Washington DC: Visit to University of Maryland

The March meeting with colleagues from the University of Maryland (UMD) was very fruitful, and thanks to Vice-President for Research, Prof. Pat O’Shea, and to Dr Ross Lewin, Associate Vice-President for International Affairs, we were able to dock right into the discussions we had had a year before when Pat and Ross visited Lund University (LU), in order to investigate possible strategic partnership between our universities.

Ross Lewin, a dear friend, had prepared the meetings meticulously and was extremely helpful when introducing us to the various faculty members, and at the meeting with Provost and Senior Vice-President Prof. Mary Ann Rankin. I signed a Memorandum of Understanding and an exchange agreement with Mary Ann, which will facilitate collaborations in research and education as well as staff and student mobility between LU and UMD.


The strategic partnerships are important, and we learned a lot from our discussions with the Associate Vice-President for Research, Deans of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities, Associate Provost for Academic Programs and Planning, and Associate Vice-Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, as well as the Dean of the Graduate School, to name some of the academic persons in charge of different scientific and pedagogical areas that we met.  Many of Lund University’s research, education and innovation areas seem to match quite well with UMD’s, which is promising for our recent STINT application (www.stint.se) entitled “Systematic approach to strategic partnerships between research-intensive comprehensive higher education institutions”. The projectaims to develop and test a set of tools and routines for establishing university-wide strategic partnerships, and we hope that our collaborations with UMD will give us insight in how partnerships work.

Another interesting project that is very promising is a language sciences project which involves UMD and Lund University within the Universitas 21 network, with UMD having taken the initiative. The Humanities Lab at Lund University is particularly involved here (www.humlab.lu.se). The project covers areas like health science, basic sciences, education and technology, and works in the fields of multilingualism and the global classroom. Further information to come!

Last but not least I would like to mention the meeting with the newly appointed Dean of the School of Public Policy, Professor Robert Orr, who has a particular interest in climate change and is special advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on climate change. Our discussions dwelled on the possibility of Lund University and U21 participating in a special conference on climate questions in 2016 with researchers in various fields working with climate change from a scientific, political, economic and sustainability point of view.

Dear friends at University of Maryland: thank you for your warm welcome and kind hospitality! We look forward to meeting you again soon.


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