Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Danube University Krems
We want as many different voices represented in the international dialogue as possible. We're focusing on creating a strong foundation in Africa and the Middle East, two areas that are all too often either ignored or vilified. That said, we also other parts of the world included as well. Obviously, we want European universities and we're trying to get a variety of schools. Last year I visited universities in Sweden, Spain, Austria and Hungary.
One example of a potential Austrian partner is Danube University Krems. It is about an hour outside of Vienna, meaning that you travel around on the great intercity train system and then jump on one of the S lines that head out of town. Danube University Krems is an innovative school that is only around 15 years old and has around 3000 students. This last spring semester Klaus Himpsl, Andreas Raith and Petra Szucsich from Danube University Krems combined with Rob Williams from Champlain to run a Global Module on media, using portions of Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media: The Extension of Man as their common text. The conversation was wonderful.
Our initial local champion at Danube University Krems was Sabine Zauchner. Her interest in the project shows how even in the academic world there are advantages to "networking." I met a professor from Klagenfurt University in Austria when Champlain's Associate Provost Michelle Miller and I presented on the Global Modules at a conference in Hyderabad, India. The Klagenfurt professor then asked me to present at a Learning Communities conference in Klagenfurt, where I met Sabine after my presentation. She then encouraged me to visit her school and now it is paying benefits. After this initial success we are discussing ways to expand our partnership.