Nov. 6, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BERLIN -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie and members of an IU delegation concluded a highly successful five-day visit to Berlin with the formal inauguration of the new IU Europe Gateway office.
The gateway is IU’s third facility for international faculty, student and alumni activities, following the launch of similar offices in New Delhi and Beijing.
"The IU Europe Gateway will give IU faculty and students greater access to opportunities in Europe, and at the same time, it will allow our students, alumni and university partners who are based in Germany and elsewhere in Europe to connect directly with IU in one of the most dynamic cities in the world," McRobbie said at a ceremony Thursday night to officially open the new facility.
"The establishment of the new office also underscores IU's belief that it is absolutely essential in this day and age that the education of all of our students includes an international dimension," McRobbie added. "By encouraging more IU students to study abroad, it will help to create global leaders, and it will support scholarship, research and international collaboration that will help future generations of American and European students succeed in our extensively interconnected world."
The office is housed within the new Global Institute of the Council on International Educational Exchange, the leading U.S. non-governmental international education organization. The new gateway office was established through the work of IU Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret and his office, which organized the IU trip to Berlin.
On Wednesday, McRobbie served as one of the main speakers at the official opening for the CIEE Global Institute.
“Indiana University is proud to have partnered with CIEE for more than 40 years,” McRobbie said. “Together, we have developed world-class educational programs in science, music, languages and culture. More than 2,500 IU students and dozens of IU faculty and staff have benefitted enormously from their participation in CIEE programs around the globe.
“This superb new Global Institute represents the commitment that all of us share to delivering quality educational programs that meet the needs of the 21st century,” he added. “It represents our shared long-term commitment to international exchange, to the promotion of international understanding and to opening wider the gates of opportunity to students from all backgrounds.”
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, which is in the Kreuzberg District of East Berlin, one of the city's most eclectic, vibrant and diverse neighborhoods. Andrea Adam Moore, a Berlin native and previously the director of German University Alliance in New York, is its new director.
IU has more than 725 active alumni in Germany and an alumni chapter in Berlin. Many graduates and friends of the university, as well as several IU students studying in Berlin, were in attendance at Thursday’s opening event for the IU Europe Gateway office, which featured a performance by two alumni of the Jacobs School of Music: mezzo-soprano Nadine Weissmann and pianist Andrew Crooks.
Berlin native Mark Renner, a 1994 IU graduate who came to IU on a German American Exchange Service Scholarship, received the Office of the Vice President of International Affairs Distinguished International Service Award. Renner, who earned a master's degree in journalism, is president of the Berlin chapter of the IU Alumni Association and was instrumental in helping establish the IU Europe Gateway.
Joining McRobbie on the trip were Zaret and IU first lady Laurie Burns McRobbie.
In addition to the opening of the new gateway office, the IU delegation's trip to Berlin was marked by a number of other engagement efforts to renew and create new academic and research partnerships, and increase the visibility and impact of its international programs across the continent.
Before Thursday's office opening, McRobbie renewed a half-century-old agreement of friendship and cooperation 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.
This week, the IU delegation also held constructive meetings to explore potential student and faculty exchanges and other collaborative activities with officials at Humboldt University of Berlin, the city’s oldest higher education institution; and the Universität der Künste Berlin, or Berlin University of the Arts, the largest art and music school in Europe with whom IU will soon sign a further agreement of friendship and cooperation.
On Monday, the IU Europe Gateway office hosted its inaugural event, “The Data Dilemma: A Transatlantic Discussion on Privacy, Security, Innovation, Trade, and the Protection of Personal Data in the 21st Century.” IU’s Vice President for Research Fred Cate, an international expert on privacy, security and other information law and policy issues, moderated the panel discussion.
On Thursday, delegation members also met with John Emerson, U.S. ambassador to Germany, to discuss IU's plans for its new office and greater engagement in Germany and across all of Europe.
McRobbie and other IU faculty members, including Martin McCrory, IU associate vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, spoke at the annual conference of the Council on International Educational Exchange. They participated in panel discussions on the benefits of study abroad for minority-serving institutions and underrepresented students.
Additional details about the trip are available at a blog site, IU Goes to Germany, and through official IU social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.