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Last modified: Friday, May 24, 2013

Indiana University President McRobbie visiting Taiwan as part of 15-day East Asia trip

May 27, 2013

EDITOR'S NOTE: A translated version of this release is also available.

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie will continue a 15-day visit to East Asia on Tuesday and Wednesday in Taipei, where he will sign an agreement with Taiwan's top-ranked university, meet with government and higher education officials, and host a special reception for IU alumni living in Taiwan.

Michael McRobbie

Michael A. McRobbie

Print-Quality Photo

On Tuesday, McRobbie will sign a partnership agreement with National Taiwan University that will generate collaborative activities between IU's Maurer School of Law and NTU's law school. The two law schools have had a relationship, fostered by several professors at each institution, since the 1990s. The new agreement, which will formalize that relationship, is expected to expand in the coming years to include other academic programs at IU.

Also on Tuesday, McRobbie will meet with officials at the American Institute in Taiwan -- a nonprofit, private corporation funded, in part, by the U.S. State Department -- that oversees commercial, cultural and other relations between the U.S. and the people of Taiwan. While at the institute's main office in Taipei, which includes a staff of more than 450 people, he will discuss possible teaching and research collaborations, student exchanges and other educational initiatives between IU and Taiwan.

Later that day, along with IU first lady Laurie Burns McRobbie and Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret, McRobbie will host a special reception for IU's Taiwanese alumni and several distinguished guests.

IU has more than 2,100 alumni affiliated with Taiwan, over 700 of which reside in Taiwan. Nearly 240 IU students come from Taiwan.

This is McRobbie's first trip to Taiwan since becoming IU president in 2007 and the first trip to Taiwan by a sitting IU president since John Ryan visited the country in 1986.

"I am excited about the prospects for strengthening Indiana University's ties with Taiwan and opening up new possibilities for teaching and research collaborations, study abroad opportunities for IU students and opportunities for more Taiwanese students to come to IU for a quality education," McRobbie said

"We live in an increasingly global society, where forces that originate beyond our borders affect virtually all aspects of our lives. If IU is to effectively prepare its students to succeed in such a society, we must continue to build bridges around the world," McRobbie added.

The trip is one element of IU's international engagement plan. The university has identified 30 countries as priorities and has plans in place to strengthen institutional ties, increase research opportunities and provide greater access to study abroad for IU students.

Taiwan is seen as an increasingly important strategic partner for IU. In recent years, officials from National Taiwan University have visited IU's Bloomington campus to seek ways to improve the quality of its teaching and learning, and faculty at IU Bloomington's School of Public Health, formerly known as the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, have worked with colleagues at National Taiwan Sports University.

Additionally, the School of Nursing at IU's campus in Indianapolis, IUPUI, continues to partner with Kaohsiung Medical University College of Nursing in an effort to foster faculty and graduate student exchanges, joint faculty research and research mentoring for doctoral students at both institutions.

The study of East Asia spans more than 20 departments and professional schools on IU's Bloomington campus, including the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, which recently marked its 50th anniversary; the Title VI-supported East Asian Studies Center; the Chinese Language Flagship program; and the IU-Australian National University Pan-Asia Institute.

At its Indianapolis campus, the Confucius Institute promotes the teaching of Chinese language and culture.

IU's teaching and research activities in Asia will be core efforts of the new School of Global and International Studies. The university recently broke ground on a new four-story, 165,000-square-foot structure that will house the school, starting with the 2015-16 academic school year.

McRobbie will introduce the new school and the university's strategic goals for international engagement during a meeting Wednesday at the Ministry of Education in Taipei. Earlier that day, he will tour the National Palace Museum, which contains one of the largest collections in the world of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks, much of which was collected by China's ancient emperors.

Reports as the trip progresses will be available at a new website, Global Engagements and Partnerships, as well as the Global Engagements and Partnerships blog and through official IU social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.