IU President McRobbie leading delegation to Korea and China

  • Dec. 2, 2016

Editors: A Chinese version and a Korean version of this news release are also available.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Beginning today, Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie is leading a delegation to South Korea and China, where he will deliver opening remarks at a U.S.-Chinese symposium on the impact of the research of Elinor Ostrom, the late Nobel laureate and IU Distinguished Professor. The symposium will take place at the IU China Gateway office in Beijing.

While in China, McRobbie will also sign a cooperation agreement between the IU School of Education and the Institute of International and Comparative Education at Beijing Normal University and an agreement between Tsinghua University and the School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

He will preside over alumni gatherings in Beijing and Shanghai as well as in Seoul, where the IU Alumni Association is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Korean chapter.

This is McRobbie's sixth visit to South Korea and his eighth official trip to China since becoming IU's president in 2007. As in the past, the IU delegation will look to strengthen the university's connections with partner universities, governmental leaders and alumni. The delegation will return Dec. 10.

Other delegation members include David Zaret, IU vice president for international affairs; Lee Feinstein, dean of the School of Global and International Studies; and Laurie Burns McRobbie, IU's first lady.

They will be joined by faculty and administrators from the Maurer School of Law, the Kelley School of Business, the School of Education and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Bloomington and the School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

The trip is being organized by the IU Office of the Vice President for International Affairs.

"Throughout her lifetime, Elinor Ostrom brought distinction to Indiana University through her groundbreaking work, which received the ultimate recognition in 2009 when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences," McRobbie said. "Her research on the governance of common resources has influenced many, including in China, as evidenced by the distinguished group of Chinese scholars who will participate in the symposium.

"It is one example of the international engagement demonstrated by our faculty and through IU's mission, which links us with some of the best universities all around the world, including many across Asia,” McRobbie added. "We look forward to strengthening these ties further during this trip."

While visiting Seoul, McRobbie will speak at an alumni reception and dinner on Sunday, Dec. 4, that will be highlighted by a concert by IU Jacobs School of Music graduates and a talk by Seung-kyung Kim, founding Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies and director of IU's new Institute for Korean Studies.

On Monday, Dec. 5, McRobbie and the IU delegation will meet with the president of The Korea Foundation, which promotes greater understanding of Korea through academic and cultural exchange programs. He also will meet with the president of the Academy of Korean Studies, which is dedicated to interpreting traditional Korean culture. Both The Korea Foundation and the Academy of Korean Studies support IU's Institute for Korean Studies.

More than 9,000 international students are enrolled at IU. More than 800 of those students are from Korea, making Korea the third leading country of origin for international students at IU.

Worldwide, IU now boasts more than 4,600 alumni affiliated with Korea, many of whom are members of the Korea Chapter of the IU Alumni Association, one of IU's most active international alumni chapters.

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, McRobbie will give opening remarks at the all-day "Ostrom Symposium: the Study of the Commons, Governance and Collective Decision in China" at the IU China Gateway in the CERNET Building in Beijing's Tsinghua Science Park.

Leading scholars and practitioners from across China and IU will discuss the lasting legacy and impact of work by Elinor Ostrom and her husband, Vincent Ostrom, in China. IU's Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business will co-host the symposium.

Also on Wednesday, Tsinghua University's Department of Automotive Engineering, the Tsinghua Automotive Research Institute and the School of Engineering and Technology's Transportation Active Safety Institute at IUPUI will sign an agreement for joint research on autonomous cars.

Tsinghua University, often described as the MIT of China, is consistently regarded as China's top-ranked university. IU and Tsinghua have had a decade-long partnership focused on student exchanges and cooperative research.

During the trip to Tsinghua, McRobbie will also deliver a lecture on IU's leadership in digitization and visualization, with particular focus on IU’s Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative. The ambitious initiative is aimed at preserving the university’s extensive collection of audio, video and film holdings.

McRobbie will attend a reception for Beijing-area IU alumni on Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, Dec. 8, McRobbie will sign a cooperative agreement with Beijing Normal University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China and a leader in teacher education, education science and learning in the arts and sciences.

The IU delegation will travel Friday, Dec. 9, to Shanghai for another gathering of IU alumni.

More than 3,200 students from the People's Republic of China are enrolled at IU, and they make up 35 percent of the university's international student body. In addition to attracting a large number of current students, IU has more than 5,800 alumni affiliated with China.

In turn, IU continues to send a sizeable number of its own students to both countries for study abroad experiences.

Reports as the trip progresses will be available at a blog site, IU Goes to Korea and China, and through official IU social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.

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Michael A. McRobbie

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Indiana University Distinguished Professor Elinor Ostrom, who passed away in 2012, was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences.

Indiana University Distinguished Professor Elinor Ostrom, who passed away in 2012, was the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences. | Photo by Hans Mehlin, Copyright The Nobel Foundation, 2009

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