IU Bloomington provost in Panama for the Summit of the Americas University Leaders Forum

  • April 9, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel is in Panama this week to participate in a special gathering of 400 university presidents and provosts representing about 35 countries as part of the Summit of the Americas, co-sponsored by the Organization of American States.

The Summit of the Americas, held every three years, brings together heads of state and governmental leaders from across the Americas to discuss urgent challenges and define a hemispheric agenda on topics including education, health, energy, the environment, migration, security, citizen participation and democratic governance.

Also attending the summit this week is President Barack Obama, along with leaders of countries in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, including, for the first time, Cuba. He is joined by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who will present remarks at the University Leaders Forum that Robel is attending.

IU Bloomington was recently invited to become a member of the Organization of American States Consortium of Universities, a group of more than 150 universities representing 18 countries. Among those are 40 U.S. universities that include Harvard, Yale, Duke and many others with historically strong ties in the region. The Coimbra Group of Brazilian Universities, a consortium of nearly 50 leading federal, state and private universities, recently became a member.

“We are honored by the invitation to join this prestigious, internationally connected consortium,” Robel said. “Membership in the group would help IU Bloomington attract talented students from diverse backgrounds who might otherwise lack the financial resources to consider graduate study in the U.S., and those students would enrich the student body by bringing distinctive regional perspectives. The connections with other consortium members would also help the campus increase study abroad opportunities across the region, particularly in Latin America.”

Scholarships and matching funds from OAS would make it possible for a wider range of students from economically diverse backgrounds in the Americas to study in the United States. To qualify for the competitive scholarships, each student’s application is evaluated on several criteria that reflect the priorities of the OAS member states. These priorities include social development and the creation of productive employment; strengthening of democratic institutions; sustainable development of the environment; and support to preserve, protect, manage and promote the cultural heritage. Scholarship recipients must demonstrate a commitment to advancing these priorities through their educational and professional plans.

The proposal has been met with initial support from the Bloomington campus.

The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest academic division of IU, could offer participation from over a dozen graduate programs in the social sciences and natural and mathematical sciences. Professional schools including the Maurer School of Law, School of Global and International Studies, School of Informatics and Computing, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, School of Education, School of Public Health, School of Social Work, School of Optometry and Kelley School of Business have also expressed interest for IU Bloomington to join the OAS Consortium.

Related Links

Media Contacts

Jennifer Piurek

  • Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President
  • Office 812-856-4886