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BU to use $25m gift to create 'Global Studies' school

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  December 13, 2013 11:37 AM

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Boston University announced Friday it plans to use a $25 million gift to create a new Global Studies school.

The school will open next fall and will be named after Frederick S. Pardee, whose gift matched the largest single donation in BU history, campus officials said.

Pardee, a former think tank economist who heads a real estate management firm in Los Angeles and graduated from BU’s management school in 1954, has given nearly $40 million to the university in his lifetime, which is the most of any supporter.

“Mr. Pardee’s investment in Boston University and his vision of moving higher education forward to pioneer a new approach to address the important issues facing human development are extraordinary,” said a statement from President Robert A. Brown. “The Pardee School will be transformational in our effort to prepare our students to work on the great challenges in the world.”

The new school will be housed in the College of Art and Sciences, officials said.

“The goal of the Pardee School will be to bring together faculty from across the university to support uniquely interdisciplinary research aimed at the great challenge of advancing global human progress and educating the next generation of leaders who will address these issues,” said the university’s news website BU Today. “Improving the human condition around the globe is at the core of the school’s mission.”

In 2000, Pardee funded the establishment of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at BU. That interdisciplinary research center will be the “research engine” for the new school, according to provost Jean Morrison.

Virginia Sapiro, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said the Pardee School will have a regional studies division and an international studies division that will house the college’s international relations department and its existing areas studies programs: the Center for the Study of Asia, the Center for the Study of Europe, the Latin American Studies Program, the African Studies Center, the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations, and the new Middle East and North Africa Studies Program.

“We imagine they will together develop new academic programs that bring together the expertise of our faculty in exciting ways,” she said.

Some new faculty will be hired for the new school while other positions will be filled by having existing faculty work joint appointments at the Pardee School and another school.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com. Looking for more coverage of Boston-area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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