LSU campuses forge partnership for international programs

Lakshman Velupillai, Merrill, Thomas A.  |  7/2/2008 2:45:16 AM

News Release Distributed 07/02/08

Two campuses of the LSU System recently combined their international programs offices to better serve the needs of faculty, students and citizens in an increasingly global society.

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU A&M campus in Baton Rouge announced the merger this summer. A new office will be headed by Dr. Lakshman Velupillai, longtime director of International Programs for the LSU AgCenter, who now will be an associate vice chancellor for international programs for both campuses.

“This is a win-win situation for everyone,” Velupillai explained. “It will enhance the educational experiences for students, broaden the international competency of the university as a whole and extend our university outreach efforts.”

Officials say the new office will provide better support for international students on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge and that it will amplify the educational experiences of the student body with the combined opportunities for study abroad. It also minimizes duplication of effort, and it positions the university more competitively for grants and other external funding for its global efforts, they said.

“It clearly is in the best interest of both institutions to integrate our international endeavors,” said Dr. Bill Richardson, chancellor of the LSU AgCenter. “Merging the excellent history the LSU A&M campus has with students and their international learning experiences with the LSU AgCenter’s success in service and outreach to the international community will provide numerous opportunities to increase international activities and achievements on both campuses.”

Likewise, Dr. Astrid Merget, executive vice chancellor and provost of LSU, called the merger “a critical step in the internationalization of LSU.”

“The combined talent, expertise and energy will assure that faculty and students will have every opportunity to experience an international world while at LSU,” she said.

The partnership officially began with an agreement signed in late April. The relocation of everyone in the new unit to its Hatcher Hall offices on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge will occur during the next six months.

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Contact: Lakshman Velupillai at (225) 578-6963 or lvelupillai@agcenter.lsu.edu 
Writer/Editor: Tom Merrill at (225) 578-2263 or tmerrill@agcenter.lsu.edu

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