The International Professors Project: An interview with Founding CEO, Ron Krate

by Dr. Jessie Voigts / May 14, 2008 /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

The International Professors Project is an incredible opportunity for international education and global development. As IPP says on their website, "The International Professors Project (IPP) is a non-profit global network of "academic citizens of the world” working on university campuses in the developing world. Our professors teach, mentor, and conduct local research as they internationalize college and university faculties in their host countries."

 

Today, I had a chance to sit down and talk with Ron Krate, the Founding CEO of IPP.

 


WE: Tell us a little bit about the international professors project...

RK: We have created a new type of professor: one who is mobile and can serve from one year to a career-length "sojourn" teaching in poor, almost poor, developing, and undeveloping countries. Our vision is the internationalization of higher education in the developing world by the utilization of expatriate scholars in the academic community and the establishment of a new professor. IPP scholars are unattached to locale -operating with a technology and social-networks driven global channel for flows of academics, ideas, research, program designs for curriculum, mentoring of graduate students, new instructors, and professors in the ways of becoming a professor. As noted on our website, "International Fellows and Professors assist development, focus on culturally appropriate curriculum design, mentoring, and teaching methodologies. This includes understanding and reconciling local knowledge and international and regional concerns in methodological approaches to higher education."

 

WE: Who generally participates in these programs?
RK: Active and retired professors and professionals, students, with a new emphasis coming down the pike on what you call "wandering teachers" - professors across borders, professors without borders...to be featured in our new, soon-to-be launched program; also XPAT students. Professors can come from any country to become Fellows....and, as International Professors and International Instructors, they must teach in poor, almost poor, developing and developing countries.

 

WE: Is it a volunteer program?
RK: The IPs and IIs are paid local salaries; we are searching for funds to top up their local salaries; we also send them journal articles for teaching and research...and we also have the home base of IPP with wikis, an IT platform, a Google Grant, and more! The rest of us are currently all volunteers, including the staff in our unique NPO. We have over 500 members and we are recruiting IPs and IIs for writing lists to teach across borders or overseas.

 

WE: Where do you send international professors?
RK: As previously mentioned, the International Professors and International Instructors must teach in poor, almost poor, developing, and developing countries.

 

WE: What sort of support do you receive, since you are a non-profit organization?
RK: Because we are a 501(c)3 organization, we rely solely on private donations. We were recognized as a valid and unique program, worthy of their involvement, by the International Bureau of Education of UNESCO. We also were recently featured in the Asian Journal of Distance Education (vol 5, no 1, pp. 56-59). We may choose to seek sponsorships. Our planning is built around and directed toward forming alliances -- we have a team now that solely creates alliances.

 

WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

RK: Our newest activity, just launched, is the forming of country HQs and forum/discussion/research groups. As new things come along within our organization, we will highlight them on the News Section of our website. Our fellows and board directors create their own global groups and projects, currently being placed on google groups, but soon to appear on several wikis, our IT platform, and our coming dynamic website.

 

We utilize any type of academic, not just expatriate profs.... but we want to give a major voice to expat profs, students and professionals who work in poorer countries, and the IP is by definition an EXPAT! We are building a database as we discover them through informal and social networking.

 

 

WE: Thank you, Ron, for this great information! This project is truly necessary in the world today. International education and internationalization are critical components of global citizenship.

Again, if you'd like to learn more about the International Professors Project, please see their website at http://www.internationalprofs.org/.

 

All information contained herein provided by the International Professors Project.

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