On January 7-8, 2016, 42 representatives from 38 APSIA member and affiliate schools gathered in Seattle, WA for the annual meeting of APSIA deans and directors. The meeting was hosted by the University of Washington (UW) Jackson School of International Studies.
On Thursday January 7, the APSIA member meeting began by sharing accomplishments from 2015. Participants mentioned the launch of new degrees, the hiring of new faculty, and the creation of new research centers. APSIA’s Executive Director Carmen Mezzera then presented her report on the state of the Association.
Next, UW’s Senior Director of Institutional Advancement and Senior Director of Advancement for the Social Sciences joined members for a discussion on what motivates giving in different regions of the world, moderated by Philippe Burrin of the Graduate Institute of Geneva.
Following the discussion, Bob Wilson of the University of Texas at Austin moderated a session on ways to increase partnerships and exchanges among members with Joe Bankoff of Georgia Tech University and Keiji Nakatsuji from Ritsumeikan University, which highlighted the importance of interpersonal relationships and institutionalized agreements.
That evening, members were joined by representatives from affiliate schools. Over dinner, Mark Suzman, President of Global Policy, Advocacy, and Country Programs at the Gates Foundation, discussed the tremendous progress made in international development in the last fifteen years.
On Friday, January 8, APSIA co-sponsored a public discussion with the World Affairs Council of Seattle and the Jackson School to consider the security challenges facing a new US administration. Moderated by Jacqueline Miller of the World Affairs Council, Ryan Crocker of Texas A&M University, Susan Collins of the University of Michigan, Enrico Letta of Sciences Po, and Eric Schwartz of the University of Minnesota served as panelists.
Once participants returned to UW, Christopher Hill of the University of Denver asked Reuben Brigety of George Washington University, Andrew Kim of Korea University, and Irina Novikova of St. Petersburg State University to comment on adapting schools to the 21st century. Speakers agreed students need leadership training, cross-cultural competencies, and regional expertise to correspond to the demands of the job market.
Dane Rowlands of Carleton University then moderated a session on techniques to address faculty hiring needs. Karen McGuinness of Princeton University and Kenneth Paul Tan of the National University of Singapore kicked off the discussion, which stressed that schools should demonstrate collegiality and community among faculty.
Finally, John Keeler of the University of Pittsburgh asked Joel Hellman of Georgetown University, Adil Najam of Boston University, Vanessa Scherrer of Sciences Po, and Stephen Toope of the University of Toronto to discuss ways to promote and differentiate international affairs education. Speakers stressed the importance of our schools’ deep, multidisciplinary commitment to international affairs and the strength of our students.
The 2016 APSIA meeting concluded with a cruise for deans, directors, and local staff around Seattle.