A message from the director

January 29, 2019

annelise-riles-sq.jpgIn January 2015, a $100 million gift transformed a small international research center into the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies. In fall 2018, in partnership with several offices at Northwestern, the Institute entered an exciting new stage of growth and transformation.

After many months of faculty and staff conversations, research, and collaboration with the Office of Organizational Strategy and Change, I am pleased to announce that the Institute has received a set of recommendations that promise even more opportunities for our organization and the University as a whole.

Supporting the University's global strategy

Under the Office of the Provost, the Buffett Institute will drive and support the University’s global ambitions: to globalize the University, to catalyze the new ideas that will define our time, and to train the next generation of global leaders. By building the capacity of new and existing global offices, the Institute will improve services and increase opportunities for all Northwestern faculty, students, and staff. 

In the short term, that includes working closely with Provost Holloway to develop a global strategy for the University as part of my role as associate provost for global affairs. Institute staff members are already hard at work building a digital, multilingual platform to help scholars discuss critical global issues, exploring possibilities for global partnerships with international universities, and improving communication to Northwestern’s local, national, and global audiences.

The Institute’s new Global Collaboration team will help cultivate and sustain international partnerships with leading global universities, amplifying our collective access to resources and expertise. They, along with other Buffett teams, will help grow a global network for students, scholars, and practitioners to connect with distinguished faculty, peers, and leaders across disciplines and industry sectors.

Enhancing global opportunities for the community

To achieve these goals, the Office of Organizational Strategy and Change has recommended consolidating several global offices at Northwestern and the Buffett Institute under the Associate Provost for Global Affairs. This will allow for new learning and research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as enhanced services for our international students, scholars, and faculty.

By providing new organizational clarity for global activities across Northwestern, we have an unprecedented opportunity to increase Northwestern’s global strength and presence, and to amplify our impact on our students, faculty, staff, and the world. The changes will ensure Northwestern students graduate with the widest worldview possible, magnify expertise that addresses global concerns across the world, and facilitate the integration of that expertise with theory and practice. 

It’s been an impactful year so far for global affairs at Northwestern, and we’ve only just begun! Expect more big news from us as the winter quarter progresses, through email and through the Buffett Institute website.

As always, I would be very grateful for your feedback and ideas. Please email me at buffettdirector@northwestern.edu.