Last fall, we welcomed Matthew Robinson as director of UD's Institute for Global Studies (IGS), our center for international education, service and research. Prof. Robinson's extensive global work gives UD a tremendous advantage as we strive to expand our geographic reach, educate and engage students abroad while internationalizing our own campus, and develop strategic partnerships with institutions and agencies the world over.
Given the quickly growing body of international research conducted by UD faculty and students, we've launched the Global Research Consortium within IGS. The consortium, led by Prof. Nancy Guerra, will identify key research areas where UD can contribute its expertise and engage all seven colleges in collaborative projects to do just that. If you read about UD's international research — research like that of professors Holly Michael and Steve Dentel, both focused on providing safe drinking water for populations whose supply is contaminated by pathogens and parasites — you'll understand the breadth and importance of what we hope to accomplish.
As important as it is to us that UD be a contributing institution in the global community, it's equally important that the University be a destination for international students and scholars. In November, UD launched a website in Spanish that's among U.S. universities' most extensively translated web resources. We hope it will connect us with Latin American students, prospective students, partners and alumni, and bring us one step closer to our globalization goal.
I urge you to read some of the stories from our students studying abroad. At Commencement last spring, I asked the new graduates to reflect on the meaning of the study-abroad sashes draped over their shoulders. I asked them to be open to the international marketplace of ideas, opinions and perspectives; to create a society that thrives not despite its differences but because of them; to be a generation of leaders who can think in new ways about our global problems — and imagine new solutions; to strengthen our associations and re-envision exactly what we can achieve when we work across borders and biases. Because, every year, as students leave UD and go out into the world, we have a new opportunity to create the global community we want to be.
Patrick T. Harker
President, University of Delaware