We had a safe, uneventful return home, arriving at the Blanton House some 30 hours after getting up in our Daegu hotel room for the ride to the airport. Now, we are in a New York City hotel, on the second day of an alumni/development trip. Tonight we will be with more than 30 EKU alums and friends at a function in Manhattan.
Before we left Korea, we met for a few hours with EKU Professor Emeritus Dr. Tae-Hwan Kwak and Professor Yoon, representing another Korean university with which we are considering a partnership. Part of the conversation that I found particularly interesting was why her institution was attracted to EKU as a potential partner. She had researched us thoroughly, was impressed by what she had learned and thought our environment, including our relatively small town location, would be particularly nurturing for her institution’s students.
In the office for a few minutes before leaving for New York, I signed memoranda of agreement with a institution in Madagascar and another in Israel. Eastern Kentucky University’s global reach is extending and I am excited about the opportunities these developments will provide to our students and faculty. I talk a lot about student success being one of our three focal points and I hope no one thinks that is limited to retention and graduation rates. The real success of our students begins when they leave us to begin their professional lives. If we fail to provide them with the tools to deal with the global workplace and a world in which contact and interaction with individuals and organizations from different cultures is a certainty, they will not have the opportunity for success that we desire for them.
I intend to continue my efforts to make EKU a player on the higher education world stage.