UO Establishes Research Center with West-Central African Nation

Email sent to faculty and staff on June 10, 2011

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I am excited to announce a new research and training partnership with the government of Gabon, a nation known as “Africa’s Eden.”

Gabon shares much in common with Oregon: abundant natural beauty, an economy traditionally based on natural resources, and a commitment to green, sustainable development.

Today I am meeting with Gabon’s president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, at Blair House across the street from the White House in Washington, D.C., where we are formalizing an agreement to establish the Gabon-Oregon Transnational Research Center on Environment and Development.

This new center results from a proposal put forward this spring by Dennis Galvan, associate professor of international studies and co-director of the Global Oregon initiative, one of our academic “Big Ideas.” People in the U.S. Department of State tell us that this new center represents a fresh approach that promises to become a model moving beyond twentieth century notions of aid and technical assistance into a truly two-way collaboration.

More details will be available later today on the UO website. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Professor Galvan, Global Oregon Co-Director Craig Parsons, and their colleagues in the Oregon African Studies Consortium, a UO-led group that includes African specialists at Oregon State University, Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University, and Willamette University.

The new Gabon-Oregon center will create opportunities for students at all five of these universities to engage in study-abroad, internship and research programs in Gabon, and for Gabonese students to study in Oregon. It confirms the UO’s status as an international university with great things to come.

All the best,