President Ruth J. Simmons will visit India on a five-day trip to enhance collaborations with education and industry leaders.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons will strengthen the University’s ties with India on a five-day visit starting March 28.

Simmons will travel to Delhi and Mumbai to meet with leaders in higher education, business, and government to explore and expand partnerships with several faculty members key to the University's internationalization efforts.

"Today’s complex international environment requires that institutions of higher education think and act differently to prepare competent, bold and innovative leaders able to address the myriad global  challenges,” Simmons said. “With India’s rich history, culture, and leadership in many areas of education, Brown recognizes the value of expanding our ties with leaders in education, industry and civic life as a way to expand opportunities for students and faculty in India and the United States.”

In recent years, as part of an overall internationalization initiative, the University has augmented its India-related research and teaching capacity, grown its cohort of Indian students, and increased ties to institutions in India.

“This trip will advance India’s enduring presence at Brown — and Brown’s in India — through expanded scholarship and collaboration,” Matthew Gutmann, vice president for international affairs. Gutmann will accompany Simmons on the trip. Rajiv Vohra, dean of the faculty; Ronald Margolin, vice president for international advancement; and Vijay Chitnis, international advancement officer, are also part of the delegation.

While in Delhi, Simmons will sign an agreement with St. Stephen’s College.

At the signing ceremony Monday, March 29, Simmons will agree to an exchange that will send one master’s degree candidate from St. Stephen’s to Brown for the 2011-12 academic year and up to 15 Brown undergraduate students for a year’s study at St. Stephen’s, taking courses in Indian culture, languages, literature and politics.

The agreement also lays the groundwork for visits between faculty, research staff, and graduate students for academic activities such as lectures, seminars and colloquia.

Brown has collaborated with St. Stephen’s in a study abroad program for Brown students since 1991.

Also in the capital city of Delhi, Simmons will meet with Timothy Roemer, U.S. ambassador to India, as well as other officials from the United States and India.

As part of her history-making trip, Simmons will speak at India’s premier business college, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Bombay), where she will discuss important changes in educating tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.

Her visit also includes an appearance before the influential business group, the Confederation of Indian Industries, where she will meet with India’s minister of human resource development (education), Kapil Sibal. Brown is starting a formal relationship with CII that may include initiatives such as joint research projects, conferences and scholarly visits.

Simmons will conclude her visit to Mumbai with an address to The Forum for Women in Leadership on the topic, “Women as Business and Societal Leaders: Time to Soar.”

The president will also meet with Brown alumni and parents who will help to develop Brown’s ties to India and launch the University's India Advisory Council. 

More than three dozen Indian students are currently enrolled at Brown, and 13 faculty of Indian citizenry, spanning arts, humanities and the sciences, teach at the University. There are 48 Brown graduate students from India in popular programs such as computer science, engineering and physics. In addition, eight students from Brown completed summer internships in 2009, working for large companies in Mumbai and Delhi.

Simmons’s visit is unfolding during Brown’s Year of India, a program of major public lectures, art exhibitions, academic conferences, and other explorations of India’s dramatic rise on the global stage. These have included lectures by author Salman Rushdie, Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy, and biographer and humanitarian Rajmohan Gandhi; an exhibit of masterpieces by modern artist M.F. Husain, and a literary festival including Jhumpa Lahiri.

Brown University

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