BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Beginning Nov. 2, Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie will lead a delegation on a five-day trip to Germany, where he will preside over the opening of the third IU Global Gateway office and renew a historically important relationship with a top German university.
Located in Berlin, the IU Europe Gateway is IU’s third such facility for international faculty and student activities, following the launch of similar offices in New Delhi and Beijing.
McRobbie also will renew an agreement of friendship and cooperation that is a half-century old, between IU and one of Germany’s finest educational institutions, Freie Universität (Free University Berlin).
Herman B Wells, IU’s 11th president, helped establish the Freie Universität after World War II. The formal partnership between the two universities dates back to the early 1960s and is IU’s longest-running graduate exchange program.
The IU delegation also will meet with leaders at other top German universities and with the German Research Foundation (DFG—Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), which supports and funds research at German universities and is the equivalent of the National Science Foundation in the United States.
“Part of Indiana University’s proud history of global engagement is our role in establishing the Free University of Berlin in 1948, which has grown to become one of Germany's and the world's great universities and which was a beacon of free and independent thinking and learning in darker times," McRobbie said. “Our long-standing partnership with the Free University and other university partnerships in many other countries, as well as our global gateway offices, confirms IU as a truly international university engaged with the world through research and scholarship and through the education of the next generation of global citizens."
McRobbie will speak during the opening session of the annual conference of the Council on International Educational Exchange, the leading U.S. non-governmental international education organization. CIEE creates and administers close to 200 programs that allow more than 35,000 high school and university students and educators to study, work and teach abroad.
McRobbie will be part of a panel discussion at the Council on International Educational Exchange conference on the benefits of study abroad for minority-serving institutions. Martin McCrory, IU associate vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs and IU Bloomington vice provost for diversity, also will be a conference presenter, speaking specifically about IU’s activities.
McRobbie also will meet with John Emerson, U.S. ambassador to Germany.
Among those joining McRobbie on the trip are IU Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret, IU Vice President for Research Fred Cate and IU first lady Laurie Burns McRobbie.
IU Europe Gateway’s first official event
The IU Europe Gateway office is within the new CIEE Global Institute, in the Kreuzberg District of East Berlin. As part of an agreement with its partner, the Council on International Educational Exchange, IU will have access to conference space and classrooms, along with dormitory rooms that may be available for IU students and faculty during the summer.
“Our new gateway office will provide IU with a physical presence in the center of Europe and a point of access to other countries of strategic interest within the region,” Zaret said. “This presence will assist IU in linking local institutional partners, alumni and students more closely with Indiana University, and in increasing the visibility and impact within the region of our academic and research activities.
“More broadly, it will facilitate opportunities for Indiana University faculty and students to deepen and expand their engagement with Germany and the larger European region,” Zaret added.
"We are pleased to welcome Indiana University's gateway office to our Global Institute in Berlin and to continue our partnership of providing access to study abroad opportunities for all U.S. students," said James P. Pellow, president and CEO of the Council on International Educational Exchange. "Studying abroad is one of the best ways for college students to develop the skills needed to excel in our competitive, interconnected world. As one of Europe's most exciting and dynamic cities, a major business and science hub, and thriving cultural metropolis, Berlin is the ideal location for students to develop intercultural understanding and professional skills."
Hannah Buxbaum, professor and the John E. Schiller Chair in Legal Ethics in the IU Maurer School of Law, is the new academic director of the IU Europe Gateway. Andrea Adam Moore, a Berlin native and previously the director of German University Alliance, is its new director.
On Monday, Nov. 2, the gateway office will have its inaugural academic event, a symposium, “The Data Dilemma: A Transatlantic Discussion on Privacy, Security, Innovation, Trade and Protection of Personal Data in the 21st Century.”
Speakers will include Julie Brill, a commissioner on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and Alexander Dix, Berlin’s commissioner for data protection and freedom of information.
On Thursday, Nov. 5, McRobbie will host a reception with alumni and friends to formally open the IU Europe Gateway office. The event will include a performance by two alumni of the Jacobs School of Music, mezzo-soprano Nadine Weissmann and pianist Andrew Crooks.
Like the other IU Global Gateway offices, the new facility will support scholarly research and teaching, conferences and workshops, study abroad programs, distance learning initiatives and alumni events.
“Berlin is a tremendously exciting city,” Buxbaum said. “The gateway will provide a wonderful base for IU faculty and students to expand their engagement in Germany and throughout Europe.”
Reports as the trip progresses will be available at a blog site, IU Goes to Germany, and through official IU social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.