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John Carroll University diversifies by hiring foreign faculty

September 24th, 2009

This fall, John Carroll University welcomed six new international faculty members to its community. The new professors bring with them backgrounds and cultures that differ from many of the American faculty and students of JCU.

Buchanan (left), Fitzpatrick (right) and others bring diversity.

Buchanan (left), Fitzpatrick (right) and others bring diversity.

Lauren Bowen, associate academic vice president for academic programs and faculty diversity, believes that the international faculty at the university plays an extremely important role.

Bowen said, “[It is] better to have a faculty that is diverse in terms of their research interests, their approach to teaching, their background and their perspective, because I think the essence of liberal education is being challenged to think critically and to examine complex issues.”

Simon Fitzpatrick, from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, recently joined the philosophy department at John Carroll.

He said, “I’d always wanted to try living and working in the U.S. and broaden my horizons a bit, and I had heard good things about the University and the department. I applied, got an interview, and here I am!”

Fitzpatrick enjoys working at JCU. “The campus is very pleasant and the students and faculty are all very nice and friendly. My colleagues in the Philosophy department and several others around the University have been very supportive in helping me make the transition into my new job and living in a new continent,” he said.

Fitzpatrick also said, “Although things are still all very shiny and new to me, I am slowly getting used to the differences between the U.S. and the U.K. — both academically and in general— and gradually finding my way around the area.”

Carrie Buchanan, new to the Tim Russert Department of Communication and Theatre Arts, moved to Cleveland three years ago. She and her husband moved here from Canada to complete her Ph.D. She said, “I am thrilled to be at John Carroll. I have long admired the Jesuits and their educational approach, and as for my department, I have joined at a very exciting time.”

Buchanan also said, “I care very much for the future of journalism, and about continuing to keep graduating great journalists from John Carroll.”

Bo Liu, a professor in the Art History department, originally moved from China to Michigan to complete a Ph.D. in art history before hearing about a teaching position at John Carroll this year. She said the college was full of “friendly staff members ready to help” and is enjoying her time here at John Carroll so far.

The American Association of Colleges and Universities state that, “Liberal Education is an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity and change.”

Bowen said, “Having a critical mass of faculty who has significant experiences outside the U.S. is one meaningful way to achieve this.”

Also new this year to JCU are Yi Shang of the education department, Yan Gao who specializes in managing marketing and logistics and Peifang Tian in the philosophy department.

John Carroll welcomes students and faculty from all backgrounds and prides itself on having developed such an open and inviting atmosphere for so many international staff and students. The university hopes to keep expanding its connections with people from across the world.