KU hosting junior faculty from Balkans, former Soviet republics

LAWRENCE — For the sixth consecutive year, the University of Kansas is coordinating the national orientation program for 43 junior faculty members from the Balkans and former Soviet republics. The program began Jan. 8 and ends Jan. 11.

At the request of the American Councils for International Education and with funding from the U.S. Department of State, International Programs is coordinating the Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) orientation. The program has been designed to help the fellows acclimate to the United States and the American higher education system before they go to host institutions across the country for the semester. Orientation activities include presentations about U.S. higher education, research methods and American culture. Participants will also have an opportunity to talk with KU faculty and staff during their time here, as well as to experience bowling and learn the art of contra dancing with a live local group of musicians.

“This program is not only a transformative experience for the visiting faculty fellows selected for participation, but is a unique opportunity for KU faculty, staff, and graduate students to come together to begin to demystify U.S. higher education and showcase the University of Kansas as a global university,” said Charlie Bankart, assistant vice provost for International Programs.

Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the JFDP program increases access to academic resources and new educational perspectives and promotes the development of a growing network of academics in the United States and the countries represented. Staff members from the American Councils for International Education, which coordinates the program, will participate in the orientation, along with KU faculty and staff.

Following the orientation session, three fellows will stay at KU for the spring semester to work with faculty members and attend courses in Curriculum and Teaching, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and Environmental Engineering.

KU has hosted fellows since JFDP began in 1994.

For more information, contact Alison Watkins, International Programs, 785-864-4963.