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International Strategic Advisory Committee (ISAC)

Find below the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the McMaster International Strategy Advisory Committee.


The McMaster International Strategy Advisory Committee (the Committee) is an ad hoc advisory group convened by the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and chaired by the Vice-Provost International to collaboratively provide strategic direction and coordination of McMaster’s global engagement initiatives. It will provide advice and support to reflect McMaster’s Model for Global Engagement in the development and implementation of the university’s internationalization and global engagement strategy as well as global engagement strategic priorities and initiatives.  


The mandate of the Committee is to provide strategic direction, coordination, and championship of McMaster’s global engagement initiatives and advise the Provost, and President and Vice-Presidents group (PVP). This includes:  

  • Providing strategic input and collaborative support to facilitate the coordination of McMaster’s global engagement initiatives and activities.
  • Positioning global engagement in education and knowledge generation as an integral part of McMaster’s identity and presence in Canada and the world.
  • Developing organizational capacity and readiness to identify, coordinate and respond to international opportunities.
  • Ensuring that global engagement initiatives are informed by principles of integrity, reciprocity, reflexivity, and sustainability.
  • Creating a positive student experience related to global and international education.
  • Preparing students, staff, and faculty to positively engage in an increasingly globalized and complex world through the identification of intercultural competencies related to global citizenship and providing opportunities to develop these skills.
  • Ensuring the development of risk management strategies for international activities, including but not limited to health, safety and well-being, and financial sustainability.

This mandate will be achieved by reviewing, supporting, and providing input on matters such as:  

  1. Strategic Direction: the development and delivery of strategic direction to McMaster’s global connections and the activities that support this in the portfolio areas for which the Committee members have responsibility. 
  2. Prioritization: the development of new priority areas, strategic partnerships/initiatives, and recommended actions or interventions to address priorities. 
  3. Operationalizing the Strategic Plan: the development of action plans, including the appropriate department or area of accountability for each action, to implement the strategy, in accordance with identified priorities, with appropriate targets and measures. 
  4. Promoting McMaster’s Model for Global Engagement: A Framework for Strategic Planning, representing associated areas and engaging staff, students, and external partners as appropriate to gather input and socialize the strategy as it evolves. 
  5. Supporting Policy Development: advising and supporting the Office of International Affairs through recommendations on policy development internally and externally. 
  6. Providing Expert Advice: providing and analyzing relevant data/information, institutional knowledge, and market intel.

Roles and Responsibilities 

All Committee Members will: 

  • Actively participate in events, initiatives and planning processes that support the work of this Committee.
  • Actively contribute to implementing and achieving the identified priorities and their associated initiatives and actions.
  • Represent their respective department/division and coordinate within their department/division to bring forward relevant issues and opportunities to the committee in a timely manner.
  • Champion the work of the Committee by building awareness, articulating value propositions and expected benefits, and helping to remove obstacles to progress.
  • Assist with operational resource allocation, as necessary.
  • Proactively identify relevant issues and opportunities to the Committee for action.
  • Attend Committee meetings and come prepared to engage in active discussion and solutions (committee members are strongly encouraged to make every effort to attend all meetings; however, if a member cannot attend a meeting, a delegate may be sent).
  • Participate in initiatives/project-based work outside of Committee meetings as required.
  • Actively seek opportunities to engage additional stakeholders (e.g., students, external partners, etc.) to reflect their feedback/advice/suggestions in the work of this Committee.


Composition: The Committee is chaired by the Vice-Provost International and will consist of the following (or their designate, as required). Committee members may designate an Associate Dean or Directors to represent Faculties/departments. 

Members include: 

  • Vice-Provost International (Chair) 
  • Deputy Provost 
  • Vice-Provost and Dean, Graduate Studies 
  • Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning 
  • Associate Vice President (Research)•Associate Vice-President (Students and Learning) and Dean of Students 
  • Associate Vice-President, Global Health (Faculty of Health Rep) 
  • Dean, Faculty of Humanities 
  • Dean, Faculty of Social Science 
  • Dean, Faculty of Engineering 
  • Dean, Faculty of Science 
  • Dean, DeGroote School of Business 
  • VP, University Advancement 
  • VP, Communications 
  • University Librarian 
  • Vice-Provost of Equity and Inclusion 
  • Chief Risk Officer 

Membership Criteria: 

Membership comprises University leaders whose portfolios involve international engagement activities and initiatives. The committee will also include leaders of academic programs focused on global themes and education. 

Additional internal McMaster members will be invited to attend meetings as needed to provide expertise related to a specific topic.  


The secretary of the Committee is the Director Office of International Affairs. Duties of the Chair will include, but not be limited to: 

  • Determining meeting schedules and preparing agendas in consultation with Committee members.
  • Reviewing and approving meeting minutes for distribution and approval
  • Monitoring follow-up on action items
  • Maintaining up-to-date records of meeting material

Staff Support 

A staff member from the Office of International Affairs will support the Committee by coordinating meetings, preparing meeting materials, and recording minutes under the supervision of the Director of the Office of International Affairs (ISAC Secretary). 


Committee members will come to a decision by consensus. If a vote is required, a quorum at any Committee meeting shall be a majority of the voting members (50% plus 1). 

Frequency and Location of Meetings 

The Committee will meet six times yearly, approximately once every two months. Additional meetings may be scheduled as required at the call of the Committee Chair.  

When the committee cannot convene in person, recommendations and strategic advisories on initiatives will be provided via email or conference call.  

Meetings are closed to the public.