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Last modified: Thursday, November 17, 2011

IU to celebrate strength, continued growth of Macedonia partnership

Nov. 17, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie will participate in a three-day trip to the Republic of Macedonia beginning Friday, Nov. 18. As part of the trip, he will help celebrate the 10th anniversary of South East European University, which IU played a major role in establishing and continues to support through various partnership activities.

Michael McRobbie

Michael A. McRobbie

Print-Quality Photo

McRobbie, who helped dedicate and inaugurate SEEU in 2001, will sign a new agreement of friendship and cooperation between IU and SEEU on Saturday, Nov. 19, in Tetovo, Macedonia. Before the signing, he will also receive an honorary doctorate from SEEU and address SEEU students and staff at a special ceremony being held in conjunction with the 10th anniversary celebration of the university's founding.

"Indiana University has been privileged over the past 10 years to be one of SEEU's major partners in institutional development," McRobbie said. "We take enormous pride in the successful growth of SEEU, now a thriving university that played a significant part in the peace settlement in Macedonia and a major contributor to the political and economic development of the region it serves.

"Personally, I am deeply grateful for this honor from SEEU," McRobbie added, "and I am pleased to be able to help celebrate this milestone event in the life of SEEU, which has become a model for quality, 21st-century education in Southeastern Europe."

IU received an initial three-year award from the United States Agency for International Development to help establish SEEU and help promote economic development of the Tetovo region through, among other activities, the introduction of academic programs in such fields as business, communications, education and public administration. In fall 2004, IU's Center for International Education and Development Assistance was awarded a second USAID grant to continue its work at SEEU, which operates its academic activities from its main campus in Tetovo and its newly established campus in the capital city, Skopje.

SEEU opened its campus in Tetovo in October 2001. In November 2002, it had 2,250 students. Currently, it has more than 7,000 students and 3,000 graduates.

Upon his arrival Friday, McRobbie and members of an SEEU executive delegation are expected to meet with Macedonian President Gjorgji Ivanov. On Saturday, Nov. 19, McRobbie will attend a reception for IU guests, alumni and those who have participated in the IU-SEEU partnership from 2001 to 2011.

Expected to attend are SEEU Rector Zamir Dika, IU Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret and Paul Foster, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and vice rector for academic affairs at SEEU. Foster, who will also participate in the honorary degree ceremony, is the former director of the Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region and professor of Slavic languages and literatures at IU Bloomington.

In May, Dika and Foster traveled to Bloomington and Indianapolis, where they met with McRobbie and other IU officials, including the leaders of several of IU's top schools. Their discussions included staff exchange possibilities and partnering with IU schools to further curricula development.