University of Iowa

Tagged with "dean's blog"


UI linkages and partnerships abroad

Over the past couple of years, a number of U.S. universities have set up branch campuses or other extensive satellite ventures (or pulled out of failing ones) particularly in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa: NYU, Michigan State, Texas A&M, and more recently Duke University, just to name a few. Branch campuses can be successful, and meet the needs both of the U.S. institution and of the host country in which the offshore branch is located.
Downing Thomas

Healthcare Education and Research Abroad

Last spring, our College of Pharmacy hosted Prof. Nguyen Van Hung (MD, PhD), Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmacy and Family Medicine Unit at Haiphong Medical University in Vietnam. It is not unusual, of course, for us to host visiting faculty from abroad: in fact, we have visitors on campus from abroad on a weekly basis, perhaps even on a daily basis, throughout the academic year. What made Hung’s visit special was that he was in residence for the entire spring semester as a Fulbright scholar, working on long-term goals for pharmacy education and practice in Vietnam. Another thing that made it special is that his visit began discussions toward what promises to be a comprehensive, deep partnership between the University of Iowa and his home institution, Haiphong Medical University.

UI Preparing for International Education Week

At 5:00 p.m. on November 11th, in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber, Joan Kjaer will host a very special edition of WorldCanvass where, in addition to a full program that is free and open to the public, University of Iowa President Sally Mason will present the second annual International Impact Award to Dr. Trudy Huskamp Peterson. Former acting archivist of the United States, founding executive director of the Open Society Archives, and director of archives and records management for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Dr. Peterson’s achievements are of the very highest order. The award recognizes her tenacious commitment, sometimes in the face of intimidation, to the protection and appropriate dissemination of documents that tell truths that some would rather never be told. Through her work, records that have been subject to the ravages of war are given a voice to reveal abuses of power that otherwise may never have come to light.

Welcome to the 2011-12 Academic Year

With the summer months behind us and the start of another academic year, I would like to welcome you back to campus and extend my best wishes for an exciting and productive fall semester. Our offices have been buzzing with orientation and advising activities for another large class of international undergraduates and with UI students exploring global study opportunities as part of their UI experience. As faculty members return to the classroom to take up teaching and mentoring duties, and as the collaborative work of IP’s programs and centers once again gets under way, I continue my work with Provost Butler and with leadership in the colleges, departments, and divisions across campus to set priorities, establish goals, and face new challenges as we begin the 2011-12 academic year.

Cuts to Federal International Education Programs

Unprecedented cuts were made by Congress to International Education and Foreign Language Studies for the current fiscal year. While a $50 million reduction may not seem terribly large in the context of a federal budget of more than $3 trillion, this particular cut amounts to a 40% decrease in funding for these areas, affecting U.S. Department of Education programs in particular.

Connections with Alumni Abroad

Currently on return flights from a trip to Asia, with at least my fair share of flight delays, I have had time to reflect on the importance of building relations between the University of Iowa and our constituencies abroad, in particular the growing number of friends and alumni we have living in...


India activities

Activities in India–from faculty partnerships and institutional visits, to study abroad efforts–have increased substantially in the past few years. Our India “Winterim” study abroad program, which takes place each year from the end of December to the beginning of the spring semester in late...



Toko Igarashi, professor at Joetsu University of Education near the west-central coast of Japan, visited campus on March 21st as part of Joetsu’s longstanding ties to our College of Education. She was able to relate from personal experience and in great detail the terrible events that came during and after the devastating earthquake that hit on March 11th. Toko was able to reach the Tokyo airport by car, and described seeing seeing middle-aged Japanese men with golf equipment heading for a flight to Hawaii, a surreal vision following the devastation and hardships of recent weeks. We were pleased that, in such trying times, Toko was able to visit the University of Iowa to affirm our relationship with Joetsu and to plan future cooperation.

Tunisia, Egypt … Davos

The blogs and the press have been fast and furious in following the fast-paced and unprecedented changes in both Tunisia and Egypt over the past several weeks. Indeed, there has been so much going on, and so much processing of events in the media, that it has kept me quiet, reading accounts or glued to the TV rather than commenting on what has been happening in the world. I have found a few truly insightful pieces, and was impressed by the reporting in the NY Times last Sunday about the difficult discussions and awkward statements from the White House and the Department of State.

Inscrutability at the Élysée Palace

By Downing Thomas

Last week, with my still fresh New Year’s resolution to read more (more international perspectives in the news, more contemporary literature), I found a fascinating article in Le Monde analyzing the strange fact that the French President has had no spokesperson for over...