Cartwright leaves for Australia today

Rachel Abbey

President Carol Cartwright leaves for Australia tonight, traveling across the globe to participate in an international higher education conference and to increase Kent State’s relations in a global market.

Cartwright was invited to speak at a conference in Perth, Australia, about women in leadership roles.

“They really wanted that perspective,” she said.

This three-day conference will focus on the struggle of universities worldwide to adapt to a quickly changing society. Steve Michael, vice provost for Diversity and Academic Initiatives, will be joining Cartwright at the conference.

It would be impractical to travel so far for just one conference, Cartwright said, so she also will be meeting with representatives from one of Kent State’s newer partnerships, Newington College in Sydney.

“Once you go that far away, you want to optimize the fact that you’re in that part of the world,” Cartwright said.

Even when university administrators travel to nearby cities, they try to make as many arrangements in the area as possible, she said.

John West, vice president for Research and the dean of Graduate Studies, made most of the arrangements with Newington College. When West was in high school, he was an exchange student at Newington, a private boys’ high school.

Newington and Kent State want to do a student exchange, West said. High school students would come to Kent State during the summer to participate in undergraduate research studies.

West also set up a meeting with a chief executive officer of the Australia Council for the Arts, who was one of the daughters in his host family in high school.

“Sydney’s a great city,” West said. “It’s truly a world city, so having connections there is important for Kent State.”

By interacting with other cultures, Cartwright said she can learn things to bring back to the university.

It also increases opportunities for partnerships and internships, West said. Newington has good connections with universities in Sydney.

On the other hand, Cartwright has never visited the continent, but said she is looking forward to it. She hopes to catch up with a Kent State alumna in the area and thinks the host of the program will provide sight-seeing opportunities.

Cartwright will return Oct. 3. Until then, she said she will be in daily contact with the university through e-mail, and her secretary can reach her by phone if problems arise. In the 15 years she has been at Kent State, there have been very few problems while she is on trips.

Provost Paul Gaston is in charge in her absence, followed by David Creamer, vice president for Administration, Cartwright said.

Contact administration reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].