An ambitious “reimagining” of SAIS’ flagship master’s degree program aims to open the door for interdisciplinary learning and collaboration.
More than six decades ago, an experiment in international education was born in Bologna, Italy. Today, the center that started as a place to foster postwar transatlantic dialogue continues to bring a valuable European perspective to complex global issues.
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What a year this has been! In 12 months, the school has re-examined and re-imagined the curriculum of our core MA degree, has begun to transition our academic organization from 19 different departments to a school-based faculty, created new degrees, gone from no online courses to two dozen (with more on the way), adjusted to COVID-19 and the virtual teaching environment, hosted conferences with as many as 4,000 participants, and even shifted students and faculty members from Nanjing to Bologna. That we have done this and done it well reflects profoundly on the hard work and imagination of SAIS faculty, staff, and students alike.
Meanwhile, we continue to feature teaching by practical-minded scholars and learned practitioners, and our faculty remain active in the public square with books, articles, interviews, podcasts and, of course, tweets. Most importantly, our students and alumni are out there doing the work of the world in an acutely difficult time.
There is a great deal yet to do. The Crowell Committee has reported back to me on imaginative ways to improve the diversity of our community, and build pipelines for future faculty and students. And almost weekly, we are meeting with university officials to discuss our future Washington D.C. home, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, a project that proceeds apace.
So much to report, so much to discuss and I look forward to doing so in person whenever it becomes possible to do so safely. Until then, I hope you will continue to follow our endeavors. The world is changing, and so are we.