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Release: April 19, 2001

UI president to join international university leaders in addressing higher education issues

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- UI President Mary Sue Coleman on Sunday and Monday, April 22-23 will join nearly 100 university leaders from six continents at a convocation in Washington, D.C. to explore how universities are responding to the economic and cultural challenges of globalization and information technologies. The international meeting is being convened by the Association of American Universities (AAU) of which the University of Iowa is a member.

Coleman will moderate a breakout session on "Trends in International University Collaboration," a subject on which Peter Gaehtgens, president of the Free University of Berlin, and M. Peter McPherson,, president of Michigan State University, will speak.

The meeting is the first international convocation initiated by AAU and is the third and concluding meeting of the association's yearlong centennial celebration , which began in April 2000.

"In our first two centennial meetings we examined the future of U.S. universities and the future of the academic disciplines," said Coleman. "Our goal with this meeting is to look beyond North America to the role of the universities in helping people around the world deal with the economic and cultural issues associated with globalization. We have much to learn from one another."

Keynoting the meeting Sunday afternoon will be Henry Rosovksy, university professor emeritus of Harvard University, who will examine the conflict between economic development and cultural identity. Providing a regional perspective on Rosovsky's presentation will be Zhihong Xu, president of Peking University, and Luis Alfredo Riveros, rector of the University of Chile. His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims and president of Aga Khan University in Pakistan, will speak after dinner that evening.

In addition to the session in which Coleman will lead, Monday's program will include a session on the competing demands on universities from governments, industry, and the public featuring Sir Alec Broers, vice-chancellor of Cambridge University; Shigehiko Hasumi, president emeritus of the University of Tokyo; and Juan Ramon de la Fuente, rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.