As a part of Kansas State’s mission to continue its global expansion, Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, will speak 1 p.m. Friday at Forum Hall. The lecture is a part of the 2012 Provost’s Distinguished International Lecture Series.
McPherson was head of the United States Agency for International Development from 1981 to 1987 and served as president of Michigan State University from 1993 to 2004.
Walter Renberg, head of the International Activities Council, noted that McPherson helped create the nation’s largest international undergraduate study program at MSU. The university consistently is the leader in study abroad participation among public universities.
“His experience in transforming a similar public university will be germane to what’s going on here,” Renberg said.
K-State has been making efforts to establish an international connection through international faculty and staff, study abroad programs, and relationships with countries such as China.
The China connection include K-State’s recruiting office in China and the U.S. – China Center for Animal Health (USCCAH), a KSU-based training center for the improvement of Chinese animal health education, research, government and industrial workforce, and a center that will assist Chinese and U.S. animal health companies to access each other’s markets.
Provost April Mason said K-State would not be a responsible institution if it didn’t develop these types of partnerships. “We live in a global economy and I don’t say that lightly,” she said. “Look at how what’s happening in Europe affects us.”
Mason said K-State is using McPherson’s visit as an opportunity to pick his brain about its efforts to become a top 50 public research institution by 2025. “We asked him to look at K-State 2025 and talk about what types of things we can do to build on the internationalization of K-State,” she said.
Mason said the university is seeking to grow its numbers in students having international experiences with the study abroad program or faculty-led study groups, collaborations with international researchers, the exchange of faculty with international universities, and international students.
For the most part, Renberg said everyone on campus is onboard with the movement toward more internationalization.
“I have not sensed much of a resistance,” he said. “I think the awareness is growing that you can’t consider yourself top-tier if you have no presence internationally,” he said.