AASCU Presidential Mission to Brazil
Opportunities for considerable new partnerships between Brazil and the United States to expand international study and research are created through President Barack Obama's "100,000 Strong in the Americas" and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's "Science without Borders" initiatives. These exchanges can strengthen U.S. and Brazilian institutional collaborations, develop a workforce prepared for tomorrow's challenges and opportunities, and contribute to long-term economic growth for both countries. As part of a delegation of university presidents, chancellors, and international officers, I participated in a higher education mission to the Federative Republic of Brazil from November 7-17, 2012. The mission was sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in coordination with the U.S. Embassy of Brazil and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Brazil in Pernambuco, and endorsed by the Brazil Embassy in Washington, DC.
Exploring inter-institutional learning opportunities through conferences, study abroad, and academic exchanges with Brazilian institutions is consistent with Bowie State University's strategic plan. In response to the 100,000 Strong and Science without Borders national initiatives, the purpose of the Brazilian 10-day mission was to explore potential linkages with institutions of higher education. In Recife, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro members of the AASCU presidential mission worked to initiate, and in some cases to expand, opportunities for institutional exchanges among our colleges and universities. Members of the delegation anticipate the outcome will be that Brazilian and AASCU academic institutions develop bilateral agreements, which will promote student/faculty exchanges, collaborative research, and additional opportunities that will be mutually beneficial. Therefore, I met with representatives of Bowie State's shared governance community on November 20, 2012, to discuss the mission to Brazil and its potential opportunities. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Weldon Jackson is forming a task force to explore these opportunities.