International Delegation of Professors Convenes in Kansas for Program Orientation

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From January 9 to 11, 2012, forty-two university faculty from fourteen countries in Eurasia and Southeastern Europe met with their U.S. colleagues at the University of Kansas (KU) to mark the beginning of the 2012 Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP). Hosted by KU's Office of International Programs, the orientation familiarized the JFDP fellows with U.S. higher education and American culture, in preparation for spending a semester at a U.S. university.

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The 2012 JFDP cohort gathered at the program orientation’s farewell barbecue and barn dance in the Lawrence Visitors Center and Historic Train Depot.

The JFDP program is preparing a new generation of university faculty from many countries for new levels of international cooperation and the cultivation of innovation in their teaching and research.

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From January 9 to 11, 2012, forty-two university faculty from fourteen countries in Eurasia and Southeastern Europe met with their U.S. colleagues at the University of Kansas (KU) to mark the beginning of the 2012 Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP). Hosted by KU's Office of International Programs, the orientation familiarized the JFDP fellows with U.S. higher education and American culture, in preparation for spending a semester at a U.S. university.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and administered by American Councils for International Education, JFDP provides international university instructors with semester-long opportunities to expand their knowledge and expertise in their academic field, by attending classes and working with faculty members at U.S. universities. JFDP enables professional exchanges between the U.S. and fifteen countries including, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.

KU Assistant Vice Provosts for International Programs, Dr. Hodgie Bricke and Dr. Charles Bankart welcomed the JFDP fellows to the two-day conference. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little delivered the opening remarks, welcoming the delegation to KU and expressing her high hopes for the 2012 JFDP cohort.

American Councils President, Dr. Dan Davidson gave the keynote speech, which reflected on the changing role of faculty and universities in the global economy. Dr. Davidson noted, “The role of university faculty has evolved considerably in recent years, particularly under the impact of new technologies and powerful competitive forces that affect higher education around the world. The JFDP program is preparing a new generation of university faculty from many countries for new levels of international cooperation and the cultivation of innovation in their teaching and research.”

Over the course of the orientation, JFDP faculty members from fourteen disciplines networked with colleagues, met with KU professors, and gained a nuanced understanding of U.S. university campus life. Presentations and panel discussions focused on topics such as student assessment, professional communication, research methods, and curriculum development. After the orientation, JFDP fellows dispersed to twenty-nine universities across the U.S. to begin their semester-long fellowships.

Click here for more information about JFDP: http://www.americancouncils.org/program/1n/JFDP/.

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