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Last modified: Tuesday, April 29, 2008

IU President McRobbie to join delegation to Israel

APRIL 29, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael McRobbie will join a delegation of American university leaders on a trip to Israel, June 29 to July 7, to explore closer academic and research ties between the two nations.

The delegation is scheduled to visit several major universities in Israel, including Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Participants will also visit Al Quds University to discuss issues of Palestinian education and governance.

Michael McRobbie

Michael McRobbie

Print-Quality Photo

Sponsored by Project Interchange, an institute of the American Jewish Committee, the trip will focus on exploring more opportunities for international research collaboration and possible study-abroad opportunities in Israel for U.S. students. Members of the delegation will also be given an overview of contemporary Israel, U.S.-Israel relations and the Middle East peace process.

"Indiana University continues to make significant strides in expanding its research and scholarly activities overseas, building upon its global partnerships, and preparing its students, through its strong foreign language and study abroad programs, to live and work in a world without boundaries," McRobbie said. "I look forward to gaining a greater understanding of this important part of the world and using the knowledge we acquire to further the university's potential for international engagement."

Among those joining McRobbie on the trip will be University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, who will co-host the delegation along with Mark Yudof, chancellor of the University of Texas System. (Yudof will become president of the University of California on June 16). The delegation's members were selected for their current and future ability to inform policy, opinion, diplomacy and inter-group relations.

The trip will mark McRobbie's second trip abroad since he became IU's 18th president on July 1, 2007. In November and December, he led a 10-member university delegation to China that resulted in expanded relationships with leading universities in China as well as increased opportunities for student and faculty exchanges.

Also in December, McRobbie approved IU's new strategic plan to improve the global literacy of its students and faculty and strengthen the university's position as a leader in internationalization.

Founded in 1982, Project Interchange is an educational organization dedicated to the first-hand introduction of Israel and its regional historical and contemporary challenges to current and future United States and international leaders. A cornerstone of Project Interchange seminars is the presentation of differing viewpoints on the complexities and nuances of controversial issues in Israel and the Middle East such as the Israeli-Palestinian and Israel-Hezbollah conflicts.

Project Interchange has brought more than 4,500 prominent United States and international figures to week-long seminars in Israel that include meetings, site visits and touring. Each seminar is tailored to address the interests of its delegation.