Nov 13-17 International Education Week

A Time to Celebrate Our Global University

Today is the first day of International Education Week, a time to celebrate and take stock of all we have accomplished in 2017. Nationally, of course, it's been a year unlike any I can remember, and events at home necessarily impact our work around the world. But, new complications often provide us with an opportunity to try new things -- and to be grateful for enduring ties to friends and partners at home and abroad. I'm proud to report that the state of our global university is strong. It is resilient and continues to engage students, faculty, and staff in global initiatives on and off our five campuses.

Today, President Kaler will be involved in a collaborative session on the implications of "America First" on North American higher education at the APLU Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. He will respond to the concerns so many of us have with respect to the future of global education in a world exhibiting nationalistic tendencies. Higher education has always been a source of light at times of darkness in history, and international educators have lessons to share. We have partners and friends worldwide who will stand with us as we continue to promote the benefits of cross-cultural engagement.

Over the past 12 months, we in the GPS Alliance and our trusted campus partners have been busy globally and locally, and I want to share some updates with you:
  • The Immigration Response Team was launched quickly in response to changing immigration and refugee regulations. As of today, almost 1,000 University citizens systemwide have signed on to the IRT mailing list, representing the concern we all share that everyone in our community be treated with respect. 
  • The GPS Alliance is a proud funding and support partner for the Grand Challenges Research Scholar Collaboratives that have been formed to explore cross-disciplinary engagement to address global grand challenges. 
  • We have joined Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign, identifying our own campaign goals to raise funds that will drive a global university in bigger and better ways. 
  • Faculty from many disciplines have embraced the opportunity to bring the world to the classroom. To date, faculty in the Internationalizing Teaching and Learning Cohort have reached more than 10,000 students -- changing perspectives and inspiring curiosity. 
  • On Thursday evening, we will honor Dr. Ragui Assaad (Humphrey School), Dr. Dennis Falk (Social Work, UMD), and Dr. John Deen (Veterinary Medicine) for their outstanding contributions to global education and their field or discipline. These three individuals join an august group of Award for Global Engagement recipients who have changed our world.
To our friends, partners, and colleagues across the University system, I want to take this time during International Education Week to thank you for all that you do. It is my great privilege to work with you in our quest for effective and comprehensive internationalization. I look forward to another productive year working toward our shared goal to make the University of Minnesota a truly global university.
Meredith McQuaid
Associate Vice President and Dean of International Programs
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