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Last modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011

O'Meara to continue to assist IU's international efforts

July 13, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie has asked Patrick O'Meara, who recently stepped down as IU vice president for international affairs, to continue to help guide IU's pursuit of further educational partnerships and institution-building efforts around the world.

Patrick O'Meara

Chris Meyer

Patrick O'Meara

Print-Quality Photo

Effective Aug. 1, Vice President Emeritus O'Meara will chair the Center for International Education and Development Assistance, which he helped to establish at IU. Drawing upon IU's vast international resources, CIEDA helps organizations working in developing and newly democratic societies to build institutions in education, business, public administration, health management services and other critical areas. Charles Reafsnyder will continue to direct the center.

"Indiana University has an extensive history of institution-building, principally in higher education, around the globe, dating back to President (Herman B) Wells," McRobbie said. "In his new role, Patrick will work at providing a greater focus and renewed emphasis on such engagement and involvement for IU in many crucial parts of the world."

O'Meara, who has been at IU since the 1960s, when he earned his doctorate, served as dean and then vice president for international affairs at IU for the last two decades. He was succeeded on July 1 by David Zaret.

IU's international efforts have been guided by an International Strategic Plan, formulated in 2008 at McRobbie's direction, which focuses on increasing IU's presence throughout the world, strengthening its strategic international partnerships, attracting new international students and ensuring that IU students have study-abroad experiences that prepare them for the global economy.

According to rankings produced by the Institute for International Education, IU Bloomington ranks 15th in terms of the number of its international students and 11th in the number of students who study abroad before graduation. In the last six years, overall enrollment of international students has grown by about 40 percent.

In recent years, the university has helped to establish new, modern universities in Macedonia, after the war in the Balkans, and in Kyrgyzstan. The IU School of Medicine and Moi University School of Medicine developed Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), which has treated more than 120,000 HIV-positive patients across Kenya and developed leaders in health care across Africa. IU also is working with the U.S. Agency for International Development to reconstruct life sciences aspects of the University of Liberia.

A recent, 20-year study by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked IU second nationally in the number of international partnership grants awarded with programs in countries as diverse as Thailand, Malaysia, Peru, Brazil, Ghana, Liberia, Croatia, Macedonia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.

In addition to his duties with CIEDA, O'Meara will serve as a special protocol adviser to McRobbie and have responsibility for assisting in the visits of dignitaries to the university.

"It's a historical role that the university has always had, with a new emphasis now," O'Meara said. "Serving the university has been one of the great privileges of my life, and I look forward to further using in many ways the knowledge and skills that I've gained for its continued benefit."