The globalization efforts of the College of Technology have entered a new phase. With strong growth in partnerships over the past few years, the college has sharpened its focus on strengthening and enhancing a broad array of connections with existing partners. Those connections could potentially include Technology alumni and industry partners.
“We are working towards establishing working relationships on every continent,” said Robert Cox, interim associate dean for globalization and head of the Department of Building Construction Management. “We are strategically focusing our resources on the ones we are building instead of continuing to expand our global reach. We need to help grow these relationships to their full potential.”
The college’s relationship with Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) will serve as a model for other partnerships. All of the college’s departments currently work with DIT. The college is involved with student and faculty exchanges as well as degree program partnerships. (Read more: DIT partnership offers wide range of opportunities, DIT partnership paves way for Fulbright Scholar to research at Purdue, Delegation from Dublin Institute of Technology visit campus).
Cox said that he hopes to concentrate further on those existing partnerships with three or more departments involved. Developing partnerships takes time, however. They usually start with individual faculty contacts. Those relationships can expand to include student activities such as trips and study abroad experiences. From there, more elaborate, mutually beneficial collaborations can take place. Both institutions need to look at what the other can offer to increase the overall strengths of the collaboration.
“We are trying to make sustainable relationships,” Cox said. “The most rewarding ones will have multiple facets and multiple champions.”
Cox and Don Buskirk, the college’s international programs officer, continue to reach out to existing international partners to explore additional options for the university as well as its alumni and industry partners. The college hopes to serve as one connection in a network across borders.
“We’re not the State Department, but we certainly may have many global connections on the ground,” Cox said. “If our alumni and industry partners are looking for good associates or looking for places to test ideas or outreach, we can provide support through our existing relationships.”
Industry partners are also invited to participate on study abroad trips. They can experience the culture of a different country through the lens of an academic institution instead of as a tourist. The same partners could assist with making connections between their overseas operations and current Technology students.
“Purdue has name recognition everywhere in the world, and, following the proper strategy, we know that the same will apply to our college in the near future,” Cox said.
In the next few editions of the CoT newsletter, we will continue to cover the college’s globalization efforts, focusing on a few of the strategic partnerships being developed around the world.