Lakehead University is strengthening its academic ties to the U.S. with a new partnership.
On Friday LU president Brian Stevenson signed a memorandum of understanding with Fulbright Canada, a non-profit educational exchange foundation.
The MOU established a visiting research chair in interdisciplinary sustainability at Lakehead - a position that will be filled by visiting professors from U.S. universities.
Stevenson said the program is about bringing scholars from the U.S. to Lakehead for a semester or two to interact with faculty through research projects and to also interact with students on the subject of sustainability.
"The idea is to bring fresh ideas from outside of the city and region and to start building a long-term research agenda with universities in the U.S.," said Stevenson, adding it's key to have an academic exchange between Canadian and American universities.
"Knowledge is global and research is global and we have a lot of regional and subregional interests. Being able to bring scholars who are doing work in areas that are of importance to us in the north and in the northwest with perspectives that might be able to help further our research is what's really important," he said.
Sustainability is a hot topic on LU's campus lately in research and the classroom said provost and vice-president of academics Rod Hanley.
"Students are jamming into courses that deal with sustainability," he said.
Hanley said their professors that deal in courses on sustainability are sprinkled across campus and the partnership with Fulbright is the next step.
"We think they would bring a lot of new ideas for our campus and attract a lot of attention from students with their new approaches," he said.
Fulbright Canada CEO Michael Hawes said the organization's goal is to make connections between Canadian and American institutions.
What attracted the group to Lakehead is the university's uniqueness.
"Especially in the area of sustainability, it is a place which is deeply embedded in the physical environment that it lives," said Hawes.
"It's a university that has aspirations to have a greater reach in the international community and it's a university with strong and solid leadership that has goals and that's what we need and want to support."
The partnership will also offer Lakehead professors a chance to visit U.S. schools and provide similar opportunities for students.
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