I am pleased to welcome all UW–Madison students, faculty, staff, and colleagues to campus for a new semester!
This semester begins as usual with an air of energy and excitement that is characteristic of campus. However, for me personally, it is also bittersweet as it marks the beginning of my final semester as vice provost and dean of the International Division. I have been proud to serve in this role for the past decade, especially considering the ways in which the university has expanded opportunities for international engagement and bolstered its reputation around the world.
A national search will be conducted for the next vice provost and dean. I encourage you to keep checking for information on how to be involved in the search process. Barry Gerhart, Bruce R. Ellig Distinguished Chair and professor of Management and Human Resources in the Wisconsin School of Business, will serve as interim vice provost and dean, effective Jan. 1, 2023, until the new dean begins. His strong international experience and proven track record for leadership will position him well to lead the division during this period of transition.
Back to the coming semester, there are numerous opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and community members to engage the world, both on campus and abroad. Area studies centers within the Institute for Regional and International Studies host regular lectures and events. I encourage you to check their websites to see what is planned. Additionally, students seeking to study abroad should mark their calendars for October 11, when International Academic Programs will hold the annual Study Abroad Fair. Those interested in international internships are welcome to connect with the International Internship Program to see what opportunities await.
The International Division will welcome alumni and our External Advisory Board back to campus for Homecoming, which will be celebrated October 17–22. We look forward to seeing our board members, alumni, and friends during this time. In addition, the division is planning two signature events this fall. The 2022 J. Jobe and Marguerite Jacqmin Soffa Lecture will feature Ma Thida, human rights activist, surgeon, and writer on October 26. The division is also planning a special speaker for International Education Week, which takes place in November. Stay tuned for more information.
I also want to recognize our area studies centers for their efforts in securing $15.8 million in grants under the National Resource Centers (NRC) and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships programs, as announced in August. This funding will be distributed over a four-year cycle. Obtaining this funding is no small effort, and I have great appreciation for staff who put time and energy into proposals. This funding will allow for language and cultural education both on campus and across the state—having a tremendous impact for Badgers and Wisconsinites.
I wish you all the best in the coming semester and hope you will take advantage of opportunities to grow as global citizens.