More than ever, we see the importance of an increasingly interconnected world. The challenges of our time are global and interdisciplinary and so, too, are the solutions. From promoting food safety to combating climate change and improving water quality at home and in some of the most challenging parts of the world, Michigan State University's programs are inherently global in scope.
We have seen cultural understanding, geographic knowledge, language studies and international experience advance from elements of a good education to vital components of modern society. At the same pace of change, our campus, curriculum and community have internationalized. Our students and faculty work with colleagues around the globe on projects in many fields of study. Our area studies centers and our international thematic centers offer relevant expertise in a wide variety of disciplines. With continuous and seamless connection between the MSU campus and our partner institutions around the world, International Studies and Programs is supporting the: advancement of MSU's international research; expansion of our strategic partnerships; internationalization of our campus, curriculum and community; and enhancement of MSU's language instruction.
Our international alliances are advancing knowledge and transforming lives in key areas such as:
Food—nutrition, production, security, safety, and value chain
Education—math & science in K-12, community engagement, instructional and administrative capacity development
Health—nutrition, animal-human health interface, and emerging infectious diseases
Environment—climate change, deforestation, and water quantity and quality.
Ensuring strength in these areas is important to the university and is driven by the opportunity to have an impact on critical global issues of national and state-wide relevance. Yet we face difficult decisions as pressures on state, federal and private sources will make funding more difficult. To address these issues we have established priorities to preserve and enhance strengths that are most important to our students, faculty, and partners. As we strive to enhance academic and research quality, we will continue to work toward diversifying our funding sources.
We are focused on the future with a number of developing initiatives, including MSU's efforts with partners in south Asia. Our new South Asia Initiative will strategically guide and assist researchers in an increasingly important area of the world and facilitate scholarly exchanges among MSU faculty, students, and the best south Asia specialists. We are ready to establish a new model for supporting the hundreds of research faculty currently engaged in the region.
Another developing initiative is promoting seamless connections through our countless alumni, partner institutions, and friends. We foresee opportunities to improve relations around the world with the appointment of our new director of international alumni relations. It is our goal to enhance connections with alumni and join in new collaborations.
Together MSU's international experts and partners play a crucial role in solving today's challenges. To learn more about our recent international news and activities I hope you will browse our Web site and subscribe to our weekly international news feed. (/https://db.web.ur.msu.edu/msunews/weekly/)
Jeffrey M. Riedinger, J.D., Ph.D.
Dean of International Studies and Programs