Ohio State recently signed an agreement that will add new faculty members from Sweden and aims to increase the global presence on campus.
On Oct. 26, OSU officials finalized a Memorandum of Agreement to house one to two fellows a year from the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education, said Joseph Steinmetz, executive dean for the College of Arts and Sciences.
“We are trying pretty hard now these days to make sure our students have a real international experience while they are here,” Steinmetz said. “It doesn’t matter what country, really, because any will enhance the international experience by providing exposure to aspects of the world that many students typically would not have.”
Maryssa Korybko, a second-year in international studies, said that although she knows many students prefer professors who are native English speakers, bringing faculty from all around the world benefits the undergraduate experience.
“I think it’s a great idea because with international faculty, we can really learn a part of their culture,” she said. “You can learn so much about from just one person, you know.”
Dieter Wanner, associate provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs, said foreign faculty members help OSU compete worldwide.
“The quality of research and teaching is determined on an international level because these fields are no longer constricted to a national field,” he said. “The competition is actually global, and for that reason, we are starting to have the most competent faculty here.”
The foundation where the Swedish faculty members will come from contacted OSU nearly a year ago to bring OSU fellows in humanities, social sciences and the arts, Wanner said.
“I think, given the wide breadth of courses that we offer, they most likely will map into existing classes,” Steinmetz said.
Steinmetz expects OSU to introduce the first participants in autumn 2012. Once chosen, Wanner said, fellows will teach or co-teach a course, conduct research and participate in departmental activities for a period of six months to a year.