President's Report Masthead
September 30, 2014

Watson dean honored for internationalization


His team kept the nomination quiet, so it came as a surprise to Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari when he received notification that he would be recognized with the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award for outstanding contributions to further international education in public higher education.

But the distinguished professor and dean of the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science credits that same team of people with making the award possible. He said it takes everyone – faculty, students, staff and administrators – to create a culture of internationalization.

“This is a wonderful recognition of Binghamton’s efforts in globalization and it’s not done by one person,” said Srihari. “It’s an effort that’s been going on for a long time. We have always placed a focus on globalization and internationalization. This is something that is independent of who is in the Watson School and it will continue because Watson has a really good team. It’s not one human being.”

Srihari’s nomination was coordinated by Katharine Krebs, vice provost for international affairs, who wrote that, “Dean Srihari has crafted a set of interrelated synergistic strategies that include identifying research and teaching opportunities abroad, developing pipelines of highly qualified international students, nurturing international alumni relations, and identifying opportunities for students to intern or study abroad. His strategic thinking is based on an understanding of higher education systems in other countries, global knowledge production, technology needs abroad, and the importance of relationship-building.”

“I strongly believe that our students will live in a world that is a lot more globalized than what we think,” Srihari said. “The way the world has transformed in the last 25 years, when our students are mid-career, they will be a very different world. They shouldn’t have any barriers and should be able to work with people from anywhere with no hurdles.

“This is also going to be a tremendous advantage for our students when they go out into the world,” he added, “so we need to make sure our faculty and staff have global experiences. Some are very adept at working with people across the globe. Others have not had the same opportunities, so we have to make it across the board because faculty who work with global collaborators and partners in other countries bring that global perspective to their classes.”

It is extremely important to bring staff into globalization efforts as well, said Srihari, and to work with excellent universities across the globe. The Watson School works with a select set of universities in countries including China, India, Turkey, Korea, Jordan and Israel.

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