|Fordham University and Mexico’s Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) have forged an academic partnership that will allow the two institutions to exchange faculty and students, collaborate on research, and strengthen a global network connecting Jesuit institutions of higher education.
Delegates from the Mexican university visited Fordham’s Rose Hill campus on Nov. 17 to celebrate the new partnership, which has been in development for the past year.
After a breakfast reception held in the President’s Office, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University, and Enrique Gonzalez Torres, S.J., president of UIA, formally signed the partnership agreement between the two Jesuit universities.
“This partnership is a sign of a new age of the Society of Jesus, one more aware of a global network of schools,” said Father McShane.
The agreement promotes joint research projects and mutual assistance in locating grants that will serve to strengthen faculty development and academic programs. In addition, the partnership will feature a faculty exchange program that will provide visiting professors with library privileges and office space.
Faculty collaboration is already under way. In November 2002, Fordham’s Héctor Lindo-Fuentes, Ph.D., professor of history, and Chris Schmidt-Nowara, Ph.D., assistant professor of history and director of the Latin American and Latino Studies program, visited UIA and organized a joint-faculty seminar on Globalization and Differences. Following the seminar, faculty members met several times on their respective campuses to discuss David Harvey’s The New Imperialism and other relevant texts.
While the UIA delegation was in New York this past November, faculty members from both universities met with author David Harvey, who is a professor of anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center, and continued their discussion at Fordham. The workshop, which is expected continue this winter in Mexico, will culminate with the publication of a book in 2004.
Under the terms of the agreement, the universities will exchange graduate and undergraduate students for one- to two-semester intervals. Last summer, two students from UIA studied at Fordham. One student in Fordham’s International Political Economy and Development Program (IPED) is currently studying at the Mexican university, while two other Fordham students are slated to study there next semester.
Although the two institutions have been collaborating informally for some time, the development of the formal partnership began in the fall of 2002 when Martha Navarro Albo, Ph.D., associate for international and area graduate studies at UIA, reached out to Nancy A. Busch, Ph.D., dean of Fordham’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. According to Albo, UIA was interested in the scholastic opportunities afforded by Fordham’s Latin American and Latino Studies program and its IPED program. Albo conducted a site visit at Fordham in October 2002, one month prior to Lindo-Fuentes and Schmidt-Nowara’s visit to UIA. Henry Schwalbenberg, Ph.D., associate professor of economics and director of IPED, also visited the Mexican university last January.
The agreement, which may be renewed every three years, provides flexibility for future expansion of the partnership.
“This collaboration is the basis of what we see as a great opportunity for both Fordham and Universidad Iberoamericana to develop a long-lasting academic relationship that will enable us to create a new breed of international students who are global thinkers that, hopefully, will also become global leaders,” said Albo.
UIA combines pre-professional preparation with a strong liberal arts curriculum and the Jesuit commitment to service and social justice.
On Nov. 17, Joseph M. McShane, S.J (right)., president of Fordham University, and Enrique Gonzalez Torres, S.J.(left), president of Mexico’s Universidad Iberoamericana, formally signed an academic partnership agreement between their two institutions.