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The Daily Tar Heel

World Focus Necessary For Campus

"This is a University that seeks to be a global presence, to make a difference in this world."

A priority of Moeser's since his first days as chancellor, the expansion of UNC's international presence is one of his most important and advantageous goals for the University.

UNC-system President Molly Broad also spoke at the reception, emphasizing the need for UNC "to function and compete in a multi-ethnic, global community."

The reception, at which UNC awarded Lagos an honorary law degree, demonstrated one aspect of the University's commitment to maintaining a worldwide network of what Moeser called members of the Carolina community.

Aside from keeping up with other universities, Lagos explained in his speech why it is important for UNC to seek the kind of international presence that Moeser and Broad advocate.

"It is up to us to be able to change the world," Lagos said. "The academic community is essential."

His speech focused on what he called the "rough coalition that is fighting terrorism," applauding international efforts to help the United States combat terrorism after the attacks of Sept. 11. "These are not attacks against the United States, these are attacks against humanity," he said. "Terrorism is a global concern. It requires a global solution."

But Lagos was concerned, as we should be, with more than the terrorism that destroys buildings. "Growth, democracy and social justice are intrinsically connected," he said. "One cannot be achieved without the other two."

UNC students and University officials should work for worldwide expansion of those three goals, as well as for the strengthening and development of the "rough coalition" so that it can someday combat other forms of terror ranging from poverty and hunger to oppression and injustice. Lagos, who argued for that goal, said universities and the academic community will play an essential role in seeking such changes in the world if it is to be achieved.

Moeser, who has long pledged commitment to UNC's international scope, also sees the academic role as necessary in moving toward global cooperation.

"Now it is time to put the world in (students') laps -- to work toward the day when every Carolina undergraduate will have the opportunity to pursue a meaningful international experience," Moeser said at his University Day inaugural address on Oct. 12, 2000.

"We must extend the international reach of this university if we are going to continue to lead," he added. "Consider the possibilities, for example, if every undergraduate had the opportunity to study abroad."

That kind of opportunity would help students develop the skills that will be needed in a world in which international connections are increasingly emphasized in every field of endeavor.

"We must also be a world university," Moeser said in his Sept. 5 State of the University address. "We must offer a truly superior international education at Chapel Hill, an education that will prepare our state and our students for leading in a global economy."

UNC already has several initiatives directed toward increasing its international scope. One project, a possible Kenan-Flagler Business School satellite campus in the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar, is now being discussed by faculty and administrators.

Another new project, the OneMBA program, will allow UNC students to study in Hong Kong, Brazil, the Netherlands and Mexico. Recently finalized plans for the program include an executive MBA program that involves courses of study in Chapel Hill and Washington, D.C., and at universities in each of the four other countries.

Students and faculty also will benefit from a recent $10 million gift to UNC for international studies. The endowment is one of several recent gifts that will help internationally oriented programs such as study abroad opportunities and research in international studies.

In creating and expanding programs like these, the entire University community should support Moeser's international commitment for UNC.

Columnist Geoff Wessel can be reached at

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