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Last modified: Friday, November 7, 2008

IU deepens ties with leading Korean university

IU President McRobbie receives honorary degree during university delegation's trip to Sungkyunkwan University

Nov. 7, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- An agreement reached this week will strengthen a rapidly expanding partnership between Indiana University and Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), one of South Korea's leading research institutions.

SKKU Agreement Signing

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie (center) with IU First Lady Laurie McRobbie (left) and Sungkyunkwan University President Jung-Don Seo (right) at the signing of an agreement of friendship and cooperation between IU and SKKU.

Print-Quality Photo

At a ceremony at SKKU's campus in Seoul, South Korea, on Monday (Nov. 3), IU President Michael McRobbie, SKKU President Jung-Don Seo and leaders from both institutions joined together to sign a general agreement of friendship and cooperation. The agreement is expected to further IU's existing relationship with SKKU in business and law and foster preliminary discussions about future collaborations in other areas of scholarship, such as informatics.

"This new agreement, with one of Korea's oldest and most prestigious research universities, will significantly enhance our international study, research and development activities in this strategically important region of the world," McRobbie said. "It will also lay the foundation for additional -- and mutually productive -- collaboration between our two universities as we work to strengthen the global competency of our students and faculty and meet the global challenges of the 21st century."

The newly signed agreement deepens IU's already strong relationship with SKKU, which was founded more than 600 years ago, in 1398, to promote scholarship in Confucianism. IU's Kelley School of Business recently partnered with SKKU's business school on both undergraduate and MBA dual degrees, and a dual Global Executive MBA Program that is scheduled to begin in August 2009. The dual Global Executive MBA Program will be co-taught by Kelley School and SKKU faculty and involve coursework in Seoul, Washington, D.C., New York and Bloomington.

McRobbie is leading an IU delegation that is on the final leg of a week-long trip to Korea and China, where the university has sought to renew and establish partnership agreements with the top research universities in the region.

Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two universities and a meeting with IU alumni, McRobbie was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from SKKU. The degree was conferred at a ceremony with SKKU President Seo at the university's Grand Hall. Seo attended McRobbie's inauguration as IU president in October 2007, serving as a representative from the oldest university at the event and leading a procession to the IU Auditorium, where McRobbie delivered his inaugural address.

"I am deeply grateful for the honor that Sungkyunkwan University has bestowed upon me in the form of the honorary doctor of science degree," McRobbie said. "This degree not only honors me, but it also honors Indiana University. It symbolizes the great strength of the relationship between SKKU and IU as well as our universities' longstanding commitment to education for students around the world. I greatly look forward to that relationship continuing to strengthen and grow as our universities move together toward the global future."

After receiving the honorary degree, McRobbie spoke about IU's efforts toward greater internationalization during a presentation to SKKU faculty and students titled "Strategic Directions in Internationalization at Indiana University."

In his earlier position as IU provost and as president, McRobbie has led several of the university's recent global engagement efforts. He made previous trips to China (in 2006 and 2007) and visited Japan in 2006. Next summer, he plans to return to Korea for the IU International Alumni Conference Reunion in Seoul.

This is the second time in the last year that McRobbie has received an honorary degree while traveling overseas. In December 2007, he was presented with an honorary doctorate from the University of Queensland in Australia, his alma mater.

To view photo galleries and learn more about the IU delegation's trip, visit McRobbie's Web site: