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University of Virginia Seeks Ways to Realize the 'Global University'

November 11, 2010 — Leaders in higher education are coming together at the University of Virginia Sunday and Monday to consider the future of the global university in the face of political, economic and cultural shifts in the 21st century.

U.Va.'s Office of the Vice Provost for International Programs and the Curry School of Education are hosting 16 noted scholars from multiple disciplines and places of learning.

"This is an important conversation to have because of the power these universities wield," said Dudley Doane, director of the International Studies Office and an organizer of the seminar.

The limited amount of space for the public has been filled, and registration is closed.

Panelist Simon Marginson, a professor of higher education from the University of Melbourne, Australia, has written extensively about the role of universities in a globalized world. In a May article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Marginson wrote "in almost every country, research universities are among the most globally connected of all sectors," because knowledge "flows anywhere and everywhere, like quicksilver on a metal table."

He will deliver the keynote address "Creating Global Public Goods" Sunday at 7 p.m. in the Dome Room of the Rotunda, kicking off "Realizing the Global University: Aspirations and Transformations".

The Curry School's Brian Pusser, another organizer of the seminar, said this gathering of minds is different from others he has seen before. "What is unique about this meeting is that it brings a wide range of scholars and practitioners from across the world to address the concept of the global university as a whole," he said.

Attendees will include Jussi Valimaa, a professor of higher education and fellow of the Institute for Educational Research from Finland's University of Jyvaskyla, and Imanol Ordorika, Humberto Munoz and Maria Herlinda Suarez of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

"The people attending the conference will also bring something critical to the conversation," Doane said. "These are college and university faculty, people who do research in higher education and international development. They will bring not only their knowledge and experiences, but the challenges they face."

The seminar resumes Monday at 8 a.m. in Bavaro Hall. Panelists in session one will discuss how to create "global citizens." Session two will focus on how institutions of higher learning should balance local, national and global priorities.

At 12:30 p.m., participants will relocate to the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Building at 112 Clarke Court, off Fontaine Avenue, for lunch and a keynote address from Sheila Slaughter, the Louise McBee Professor of Higher Education at the University of Georgia, whose talk is titled "Transatlantic Moves to the Market."

The closing session will address funding the global university. Panelists include Charles Fitzgerald, senior associate vice of principal relationship development at U.Va; Uliana Gabara, dean and Carole M. Weinstein Chair of International Education at the University of Richmond; Gil Merkx, the vice provost for international affairs at Duke University; and Ken Kempner, professor of education and international studies at the University of Oregon.

— By Jane Kelly

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