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In an effort to broaden campus participation in intercultural and international initiatives, a committee structure has been established to direct the Ready for the World program.

Ready for the World: the International and Intercultural Initiative is a 10-year initiative that grew from UT’s re-accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 2005.

In 2008, Ready for the World was put under the auspices of the Office of the Provost.

An executive committee will coordinate and oversee the initiatives of Ready for the World in coordination with a broadly representative steering committee. The executive committee will include Provost Susan Martin, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Sarah Gardial, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Carolyn Hodges, and Associate Provost Pia Wood, who also directs the Center for International Education.

A steering committee, to be appointed soon, will guide the many successful existing components of the program and help strengthen the focus on curriculum and assessment. The steering committee includes representatives drawn from the faculty and administration of the academic colleges, students, the Council on Diversity and Inclusiveness and other campus constituencies. The two committees will work in tandem to integrate and institutionalize the Ready for the World initiative within the fabric of the campus.

Mary Papke, professor of English, has been the director of Ready for the World since the fall of 2007 and, prior to that, was instrumental in conceptualizing and writing the original proposal for RFTW. She will return to the English department.

“We appreciate Mary’s work, which engaged our faculty and staff and established the framework for our work going forward,” Martin said. “We’ve made significant progress toward creating a more diverse and inclusive campus, and we have enhanced our students’ experiences to better prepare them to compete in a global economy. We also appreciate our faculty, staff and students who have furthered our goals through new projects, courses, speakers, creative programming and other new opportunities for our students.”

To date, more than 100 Ready for the World grants totaling more than $400,000 have been awarded for Ready for the World projects and programs that promote intercultural and international awareness.

The 2009-2010 academic year will include a new round of grant opportunities. To learn how to apply for funding for a project, see

The focus of the coming year will be “Our World in Need,” with a particular emphasis on the issue of poverty.