President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, first second from left, is shown sitting in front of the Taj Mahal with three Claflin students studying this semester at India’s Amity University. Dean of the School of Business Dr. Harpal Grewal, top left, and Vice President Dr. Zia Hasan, top right, are also featured.
In February, President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale and other Claflin University administrators traveled to India and Nepal with the desire to forge meaningful partnerships with those nation’s leading institutions of higher education.
When Tisdale arrived as president of Claflin 17 years ago, one of his primary aims was unapologetically simple – establish the University as a global institution. Now, the vision has become reality and Tisdale said the trip will expand Claflin’s footprint in the global educational arena.
“The bottom line is this trip will result in more opportunities for our faculty and staff to grow as visionary global leaders,” said Tisdale. “Our vision is to firmly position Claflin University as an institution of choice for international students, faculty and partnerships.”
Tisdale was the keynote speaker at an international conference with the theme “Spiritual Paradigms for Surmounting Global Management Crisis”. The conference was co-sponsored by Claflin, California State University and the School of Management Sciences in Varanasi, India, one of several South Asia institutions with which Claflin have an exchange agreement in place.
Tisdale was joined on the trip by Vice President for Planning, Assessment and Information Services Dr. Zia Hasan and Dean of the School of Business Dr. Harpal Grewal. The trio visited many institutions, including: Amity University in New Delhi, India; the School of Management Sciences and Bernanas Hindu University in Varanasi, India; Institute for Competing and Business Management - School of Business Excellence in Hyderabad, India; Pokhara University in Nepal. They also made contact with Kathmandu University in Nepal.
Hasan said there are many opportunities for research collaborations. At Amity, for example, Hasan pointed out there are potential opportunities for the two institutions to jointly research nanotechnology and social justice issues. Tisdale noted the school also has a strong entrepreneurial program for aspiring business professionals which could potentially partner with the Claflin School of Business.
Grewal noted the rise of globalization makes it critical for Claflin business students to have a broad international outlook.
“With our existing and forthcoming partnerships at these top tier institutions abroad, Claflin business students will hold a great advantage in competing and navigating the global free market,” Grewal said.
The University already has exchange agreements with Amity and SMS, in addition to schools in Bangladesh, Kenya, Mexico, Japan, and numerous other nations. Claflin has a strong international presence as students from 14 different nations are enrolled on campus.
The Claflin contingent visited with the families of two Amity students who are studying at Claflin this spring. Also, they met with three Claflin students currently in the exchange program at Amity and also toured several Indian historical sites including the Taj Mahal. “The faculty and administrators at Amity were highly complementary of our students,” said Tisdale.
Tisdale noted the trip will strengthen Claflin’s international outreach, in addition to increasing the University’s research capacity and opportunities. He is excited about the possibilities of increasing study abroad opportunities for students and boosting opportunities for faculty exchanges and collaborative research. Claflin’s eighth president said in the future more chances for higher education partnerships in Southeast Asia could emerge from grant opportunities.
Going forward, Tisdale said the University will both strategic and proactive in pursuing relationship with international institutions of higher learning. In 2010, Claflin launched its critical languages institute to further enhance its foreign language curriculum. Also, the University recently received nearly $100,000 in funding from the National Endowment for Humanities to bolster cultural and literary learning for exchange students studying in Southeast Asia. The inaugural NEH-funded public lecture series for 2012-2013 focusing on classical and comtemporary literature from South Asia began on March 22
. “Claflin is making an impact that is global,” Hasan added.
Tisdale wants to create an atmosphere where Claflin’s faculty and students become increasingly more comfortable conducting their academic pursuits abroad.
“This endeavor is at the core of our mission to produce impactful research and effective visionary leaders with global perspectives,” Tisdale said.