This agreement will follow Thursday’s announcement that the council had approved funding for a faculty research project that will establish an academic collaboration between Princeton and USP for the next three years.
Between 2012 and 2015, Princeton and USP faculty will study “Race and Citizenship in the Americas,” supplemented by a series of major yearly conferences and smaller workshops with faculty and students at the schools, according to the project proposal announced Thursday. The project will facilitate the hosting of graduate schools at the two universities, with the ultimate goal of “strengthen[ing] and broaden[ing] Princeton’s academic and institutional ties with Brazil.”
Thursday’s announcement may function as a pilot to the larger partnership with USP. The council is also in the process of crafting long-term partnerships with the University of Tokyo and Humboldt University in Berlin, though Adelman noted in an interview on Monday that final agreements with these institutions will likely be established later in the 2012-13 academic year.
Adelman said that USP, the University of Tokyo and Humboldt University were targeted by Princeton because they were “strategic partners,” defined as universities that have strengths across constituencies and departments and have reputations for being the best in their respective countries. He added that goal of the council is to eventually have “about 10 major international partnerships around the world where Princeton students and graduate students flow back and forth.”
Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures Pedro Meira Monteiro and anthropology professor Joao Biehl will lead the “Race and Citizenship in the Americas” study on the Princeton side, though a total of 11 University faculty are involved in the project.
Biehl and Monteiro will work closely with USP sociology professor Antonio Guimaraes and Lilia Schwarcz, a visiting Global Scholar in history from USP who is co-teaching FRS 160: Race and the History of Racism in Brazil: An Alternative to the United States? with Monteiro this spring. As part of the study proposal, Schwarcz’s Global Scholar appointment has also been renewed for the next academic year.
The three-year project will not only accompany the new partnership between the institutions, but it will also build on several years of informal collaboration between USP and University faculty, said Monteiro. Monteiro noted that Schwarcz’s past work as a Global Scholar in the history department has encouraged Princeton students to travel to Brazil and USP. Monteiro also hopes to reciprocate this practice by hosting two Ph.D. students from USP next year.
Additionally, Monteiro cited the appointment of Guimaraes to a visiting faculty position with the Center for African American Studies and the Program in Latin American Studies in 2007 as the beginning of the institutional ties between USP and the University.
“[Guimaraes] happens to be one of the most vocal and public intellectuals that deal with the issue of race and racism in Brazil,” Monteiro said. “Because I have a strong interest in the intersection between social sciences and literature, I was particularly interested in keeping that dialogue with him.”
The Global Collaborative Networks Fund, which funded the faculty project announced Thursday, was originally called for in the 2007 “Princeton in the World” report. The fund was allocated by the council precisely to support faculty initiatives that have the potential to develop into lasting relationships, Vice Provost for International Initiatives Diana Davies said.
Three other faculty projects have been selected by the council for funding which will encourage student and faculty collaboration with scholars around the world on academic subjects such as classics, anthropology and astrophysics, according to the council’s website.
The purpose of these projects is to ultimately transition from individual collaborations between faculty members to larger, institutional partnerships like the one to be announced this fall.
Adelman noted that these faculty-designed projects are beneficial because they organically encourage “collaborative research and training with different outposts around the world,” more so than a top-down administration program.
“If you can’t bring the faculty along, the programs have low value,” he said.
Tilghman also noted the success of this structure in an interview on Monday, noting that a long-term relationship with another university often “starts with a conversation at a scientific meeting or a humanities symposium” that then creates opportunities for faculty members to spend time at other institutions.
“It’s something that has to percolate and grow,” she said, adding that the council has succeeded in developing partnerships because of its willingness to “support those percolators and then evaluate the ones that look as though they’re really developing roots.”
Adelman explained that building the multiple partnerships he envisions would require the fusion of international faculty and research activities with a more global undergraduate education. He noted that following the 2007 “Princeton in the World” report, a faculty committee headed by Adelman and former Dean of the Wilson School Anne-Marie Slaughter convened to make recommendations for internationalization.
But that committee was not responsible for implementing undergraduate initiatives; instead, then-Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel and Senior Associate Dean of the College Nancy Kanach were given a charge to compile a separate report to strengthen undergraduate study abroad programs.
Now, Adelman said that the challenge is to “bring the two hemispheres together.” Last year, the council reviewed the current infrastructure of undergraduate education and recommended a model of international learning that draws from the value of full-scale partnerships with foreign universities.
Accordingly, the new partnership with USP will also usher in a handful of new undergraduate academic programs, including an intensive language program taught in Brazil — the Princeton in Brazil program — and a yearly Global Seminar hosted by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies in Rio de Janeiro, both of which will start this summer.
The Program in Latin American Studies has also proposed a Brazilian Studies Certificate program to begin in the 2012-13 academic year, which Program Director Ruben Gallo said is still waiting for approval.
Adelman noted that the council is now working to make study abroad programs more accessible for a wide range of students. He explained that past surveys have indicated that some students “face the dilemma of feeling that studying abroad is taking away from the Princeton experience,” particularly because many students begin to contemplate going overseas only after their calendar becomes very crowded with independent work and departmental requirements.
“No student should face the dilemma of feeling that studying abroad is taking away from your Princeton experience,” Adelman explained. “Part of Princeton is to be in the world.”
Similarly, Tilghman noted that many students express a concern that their area of concentration makes it difficult for them to study abroad while still completing the requirements for their degree. She emphasized that individual departments must take ownership of incorporating study abroad programs into their curriculum.
She praised the Department of Ecological and Evolutionary Biology’s “seamless” study abroad program, the Wilson School’s ability to allow concentrators to take junior task forces abroad and the German department’s “smorgasbord of opportunities” during the school year and the summer, all of which blend required coursework with international experience.
Adelman added that study abroad programs are by no means “disciplinarily bound,” pointing to the collaborative networks that both the astrophysics and EEB departments have created with international universities as “the spirit of the kind of thing we want to see more of.” On the other hand, he noted that the resources required of bench science independent work have made it more difficult to mobilize students in the molecular biology and chemistry departments.
“Now that we have a model in place, we’re at a critical junction: How can we mobilize the students?” Adelman asked. “We need to create programs that are meaningful to them.”
Despite the bold moves that other universities in the United States have taken to forge relationships with overseas institutions — such as New York University’s decision to open a campus in Abu Dhabi in 2010 — Tilghman said that the council’s model for establishing international partnerships has been equally successful, even if developing the partnership require more patience.
“I think increasingly we are looking very competitive with our peer universities; that probably wasn’t true 10 years ago,” said Tilghman.
Monteiro noted that Brazil’s economic boom in the midst of the financial crisis and the recent formation of a new middle class has made it the center of global attention. Monteiro noted that peer institutions like Columbia and Harvard have launched offices in Sao Paulo. However, he conveyed optimism about Princeton’s “softer model” of internationalization, which encourages a strong circulation of scholars and students between the two communities.
Though Adelman said he sometimes expresses doubt whether the University “should be putting more into the hardware, not just the software” of international partnerships, he concluded that the University’s growing global presence should continue to be a process that respects the “integrity of Princeton’s commitment to the educational enterprise.”
“Where we choose to be in the world follows the frontiers of science and discovery, and that’s up to the students and faculty to figure out,” Adelman said.
Even so, Adelman recognized the importance of keeping up with the increasingly fast pace of globalization.
“We have to make sure that we’re ready for the 21st century,” he said. “We went from being a regional university to a great national university. We have to make sure we become a great international university.”
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/05/04/30898/