South Asia Forum Seeks to Expand MSU Collaboration in the Region
Published: Friday, 26 Sep 2008
With sights set on enhancing partnerships, a team of colleges, faculty, public institutions, non-governmental organizations and private corporations both here and abroad, have come together to align priorities and develop a coordinated approach in South Asia. This effort, known as the South Asia Initiative, is being coordinated by International Studies and Programs at Michigan State University, to strengthen multi-disciplinary research in the region.
In September, a two-day forum focused on the new South Asia Initiative, bring together the faculty and staff from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Broad College of Business, College of Communications Arts and Sciences, College Education, College of Engineering, James Madison College, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Social Science, Asian Studies Center, and International Studies and Programs. Together the group took initial steps toward a collective effort to build relationships with partner institutions, private industry and the many public sector organizations in South Asia. The collaborating units discussed structure and processes necessary to manage a coordinate effort in the region.
It is apparent from the growing research enterprise in this area of the world, that it is necessary to expand MSUs collaborations in South Asia, said Jeffrey Riedinger, Dean for International Studies and Programs. The goal of the two-day forum was to collectively capture emerging opportunities in South Asian Countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives, and begin the discussion on creating a coordinating body for generating scholarship, research, and outreach between MSU and the region.
During the first day of the forum participants focused on the issues related to their specific academic disciplines. With their host colleges they worked to envision next steps for their collaborative work. As the groups came together on Friday, the cross-college conversation began around the issues of a Land Grant institution in pursuit of an expanded mission as a World Grant University.