In one of the most successful international visits undertaken by AASCU member presidents, four presidents from AASCU institutions, their spouses (in conjunction with
AASCU’s Spouse/Partner Program), and AASCU President Dr. Mildred García traveled to Argentina March 7-18 to exchange knowledge and develop sustainable partnerships with higher education leaders in Argentina as part of the 2019 AASCU Presidential Mission to Argentina.
During the mission, AASCU’s presidential delegation visited Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Mendoza to meet with representatives from the Ministry of Education and the City of Buenos Aires, the U.S. ambassador, more than 80 university rectors (presidents) from across Argentina, business/industry specialists,
government officials, and others interested in working with AASCU to promote international exchange.
“Our goal is to continue expanding our strategic alliance with university presidents, Argentina’s institutions of higher education and the government of Argentina,” stated García at a U.S. Student Mobility Seminar at the Chief of Mission Residence in Buenos Aires on March 11. “Let’s continue
to support academic exchanges and nurture our institutions to continue to have an international focus. In doing so, we can help our students to be more global-minded as they come up with solutions that will influence all of us.”
AASCU’s delegation represented the diversity of AASCU’s membership and included University of Maryland Eastern Shore President Dr. Heidi M. Anderson and spouse Leon Roberts, Jr.; Delta State University (Miss.) President William LaForge and spouse Nancy Davidson LaForge; California State University, San Bernardino President Dr. Tomás D. Morales and spouse Evy Morales; and
California State University, Monterey Bay President Dr. Eduardo Ochoa and spouse Holly Byers Ochoa.
“We were able to meet key individuals from a large number of higher education institutions within the country,” said Anderson. “More importantly, it was evident that the government officials are supportive of establishing a global presence—especially with U.S. institutions.”
Since the mission, Anderson has connected higher education leaders from Argentina with her university’s director of international programs and director of global initiatives, and they have drafted a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for potential collaboration, including for student-exchange
programs, faculty research and faculty exchanges.
LaForge also found the trip productive and will work with his international team to foster collaborations, exchanges and programs with the contacts he made.
“The meetings we had with university and educational leaders were excellent,” he said. “I would rate our core mission successful—to establish relationships with new university contacts that might lead to partnerships, exchanges and more.”
Morales found the mission a “wonderful opportunity” to gain more knowledge of Argentina’s higher education system.
“Meeting with over 75 rectors of both private and public institutions will facilitate the development of meaningful partnerships,” he said.
Ochoa particularly appreciated the well-attended meeting at the American ambassador’s residence and added the U.S. embassy will help his university follow up with individual institutions.
“AASCU's Presidential Mission to Argentina provided us with an invaluable opportunity to connect with a broad spectrum of institutions of higher education in Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Mendoza,” Ochoa said. “The people we met from public and private universities impressed us with their
professionalism and their openness to collaborate with our institutions. We found that we share a commitment to access, diversity and inclusion, social service and research.”
For 16 years, AASCU’s International Programs division—including Dr. Arlene Jackson, associate vice president of global affairs, and Jody Dixon, program coordinator of global initiatives—has organized presidential missions to create opportunities for faculty and student exchanges and program collaboration between AASCU member institutions and host countries. Past missions have included trips to Cuba, Morocco, South Africa,
To prepare for this mission, AASCU’s associate vice president of global affairs, Arlene Jackson, conducted trainings for senior international officers in Argentina. Two of Argentina’s national associations of public and private university rectors—Consejo Interuniversitario Nacional
(CIN) and CRUP—also signed an MOU with AASCU’s international division during AASCU’s Academic Affairs Summer Meeting. Finally, Dr. George Mehaffy, AASCU’s vice president for Academic Leadership and Change, participated in FIESA, Argentina’s first international fair for higher education institutions.
AASCU is developing a 10-day student study abroad program in Argentina and a 14-day professional development institute for faculty and administrators.
To learn more about presidential missions and AASCU’s international programs, visit our
website or contact Jody Dixon.