17 October 2007
Princeton in the World
Shirley M. Tilghman
Christopher L. Eisgruber
Everyone is talking about globalization, and it is easy to understand why. People, products, information, capital, cultural artifacts, social trends, pollutants, and pathogens are all circulating throughout the world with dizzying speed. Domains from business to the arts, from politics to medicine, are becoming more intensely and self-consciously international than ever before. Local knowledge and regional differences remain important, of course. Yet, it is almost impossible to imagine how any contemporary community or ecosystem could be like the Galapagos Islands of Darwin’s day, wholly buffered against influences from the outside world. Today local traits and customs mix with and define themselves in relation to global forces and patterns of activity.
To flourish in this environment, Princeton — and, indeed, America’s universities and colleges more generally — will have to find ways to meet the challenges of internationalization. Students will have to be knowledgeable about, and comfortable interacting with, cultures different from their own. Researchers will have to become more attentive to international issues and more sensitive to the international dimensions of domestic problems. Faculty will have to recognize that their potential collaborators and rivals will come from not only familiar institutions in the United States and Europe, but also a host of new, and newly vigorous, universities throughout the world.
Of course, globalization has been going on for a very long time, and so has Princeton’s response to it. For example, the establishment of the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs in 1930 specifically underscored the importance of international relations to the University’s mission. More recently, when the University revised its unofficial motto in 1996, from “Princeton in the Nation’s Service” to “Princeton in the Nation’s Service and in the Service of All Nations,” it did so to recognize that Princeton could not be a great teaching and research university unless it incorporated an international dimension into its mission. All of these changes, and the ones recommended here, reinforce Princeton’s special role as a distinctively American university: they recognize that, in order to be a great American university, Princeton must integrate the national and international domains into a cohesive educational enterprise.
The accelerating speed of change in the world means that we must continually assess and enhance our effectiveness in the ways we engage the world. In 2003, after reviewing reports from an internal faculty committee and an outside review committee, we concluded that an integrated approach to international and regional studies was needed, so that faculty taking global approaches to issues such as trade and global governance could benefit from the thinking of others who focus on specific regions of the world, and vice versa. The Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) grew out of these deliberations, with its mission to conduct collaborative, interdisciplinary research and teaching projects that help to integrate international relations and regional studies approaches. With the benefit of energetic leadership from its founding director, Professor Miguel Centeno, and his successor, Professor Katherine Newman, PIIRS is catalyzing new and exciting work in these fields.
If Princeton is to participate fully in the challenges and opportunities that await us in the years ahead, more changes are needed. Every department in the University, not just those specifically concerned with international topics, has the potential to embrace a more international outlook. For that reason, in 2006-07 we requested two additional reports about how Princeton could improve its response to globalization. We convened a special faculty committee to prepare a confidential report on the broad topic of how to “develop a set of strategic priorities and specific measures that will enable the University to fully realize [its] aspiration to be an American university with a broad international vision.” Jeremy Adelman, the Chair of Princeton’s Department of History, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, the Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, agreed to chair the Committee, which included faculty members from every division of the University. We also asked Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel and Associate Dean of the College Nancy Kanach for specific recommendations about how Princeton could enhance its study abroad programs.
The Adelman-Slaughter Committee and the Dean of the College have proposed that Princeton embark on concerted efforts to enhance its international dimensions in ways that preserve and extend the University’s traditional strengths. The Adelman-Slaughter Committee articulated a distinctive model of an international scholarly enterprise. The Committee’s members envisioned a rich exchange of scholars, students, and ideas across international borders along fluid pathways defined by the research and educational interests of our community, not by inflexible investments in overseas campuses or specific regions of the world. The Dean of the College encouraged us to embrace the idea that every Princeton undergraduate should incorporate an international experience into his or her Princeton career. These recommendations chart a course that Princeton must pursue if it aspires to sustain or enhance its standing in the world and provide excellence in teaching and research that will make a real difference in the decades ahead. We are pleased to endorse these proposals, and we are delighted to announce that Princeton will immediately begin fundraising to implement them.
Princeton’s Distinctive Mission
As both the Adelman-Slaughter Committee and Dean Malkiel recognized in their reports, Princeton University has unique characteristics and strengths. In the words of the Committee, “Princeton is an outstanding research university with a deep commitment to superb teaching. It is distinctive in the breadth of its research excellence, the intensity of its engagement with students at all levels, and the close-knit character of its community.” Princeton’s response to globalization must build upon these attributes. We cannot simply borrow strategies that have been deployed by other American institutions, because we are different in several important ways from our peers. Princeton focuses more on fundamental research and on its undergraduate and doctoral programs, without large professional schools in law, business, and medicine that have played a leading role in international ventures at other American universities. Likewise, Princeton is smaller than many of its peers. Our size facilitates cross-disciplinary collaboration, but it also requires us to choose carefully when we decide what kinds of overseas programs we most want. Another constraint at the undergraduate level is Princeton’s required independent work — junior papers and a senior thesis — that limit students’ choices for study abroad. Perhaps most importantly, Princeton’s ethos nurtures and depends upon a rich and demanding form of community. We insist that our faculty be present on the campus and in the classroom, and our students often develop such strong loyalties to the institution that they are reluctant to spend time away from it.
Because of these characteristics, the most successful ventures at Princeton have always been “bottom-up” rather than “top-down.” They have emerged out of the scholarly expertise, interests, and passions of our faculty and the educational needs of their students rather than from a centrally designed administrative plan. Not surprisingly, the reports from the Adelman-Slaughter Committee and the Dean of the College emphasized the need to stimulate and facilitate faculty-driven proposals to internationalize Princeton’s research and teaching agenda. Such efforts will require more work and creativity than a one-size-fits-all university initiative, but that investment will be well justified: the resulting initiatives will be more likely to flourish in Princeton’s unique academic culture.
“Networks and Flows”
The Adelman-Slaughter Committee offered a compelling vision for how Princeton can build on its strengths and core values to meet the challenges of globalization. Their recommendations were organized around three basic principles:
- “Internationalization should be nimble and flexible, avoiding heavy sunk costs in institutions.” The Committee emphasized that Princeton’s tradition is “to facilitate, not regulate.” It counseled the University to avoid investments in satellite campuses that might ultimately do more to constrain than to enable valuable scholarly efforts. As the Committee wrote, “in the long run, we will be distinguished more by the research we promote than by our management of institutions that too often outlive their original inspirations.”
- “The framework for internationalization should enable and support faculty-driven activity.” In the international domain, as elsewhere, Princeton must permit research and teaching priorities to shape the ventures it launches. The Committee rightly observed that “research and exchanges work best at Princeton when the stakeholders are also the initiators and custodians of their efforts.” It accordingly urged the University to “mobilize latent scholarly resources by encouraging faculty and students to reach out and realize ambitions that would otherwise remain in their filing cabinets or e-mail directories.”
- “Internationalization requires an infusion of leadership, resources, and commitment.” The Committee called upon the University to raise substantial new funds to support international initiatives. It also highlighted the need for effective governance mechanisms and administrative leadership to ensure that these resources are well deployed and that the University presses forward the “major transformation” of policies needed to realize its international aspirations.
As the Committee noted, these three principles “share a common theme: the importance of investing in Princeton’s general capacity for international exchanges and research, rather than concentrating on any particular region, country, or field of research.” The Committee called upon the University to encourage “networks and flows” of faculty and students world-wide, lowering the barriers that inhibit our students and faculty from going abroad, and for scholars from other countries coming to Princeton. By bringing visitors from abroad, the University will nurture relationships between its own faculty members and students and their foreign counterparts. These relationships will lead naturally to research collaborations, and they will enrich the content and impact of the experiences that Princeton undergraduates and graduate students will enjoy when they go abroad. By increasing the “porosity” of the campus through increases in both export and import of people and ideas, we will ensure that Princeton’s scholarly energy will be felt throughout the world.
Stimulating New International Projects and Partnerships
The Adelman-Slaughter Committee emphasized that if Princeton wishes to generate innovative research and educational projects that address the challenges of globalization, it must make substantial new investments to support such activity. Princeton must take steps to encourage faculty members to think about opportunities to steer their research and teaching in international directions. And it must ensure that when faculty members and graduate students design research projects with an international dimension, they can find institutional support for their efforts. The Committee highlighted several different kinds of resources that it regarded as crucial to the achievement of these goals.
Bringing International Visitors to the Princeton Faculty. The Committee urged Princeton to create a new set of faculty positions that would bring to campus a distinguished cadre of international scholars who would visit on a recurring basis. These “Global Scholars” would come to Princeton for visits of varying duration: some professors, for example, might come for one semester in each of three consecutive years; other professors might come for a shorter span — say, half a semester — in multiple years. While at Princeton, these professors would be expected to teach or co-teach courses; participate in ongoing workshops; and give at least one public presentation, in a workshop or lecture, each time they visited.
The Committee imagined that “the Global Scholars would bring vital new voices from abroad to our departments and classrooms. In addition, the program would inaugurate and sustain durable ties between Princeton and academic centers of excellence around the world. One faculty member in the Humanities described these benefits of exchanges to the Committee: ‘More doors would ultimately be opened for us abroad, and our own campus would look and feel and sound a little different, if we made greater room for bringing the best foreign scholars to Princeton.’”
The benefits of the Global Scholars program will be many and lasting. For example, when they return to their home countries, the Global Scholars will help to raise Princeton’s profile there. Their visits to Princeton, moreover, will catalyze collaborations that will bring Princeton faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduates overseas. In effect, we will be establishing a vigorous form of academic free trade, in which a robust import policy will go hand-in-hand with a robust export strategy, and ideas will flow freely across international borders. The Committee emphasized that if the international visitors are to play this catalytic role effectively, they must be fully integrated into campus life. For that reason, the Committee insisted that the visitors should return to Princeton for multiple years so that they have a chance to attract a following among students and to build relationships with faculty members.
There is already precedent for the Global Scholars program that gives us confidence that it will have a significant impact on the campus. For example, the School of Architecture has hosted the distinguished Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa for multiple semesters. Likewise, the Department of German has brought Joseph Vogl of the Humboldt University and Juliane Vogel, from the University of Konstanz, to Princeton for multi-year visits. The German Department’s visitors have catalyzed exactly the sort of international relationships that the Committee envisioned: Princeton’s department is participating in collaborative ventures with both Humboldt and Konstanz.
The Committee recommended that the University aim eventually to have fifteen or more such visitors on campus each year. To achieve that goal, the University will need to provide short-term housing options that make it convenient for leading scholars to visit and live in Princeton. We have asked our Executive Vice President, Mark Burstein, and our Vice President for Facilities, Michael E. McKay, to begin evaluating options to meet this need.
Facilitating International Flows of Graduate Students. The Committee highlighted the critical role of graduate education in any plan for internationalizing Princeton. The Committee recognized that Princeton’s graduate student body is already remarkably internationally diverse. Princeton should seize opportunities to capitalize on this diversity. The Committee also expressed an expectation that “much of the movement through our research networks will be conducted by younger scholars, post-doctoral fellows, and — especially — graduate students.” The Committee counseled Princeton to provide resources to support international research projects of Princeton graduate students and to facilitate visits by foreign graduate students who might come to Princeton to collaborate on research or educational projects. These resources would include travel grants and fellowships for Princeton students who need to extend their term of study to do research abroad; funds to defray the costs of having visiting foreign graduate students; and short-term housing.
Creating a Global Initiatives Fund to Nurture New International Ventures. To launch international research and educational projects, faculty members need two kinds of support — financial resources to defray the costs of adding an international component to their research and teaching, and relief from burdensome administrative practices that too often impede foreign collaborations. The Committee recognized that, in general, Princeton’s researchers must rely on external funding sources, such as competitive government grants, to support their projects. That principle must apply to international ventures as well as domestic ones, but supplemental funding will be needed. For example, government agencies like the National Institutes of Health do not permit their research training funds to support foreign students and fellows at Princeton.
The Committee described three examples of the kinds of projects that might benefit from the support of a Global Initiatives Fund:
- Seed grants to catalyze important research initiatives based on international collaboration between Princeton faculty and colleagues overseas, with allocations based on peer-review.
- Support for global networks that enable Princeton graduate students to spend significant periods in partner institutions abroad conducting research under the guidance of senior foreign faculty who have committed to mentoring them, while reciprocal arrangements encourage faculty from partner institutions to visit Princeton to work in laboratories, present papers, participate in annual conferences, and spend their sabbaticals here.
- Travel support that permits our students and faculty to travel together to work for periods of time, ranging from a few weeks to an entire term, in foreign institutions and at field sites.
These categories describe valuable, compelling activities that fit well with Princeton’s approach to education and research. However we should be attentive to the Committee’s wise counsel that internationalization at Princeton must be “nimble and flexible,” and that we must avoid making dedicated investments in projects or institutions that are likely to “outlive their original inspirations.”
For this reason the newly raised Global Initiatives Funds should be configured to ensure that the University can respond vigorously not only to the specific challenges that globalization poses at the outset of the 21st century, but to ones that we cannot now anticipate but that undoubtedly will arise in the decades ahead. They should be flexible enough to provide needed funding for the Global Scholars Initiative, graduate student exchanges, seed grants for new ventures, global networks, and other ventures that might arise in the near or distant future. We will seek donor support to establish these funds on a permanent basis, but we are pleased to announce that, as a result of the extraordinary support from Princeton’s alumni for the 2006-2007 Annual Giving campaign, the University will be able to launch these initiatives immediately with a budget in excess of $1 million per year.
Overseeing and Implementing Our International Initiatives
The Committee recognized the critical importance of governance and administration to the success of its plan, and it made a number of specific suggestions to ensure that Princeton’s efforts at internationalization will have the support they require.
Providing faculty leadership and advocacy. The Adelman-Slaughter Committee proposed the creation of a faculty governance board to oversee the University’s international initiatives. Though this governing body will neither offer courses nor appoint faculty members, it should enjoy a status comparable to that of the University’s major faculty councils, such as the Council on Science and Technology or the Council of the Humanities. Princeton will accordingly create a new Council on International Teaching and Research to continue to design and implement the international initiatives of the University.
The Council’s responsibilities will include continuing the strategic planning process begun by the Adelman-Slaughter Committee; overseeing the distribution of new resources to support international visitors and projects; reviewing University policies for establishing international collaborations and partnerships; identifying changes to policies when such amendments are needed to encourage more international activity; and monitoring the University’s progress in meeting its international objectives. The Council might also cooperate with other partners, such as department chairs and academic deans, to produce reports or recommendations pertaining to specific topics (such as, for example, language teaching) that are important to the internationalization of the University. Responsibility for the University’s study abroad programs and international internships would remain under the auspices of the Dean of the College, but the Council might assist the Dean’s office by, for example, helping to fund new educational projects overseas and assisting with the development of new study abroad programs (the Council would supercede the faculty committee that currently advises the director of the study abroad program). Members of the Council, who would be drawn from all four divisions of the faculty, will also serve as advocates for internationalization, both with their faculty colleagues and with the central administration.
Like the Council on Science and Technology, the Council on International Teaching and Research will consist of a Director and an eleven-member Executive Committee. (The Director will be one of the Committee’s eleven members and will act as its chair.) The Council will include four ex officio members: The Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, the Director of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Director of the Study Abroad Program, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Diversity in the Office of the Graduate School. The president will appoint members of the University faculty to the remaining seven seats on the Council and select one of those faculty members to serve as the Council’s director. Members of the Council will ordinarily serve three-year terms, as will its Director. Because the Council’s work will have a substantial impact on the life and work of academic departments, two or more of its members should be sitting departmental chairs. At least in the Council’s early years, its task will be sufficiently critical that the President and the Provost should meet regularly with the entire Council.
Ensuring high-quality administrative support. The Committee strongly argued that the University will need a new high-level administrator to implement the international initiatives, and we agree. The new administrator would serve as secretary to the new Council; collaborate with other Princeton administrators to make the University more hospitable to international ventures; ensure that the needs of international projects and visitors are considered when new policies are crafted; and help to negotiate agreements with foreign institutions. International ventures will often confront special problems, such as the need to hammer out complex agreements or contend with intricate government regulations. Solving these problems will require the expertise, persistence, and talent of an outstanding administrator.
Because the new administrator’s responsibilities will span all units of the University, the logical place for the appointment is in the Provost’s office. By creating an Associate or Vice Provost for International Initiatives, Princeton will take a critical and necessary step forward in its efforts to become a more international university.
Reviewing and revising administrative policies. The Committee observed that University policies might sometimes impose unnecessary barriers to the success of international projects. It drew specific attention to policies that might unduly restrict the flow of graduate students into or out of Princeton, or that might interfere with the ability of faculty members to participate in international collaborations. The Committee also recognized, however, that many of these policies also serve legitimate University interests, and it recommended that the policies be revised only when doing so would serve the overall interests of the University. Identifying problematic policies and designing appropriate amendments will require sustained effort not only from the faculty Council and the new administrator in the Provost’s office, but also from every University office. Implementing change will also require resources: we will need, for example, to expand the operations of Princeton’s Office of Visa Services.
Establishing a home for international activities at Princeton. The members of the Committee attached special importance to establishing a visible and central place or “hub” for international initiatives at Princeton that would bring together various centers, programs, institutes, and offices engaged in international initiatives. That “hub” is likely to be located in Frick Hall. The University has already indicated its intention to locate PIIRS in Frick Hall after the Department of Chemistry moves into its new building, and as indicated in the next section, the Dean of the College is eager to locate the expanded Office of International Programs in Frick Hall as well. In that way Frick would become a symbolic and practical focal point for faculty and students interested in any aspect of Princeton’s international programs.
The Committee also highlighted the need to provide other facilities at Frick that will support the University’s internationalization efforts, such as “classrooms capable of state of the art video-conferencing, to allow students working on a particular part of the world to engage directly with students directly from that area, and to allow those studying any problem to benefit from the insights of others abroad through faculty research networks.” While the planning for Frick is in its early stages, and the building must answer a number of needs in the humanities and the social sciences, we are very supportive of the Committee’s recommendation.
Improving Communication and Visibility. The Committee maintained that the University needed to provide not only a “physical center” for its internationalization efforts but also “a virtual equivalent on the University’s website, allowing students, faculty, administrators, and visitors to know exactly what is happening on campus.” More generally, the Committee recommended that, as the Council on International Teaching and Research implements the plan for internationalization, it put together a public document summarizing the University’s international initiatives.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of this recommendation. At present, many of Princeton’s international efforts are hard to discover. Indeed, some members of the Committee were surprised to learn of the extent of the faculty’s engagement with international collaborations, or that Princeton was already bringing to campus some multi-year foreign visitors comparable to the Global Scholars it envisioned. Princeton’s internationalization program will become more cohesive and powerful if the University ties it together in a visible and easily comprehended website and publications. Faculty and students interested in international projects will find it easier to become involved, and administrators supporting those projects will have a better sense of their needs.
Incorporating International Experiences Into Undergraduate Education
Because we had already asked the Dean of the College for recommendations about how to expand Princeton’s undergraduate study abroad program, we did not ask the Adelman-Slaughter Committee to address that topic. The Committee nevertheless underscored the importance of increasing the proportion of undergraduates who have a substantial experience abroad during their course of study at Princeton, and considered an expanded and proactive study abroad office to be an integral and essential part of their agenda for “internationalizing” Princeton.
As Dean Nancy Malkiel said in a report to the Academic Planning Group last year, “Like other leading international universities, Princeton has a responsibility to produce globally competent citizens. Global competence — defined as a combination of substantive knowledge about international matters, an empathy with and appreciation of other cultures, foreign language proficiency, and a practical ability to function in other cultures — should be a part of every Princeton undergraduate’s education.” She concluded that Princeton should begin to set an expectation for all students, regardless of their field of study, that they should incorporate an international experience as part of their education.
Princeton has already done much to expand its study abroad programs in recent years, but we can do better still. Indeed, when we speak to alumni about Princeton’s international initiatives, they are especially enthusiastic about seeing the University improve its study abroad programs. Many alumni express regret that they did not go abroad during their time at Princeton, and some of them complain — with unfortunate accuracy — that Princeton in the past put too many barriers in the way of students who sought to add an international component to their experience. Those who did go abroad, on the other hand, often regard that experience as one of the most valuable components of their Princeton education.
The critical question about study abroad is not whether to expand Princeton’s offerings, but how to do so. Some other universities — Stanford and Chicago are notable examples — have established ‘mini-campuses’ at overseas locations. Programs of this kind have advantages: for example, they maximize the sponsoring institution’s capacity to ensure the quality of the curriculum it is offering. They also offer students a familiar, comfortable option for studying abroad, which potentially encourages more students to go abroad. On the other hand, such programs also have countervailing disadvantages. Precisely because they create mini-communities of students from the host university, they shelter students from the full-blast experience of being embedded within a foreign culture.
At Princeton, our most successful study abroad programs have emerged out of the creative efforts of dedicated faculty and supportive departments. The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology has sponsored a popular program that takes students to Panama to study the rich ecosystem of a tropical rain forest. Princeton-in-Beijing has a long and much admired track record for educating students in Chinese intensively during the summer. PIIRS recently created a summer seminar that sent Princeton students to Hanoi, where, under the leadership of alumnus Desaix Anderson ‘58, they were exposed to a dazzling array of perspectives on Vietnam’s culture and America’s history of involvement with it.
The Dean of the College recommended that Princeton should create a wide variety of options for students, during term time or in summer, in courses that yield academic credit or in summer internships that provide valuable experiences of a different kind. Her report envisioned “a future in which 20% to 25% of our larger graduating classes of 1,300 students will have studied abroad during term time, as many as 40% will have studied abroad during the summer, 20% to 25% will have held summer internships or employment abroad, as many as 10% will have done senior thesis research abroad, and another 10% will have participated in summer service opportunities abroad. (In some cases students will have engaged in more than one of these activities.)”[See note 3.] Of course, the actual distribution of students among these opportunities is likely to vary, and we might, for example, see an increasing number of students selecting internships rather than more traditional study abroad options. Princeton must be ready to accommodate such changes: the main message from the Dean of the College is that, if we are to maximize the number of Princeton students who go abroad as part of their education, we must be flexible about how they go abroad.
Princeton students might also go abroad even before they begin their freshman years. We have seen growing interest from students in the possibility of taking a “gap year” between their high school and college careers. A gap year devoted to public service in a foreign country would bring special advantages: it would enable students to experience another culture, participate in the benefits of civic engagement, and enter Princeton with a richer, more seasoned perspective on their classroom studies.
New resources will be needed to realize the program envisioned by the Dean of the College. The resources must include funds to encourage faculty members and departments to design new study abroad programs; to support these new programs and expand existing study abroad and international internship programs; and to provide financial aid for students who could not otherwise afford to study or work abroad. These investments will have to be substantial if Princeton is to provide its students with the education needed to make them competent leaders and citizens in a globalizing world.
An infusion of resources will be necessary but not sufficient. Careful planning will be essential. For example, a successful study abroad program will both enhance and depend upon instruction in foreign languages at Princeton. We are fortunate that Princeton has excellent leadership and talent in the departments responsible for teaching languages. Nevertheless, as the Adelman-Slaughter Committee observed, we will need to revisit Princeton’s programs in this area on a regular basis, as the demand for particular languages changes with time. In this domain, as in others, Princeton’s approach should be driven by the scholarly commitments of its faculty and the educational needs of its students, rather than by inflexible investments in regions or facilities.
The success of Dean Malkiel’s proposal will also depend upon strong leadership and increased administrative capacity. While the idea of going abroad is exciting and attractive to some students, it can seem unfamiliar, difficult, and even frightening to others. We must do everything we can to ensure that going abroad while at Princeton seems attractive and easy to arrange. In particular, we must make the University’s administrative support for study abroad and international internships more visible and robust. We will need significant additions to the office staff to advise students, assess external programs, and collaborate with departments to create new opportunities for students to study abroad. We are pleased that the extraordinary success of Princeton’s Annual Giving campaign last year has enabled us to accelerate the expansion of the office’s staff.
Finally, to assist students who may be bewildered by the array of departments and programs on campus that sponsor international programs, it is essential that we create the impression of “one stop shopping” for international experiences. This service should include not only the opportunities that we have already mentioned, but access to information about other valuable post-graduation experiences, such as those offered by Princeton-in-Asia and Princeton-in-Africa. As noted earlier, Dean Malkiel proposes that the Office of International Programs should have a visible presence on campus and help to create a “hub” of information and opportunities for students, ideally co-located with PIIRS in Frick Hall, and we concur.
Globalization presents universities with great opportunities and challenges. It generates a fascinating new array of problems for researchers to analyze and students to study. It calls upon universities to rethink their missions and practices so that they can supply the leadership and analysis needed to solve problems with an international dimension. It demands that universities prepare their students to become worldly cosmopolitans. And it promises to generate strong universities around the world who can be partners and who will also be rivals to their American peers.
Yet, globalization also presents risks for universities. We have already seen some institutions stumble by trying to extend their educational practices too rapidly or in ways that are not faithful to their core values. If Princeton is to flourish in the 21st century, it must meet the challenges of globalization in a way that is both vigorous and consistent with traditions and practices that define our scholarly community. The Adelman-Slaughter Committee has mapped an approach to globalization well-adapted to Princeton’s distinctive commitment to an intense scholarly community of teaching and research. The Committee’s ideas constitute a coherent and powerful approach that will, in its own words, transform Princeton into “a center for a multitude of scholarly networks humming with activity and effectively responding to changes in scholarship and the vagaries of world affairs, while creatively defining the cutting edges of global research.” That is the right international vision for Princeton, and we should pursue it.
1. Appendix 1 lists the members of the Committee and reprints the charge to it.
2. Associate Dean Kanach oversees Princeton’s study abroad program.
3. According to an exit survey of the Class of 2006, 15% studied abroad during the academic year, 19% studied abroad in the summer, 11% worked or volunteered abroad, and 9% conducted senior thesis research abroad. Thirty-eight percent of the Class of 2006 participated in at least one international activity; 59% of these students participated in more than one international activity.
The President’s Advisory Committee on Internationalization
Jeremy Adelman, co-chair, History
Anne-Marie Slaughter, co-chair, Woodrow Wilson School
Mark Beissinger, Politics
Robert Keohane, Woodrow Wilson School
Stephen Kotkin, History and Russian and Eurasian Studies
Kai Li, Computer Science
Susan Naquin, History and East Asian Studies
Katherine Newman, Sociology and Woodrow Wilson School
Gideon Rosen, Philosophy and Council of the Humanities
Daniel Rubenstein, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and African Studies
Jose Scheinkman, Economics
Yigong Shi, Molecular Biology
Today and in the years ahead, Princeton University will confront a wide array of challenges and opportunities related to globalization and internationalization. For example, the University will have to find ways to respond to the growing interest in first-rate research and teaching about China, India, and Asia in general. It will also have to seek new ways to expose its students to foreign cultures so that they emerge from Princeton prepared to lead lives that are not only “in the nation’s service” but, as our revised motto commends, “in the service of all nations.” The impact of globalization will not, however, be confined to disciplines that specifically engage with international subjects. We are already seeing how partnerships with foreign researchers and educators can energize the work of our faculty members and students within every discipline in the University.
Princeton must position itself to seize these opportunities and respond to the challenges that accompany them. It must be nimble enough to react creatively to new possibilities, and it must also be foresighted enough to pursue programs in ways that enhance and preserve the distinctive strengths of this University. I ask this Committee to advise me about how to develop a set of strategic priorities and, where appropriate, specific measures that will enable the University to fully realize our aspiration to be an American university with a broad international vision. In particular, I ask the Committee to address each of the following questions:
- Under what circumstances should Princeton enter into partnerships with research and educational institutions in other countries? Are there general models that Princeton should follow when establishing such partnerships, or should they be designed on an ad hoc basis? Are there particular kinds of partnerships (for example, in specific regions of the world) that Princeton ought to pursue pro-actively? How can Princeton manage and regulate these partnerships to ensure that they contribute effectively to the University’s mission?
- When, if ever, should Princeton consider establishing and operating overseas facilities? What examples of successful facilities exist at Princeton and at other institutions? What sorts of overseas operations have proven less successful, or are inconsistent with Princeton’s model of research and education?
- Are there specific University rules or policies that currently create unnecessary barriers to the effective pursuit of international research or educational opportunities? If so, how could the purposes of these rules be preserved or implemented without creating those barriers? How have these problems been addressed at peer institutions? Is there sufficient administrative support for those who wish to pursue international partnerships, and if not, what support is required?
- What funding mechanisms should the University pursue in order to support international research and educational opportunities on its campus? In particular, should the University seek something comparable to the “Harvard-China Fund” recently established at Harvard? If so, how should such a vehicle (or vehicles) be structured to enable the University to respond to changing opportunities in the United States and abroad? Are there new sources of funding for international programs that the University could tap more effectively?
- How can the University more effectively promote its reputation abroad? More specifically, what can it do to recruit potential undergraduate students, graduate students, post docs, visitors, and faculty members from other countries? What can the University do to enhance connections among overseas alumni?
This charge intentionally leaves out the important question of whether the university is doing everything it can to promote study abroad opportunities for students. This fall the Academic Planning Group approved an ambitious plan, which is included as an appendix, to expand our efforts in this area, and to raise the resources needed to do so. The charge also does not address curricular issues, for example whether there are important regions of the world that are not being adequately covered at the moment. We anticipate, of course, that the kind of partnerships that would be most compelling would include opportunities for our students to study abroad, and would expand our curricular options at home.