Defining Moment #4: International programs spread CoT influence

Return to "Defining Moments" main page. Excitement fills Don Buskirk’s voice as he talks about globalization and where the College of Technology fits into it. “Over the last three years, we have moved steadily in growing our programs,” he said. “We’ve increased the number of offerings and increased the number of students experiencing study abroad.” Buskirk is the international programs officer for the College of Technology. He is quick to point out that his office deals with more than study abroad trips, though that is definitely an important part of his role.  The office is a main point of contact as the college develops research and faculty exchange partnerships. The last year has been especially fruitful in this area. College of Technology officials signed a letter of intent to begin plans to create research relationships and faculty and student exchanges with Dalian University of Technology (DUT) in China. The effort was spearheaded by faculty in the Department of Building Construction Management, but the agreement covers all departments in the college. Faculty with the college’s biometrics program have forged an alliance with BINUS University in Jakarta Indonesia. A graduate of the Purdue program now works with BINUS, and they would like to strengthen ties between the institutions. Additional partnerships were being discussed with universities in Kenya, Peru, Brazil and India that would include programs from across the college. In fact, Buskirk ticks off several areas where Technology personnel are helping increase the college’s global footprint:

  • Proposals for spring break study abroad programs have increased, including from new professors
  • More semester-long programs are available to students
  • More faculty are attracting and sponsoring more international students for graduate study
  • More faculty have been guest lecturers at international institutions in Germany, Ireland, China, and Korea
  • New funding is available to assist with faculty research in collaboration with colleagues from international institutions

“International education could not be any more important now,” he said. “Take a look at what’s going on around the world: many countries need technology, management, information. It’s totally unbelievable.” With more focus on creating international connections, the College of Technology is poised to help make impacts in those areas where help is needed.