Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie will travel to South Korea this week, where he will participate in the first IU international alumni reunion in Asia in a decade, meet with current and prospective students from the region and add to the university’s growing list of partnerships with the region’s leading academic and research institutions.
McRobbie is scheduled to leave tomorrow (June 2) for South Korea, where IU is expected to sign an agreement with Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) on a joint J.D.-M.B.A. program. The program is believed to be the first agreement of its kind between a U.S. law school and an Asian business school.
“In the decade since IU has held an international alumni reunion in Asia, we have seen phenomenal development in this region of the world,” McRobbie said. “With dramatically expanding economies and some of the world’s premier systems of higher education, this region is providing significant educational and research opportunities for students and faculty.
“IU’s ties with Asia are deep and extensive, and our Asian alumni maintain a lifelong interest in the university,” he continued. “They are central to all of our efforts to build academic and business relationships, and I look forward to the opportunity to personally thank IU’s many distinguished international alumni for their continued loyalty, support and friendship.”
The IU Alumni Association will host the International Alumni Conference and Reunion from June 5-7 at the Sofitel Ambassador hotel in Seoul. Between 300-400 individuals from a number of different countries are expected to participate in various aspects of the conference, the first of its kind in the region since 1999.
IU has approximately 8,000 international alumni and friends in Asia. More than 1,200 of the university’s 6,000 international students come from Korea each year and the Korea Alumni Club in Seoul has more than 1,000 members, making it one of the largest IU alumni groups in the world.
On Friday evening (June 5), McRobbie will deliver the keynote address at the conference. Earlier that day, he will deliver a presentation on the topic of university admissions processes at a seminar sponsored by the Korean Council for University Education.
The conference will feature IU-led sessions on a wide range of issues, including globalization and legal education; educational reform, international politics and public administration; the global nursing shortage; engineering; music; and information technology. Additionally, IU First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie will deliver a presentation on visual updates at Indiana University, which will include details on the university’s comprehensive master plan.
As part of the conference, IU will host a reception and information session for undergraduate and graduate students from the region who have been admitted to IU.
Leading up to the conference, McRobbie will visit with officials from SKKU and KAIST, also known as the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. KAIST, located in the Daedeok Research Complex in the city of Daejeon, 150 kilometers south of Seoul, was established in 1971 as the nation’s first graduate school specializing in science and engineering education and research. It is regarded by many to be the MIT of South Korea. He will meet with senior leadership at KAIST and members of its leading departments, including the College of Life Science and Bioengineering.
Last fall, McRobbie visited South Korea and China and signed new partnership agreements with several of the region’s premier research universities. During that trip, IU reached agreements with SKKU, Seoul National University and Peking University in China; discussed future partnership opportunities with officials at Yonsei University, with whom IU has had an agreement since 1986; and laid the groundwork for this week’s conference and reunion.
In his earlier role as IU provost and now as president of the university, McRobbie has led several of IU’s efforts to expand its international presence. He made previous visits to China (in 2006 and 2007) and visited Japan in 2006.