International Educator - May/June 2012 - 94
| indiana university–purdue university indianapolis (iupui)
William Plater, retired executive vice chancellor and dean, helped push IuPuI on its international course.
After Sutton became the international affairs office first fulltime director in 2003, she winnowed a bulging, cobwebbed pile of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) that she inherited. “We had signed around 200 over the years, and with most, nothing (ever) happened,” said Sutton. “It seemed like a friendly thing to do but, after a nice dinner in Bangkok or in Paris or wherever, no one ever thought about what would be needed to sustain the MOU.”
Strategic Partnerships: The International Fulcrum
IUPUI concentrated on developing close relationships with a limited number of universities. “Internationalization through institutional partnerships has become our defining feature,” said Sutton, an anthropologist who retired this past spring but is spending a year doing international work for Bryn Mawr College. “You collaborate not just in sending students back and forth but in curriculum development, teaching in each others’ classes, and joint research projects.” Such strategic partnerships draw in “faculty and students who previously would never have done anything international,” she added. After campus-wide discussions involving hundreds of faculty and administrators, IUPUI settled on Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya; Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China; and the Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo (AUEH) in Pachuca, Mexico, as its three closest partners. IUPUI already had a strong
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base upon which to build its Kenyan ties: the Indiana University School of Medicine helped Moi build its school of medicine in the late 1980s and ever since has been sending a faculty physician for a full year and residents and students on rotations. The IU-Kenya partnership took an extraordinary turn after Professor Joe Mamlin discovered in 2000 that a Moi medical student was among the AIDS patients dying with only palliative care in Moi’s hospital. Mamlin secured antiretroviral drugs for Daniel Ochieng, who recovered, and set about creating a community-based program called the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), which today provides AIDS medicines and primary health care to 120,000 Kenyans in dozens of clinics across western Kenya. Seven other U.S. medical schools have joined the effort, which has grown thanks to $60 million in funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Fran Quigley, associate director of AMPATH and a clinical professor at the IUPUI School of Law, told the AMPATH story in a 2009 book, Walking Together, Walking Far.
Reaching across the curriculum
The IUPUI partnership with Moi now extends well beyond this celebrated medical collaboration. Chancellor Charles Bantz and Moi Chancellor Bethwel A. Ogot in 2006 signed an agreement forging a strategic alliance that has led to joint projects in education, social work, informatics, engineering, business, and other fields.