international agreement is reviewed, approved, and signed by all parties, the ongoing operationalization and administration of the agreement and the terms outlined therein are the joint responsibility of the International Center, under the leadership of the AVPIE, and the college, school, department, and/or program named in the agreement. Details regarding the various roles and responsibilities for ongoing administration of the agreement will be documented in an internal Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that is developed by the AVPIE in coordination with the appropriate faculty or staff member(s) in the college, school, department, and/or program at Norwich.

Contact Offices

  • Assistant Vice President for International Education’s Office: Ext. 2716
  • Senior Vice President Academic Affairs’ Office: Ext. 2025


  1. An agreement in which an international partner institution delivers part of a Norwich undergraduate (or graduate) degree program that leads to the awarding of a Norwich degree (e.g., Our partner would offer the first two semesters of a Norwich undergraduate degree in China, then Norwich offers the remainder of the undergraduate degree either in China or in Northfield.
  2. An agreement that defines the terms for a student to earn two separate undergraduate (or graduate) degrees from Norwich and our international partner institution.
  3. An agreement in which Norwich agrees with an international partner institution to offer a preparatory (enabling) curriculum that leads to admission into an undergraduate (or graduate) degree program (e.g., Norwich offers the first year of its undergraduate core curriculum on line in collaboration with an English language program provider in-country abroad. Students who complete both programs successfully finish their final three years at Norwich in Northfield, VT and receive an undergraduate degree from Norwich University.

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