Evaluating a Global Partner

MUSC’s successful collaboration with foreign institutions and our reputation in the international community depends in part on the nature and strength of our partnerships. The partnership should add value to MUSC’s mission, strategic goals, and other areas of research and academic growth. Signing of documents simply for presentation or ceremony, or without substantive activities being envisioned or planned, is strongly discouraged.

In initiating an agreement with foreign institutions, MUSC faculty and administrators should carefully consider the following factors.

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Strategic AlignmentReputationInstitutional History
SustainabilityLevel of ControlEvaluation

Partnership Considerations: 

Strategic Alignment

• Is the partnership consistent with MUSC’s mission and values?

• Will the partnership enhance research, innovation and/or training at MUSC?

• Does MUSC have other relationships which would prohibit or be adversely affected by this relationship?

• Is there a shared commitment to mutual benefit, equity, and capacity building?

• Is there engagement by a core group of faculty and strong leadership support on both sides?

• Identification of resources needed to carry the affiliation projects forward and the source of these resources.

• Is there a broad understanding of the capabilities, relevant strengths and weaknesses on both sides?



• What is the reputation of the proposed partner in the home country and abroad?

• How much do we know about the source of the funding?

• Is the funding mechanism and source of funds transparent?

• To what extent are partners interested in using the MUSC name, brand in marketing?

• Does the university abroad meet the required accreditation standards?

• What unique expertise or capabilities does the proposed partner have?


Institutional History

• Do we currently have a partnership with the institution?

• Have we had a partnership with this institution in the past?

• If the partnership ended, what were the terms behind the cancellation?

• Do we have faculty, staff, or students, linked to the institution?


• Is the partnership mutually beneficial?

• Does the project and budget make financial sense?

• Does MUSC and the overseas institution have the bandwidth and resources to support the partnership?

• Is there strong support from the Dean of the sponsoring college?


Level of Control/Compliance and Risk

• How much control will MUSC maintain or relinquish?

• Will activity take place in a foreign country and be subject to foreign laws?

• Are there known issues concerning academic freedom?

• What is the partner country or partner organization’s record on protecting IP and data security?

• Are any of the parties subject to US legal or economic sanctions?

• Is there a strong understanding of barriers with respect to logistics (export control, in-country taxes), legal, cultural, and risk issues (insurance, crime, violence, disasters)?

• All elements of the proposed partnership must comply with State of South Carolina and U.S. federal laws, including immigration, export control regulations, Office of Foreign Assets Control and sanction programs, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Anti-Boycott laws, among other requirements.



• What are the expected and measurable qualitative and/or quantitative outcomes for this partnership?

• What is the plan for reporting progress toward specific joint goals?

• How will the partners identify and track metrics of success?