A Message from the Chairman,
Council of Presidents
|It is my great honor to chair this Consortium, stepping into the very large footprints of the Consortium’s founding chairman and now our Honorary Chairman, President Seoung-Yong Hong, of Inha University. It was his vision for coastal universities around the globe to be united by common cause and common purpose that brought each of us here together. We are all immensely grateful to him for his leadership and his service.|
My vision for the future of the Global University Consortium, particularly with a focus on the next several years, is based on our universities common location on the world’s coastlines and a common commitment to issues relating to the world’s oceans. And while each of our universities has a wide range of interests and expertise, we are bound together by the sea. I believe that President Hong was right to find that common theme in establishing the consortium, and I believe it is right to continue to make that the central focus of what we do. With the world’s attention now fixed on global warming and its impact on the world’s oceans and coastlines, we have a wonderful opportunity to stand in the forefront of science, technology, business and public policy.
In 2006 in Rhode Island, the Council of Presidents affirmed the four areas in which we would focus our work: 1) marine affairs, 2) technology, 3) business administration, and 4) global logistics. Marine Affairs can certainly include work on the world fisheries and oceanography, but it should also include such areas the law of the sea, port security, as well as policy around coastal development, archeology and other areas where our universities have unique strengths. Advanced Technologies can be explored and developed around issues of the environment and on the life sciences, particularly as they bear on our strengths in oceanographic sciences. Business Administration, including resource economics, can help us understand how we can take these scientific and cultural ideas to the world marketplace. We need to learn more about the commercialization of the intellectual properties developed on our campuses. And, of course, the focus on Global Logistics and supply chain management is an area both very important to the growing world marketplace and an area of strength for our institutions.
As we have all, as presidents, told our own faculty and governing boards, the Global U8 cannot be all things to all people. If we can achieve this focus on issues related to the sea, we can become the group of universities to which the world will turn for scholarship and leadership in a broad range of subjects very much in the public spotlight.
Other issues we should address include achieving greater visibility for the Global U8 and better communication both within the member institutions and to the external publics. We will seek to find new partners in other areas of the world, including India, South Africa and in Brazil. Finally, we need to develop a funding strategy for Global U8 to help finance member travel, research and exchange. We intend to appoint a special task force in this area to bring us ideas and strategies to achieve financial stability for the Consortium.
I thank you for allowing me the honor of chairing this Consortium for the next few years, and I am excited about what we can yet accomplish, building on the vision and leadership of my friend and colleague, President Seoung-Yong Hong.
Robert L. Carothers
President & Chair, GU8