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Last modified: Thursday, November 1, 2012

IU president's trip to South America will mark beginning of new partnerships, alumni chapters

Nov. 1, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie, accompanied by Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret, will travel to three South American countries, where he will visit several top universities and launch new alumni chapters during an eight-day trip, beginning Monday, Nov. 5.

Michael McRobbie

Michael A. McRobbie

Print-Quality Photo

McRobbie will meet with leading university officials in Brazil, Argentina and Chile. The trip to these South American countries, the first by a sitting IU president in nearly 40 years, will result in new academic partnerships that will increase study abroad opportunities for IU students and collaborative research possibilities for IU faculty.

"For more than 50 years, IU has engaged in global outreach to nearly every continent, and this has had immeasurable impact on our students and faculty," McRobbie said. "Our activities in Latin America, which include two federally funded research centers, will be further enhanced by what we will accomplish on this trip.

"In addition to having one of the most vibrant cultures in the world, Brazil also is one of the fastest-growing emerging economies, and its impact on the rest of the world will be immense in the future," McRobbie added. "Argentina and Chile also are home to several of the top educational institutions in the southern hemisphere and provide important partnership opportunities for our new School of Global and International Studies and other programs at IU."

During the trip, McRobbie will sign new partnership agreements with four of the region's top-ranked universities: University of São Paulo, State University of Campinas, Fundação Getulio Vargas and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

He also will meet with officials at other leading academic institutions in the region, including the Fluminense Federal University in Brazil; the National University of La Plata and Austral University in Argentina; and the University of Chile.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, McRobbie will sign an agreement with the Brazilian Academy of Letters, a distinguished literary society and the foremost institution devoted to the Portuguese language.

During the signing ceremony, McRobbie will present a Thomas Hart Benton Medallion, given to individuals who have achieved a level of distinction in public office or service and have exemplified the values of IU, to Brazilian Academy of Letters member and legendary filmmaker Nelson Pereira dos Santos. In April 2013, dos Santos will visit the Bloomington campus as part of the IU Cinema's partial retrospective of his films.

McRobbie will inaugurate new IU alumni chapters at special events in São Paulo, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Santiago, Chile.

The Brazilian Studies Program and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies are two of 11 area studies programs at IU funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, founded in 1963, has many nationally prominent scholars representing more than 30 disciplines. The more recently established Brazilian Studies Program has strong roots at IU and continues to foster interdisciplinary research to bridge the social sciences and humanities. IU also has extensive library collections, including the Lilly Library's sizeable collection of Brazilian materials, and renowned research institutes for this region.

Daily blog entries from the trip will be prepared by Shawn Conner, associate director of international partnerships at IU, and will be made available periodically in the IU News Room section of the university's website, and on the website for the Office of the President.