Vanderbiltís international "strategy"

Bill Snyder
Published: July, 2006

Vanderbilt University is developing a new international strategy to enhance the exchange of people and ideas, the quality of the student learning experience and the pursuit of cutting-edge research.

“We’re not saying faculty need to get more international,” says Joel F. Harrington, Ph.D., assistant provost for International Affairs.

“Most of our faculty are already very international in the sense that they’re very active in international conferences, they have collaborators from foreign universities, they work at foreign institutes, they publish in foreign journals, and so on.

“Instead, the goal is to remove all logistical barriers that hinder the exchange of information, the exchange of people… (to encourage) a kind of intellectual free trade.”

Harrington, an associate professor of History, is heading up the new Vanderbilt International Office, which will serve as a focal point for international activities.

The office is developing a Web site that will provide information for students interested in studying or working abroad, for faculty interested in international collaborations and for foreign students wishing to attend Vanderbilt.

In addition, an Advisory Council on International Affairs, representing faculty and staff from throughout the university, has been established to help develop “core international partnerships” with six universities by 2008. Currently under consideration: universities in Australia and South Africa.

Another goal is to allow Vanderbilt students to integrate their global experiences with their coursework and majors, perhaps by taking courses at universities in other countries or by participating in international service projects.

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