Tessler, Kollman to Lead International Efforts in Revised Roles


By Laurel Thomas Gnagey
Dec 10, 2010

As the university continues to advance global engagement opportunities for its students and faculty, Provost Phil Hanlon and LSA Dean Terrence McDonald have announced that Mark Tessler will take on the full-time role of vice provost for international affairs. He has served for six years in this capacity part time while also directing the International Institute. Hanlon and McDonald also announced, as part of this change, Kenneth Kollman's appointment as director of the International Institute.

Both appointments are pending approval of the Board of Regents.

"We are extremely pleased that Mark Tessler and Kenneth Kollman, in their respective roles effective January 1, will provide the leadership to advance the university's international engagement," Hanlon and McDonald wrote last week in an e-mail to executive officers, deans and institutional leadership.

President Mary Sue Coleman has named internationalization as one of her university initiatives. In recent years the university has expanded study-abroad opportunities, thanks in part to The President's Challenge: Enriching the Student Global Experience, which encouraged donors to support global learning.

U-M also has developed partnerships with universities and other education leaders throughout Africa and in China that have resulted in study-abroad opportunities, and in joint training programs, research and scholarship.

Among other collaborations, this year the university signed a formal resolution to engage in collaborative research with Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), including a new multimillion-dollar joint program in renewable energy and biomedical research.

This summer the university received reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools after conducting a self-study titled "The University of Michigan: An Institution of Global Learning, Knowledge and Engagement." The HLC allows large universities to pick a special emphasis area for the study, and U-M chose to answer the question of what it means to be an international university.

"From the extensive self-study we learned that U-M offers faculty and students many rich opportunities to become engaged internationally," Hanlon says. "We also identified opportunities to build on our strengths so we can better prepare the next generation of global citizens and support faculty engaged in international work. The university is pleased that two accomplished faculty members will be leading our efforts in these areas."

"Professor Tessler will focus on providing campuswide leadership to advance global engagement by the University of Michigan. He will coordinate and promote the academic components of the university's international activities, pursuing opportunities for enhanced international relationships and providing central coordination in support of unit and faculty-driven initiatives," Hanlon and McDonald wrote in the e-mail to campus leadership.

Tessler is the Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science, specializing in comparative politics and Middle East studies. He has studied and/or conducted field research in Tunisia, Israel, Morocco, Egypt and Palestine (West Bank and Gaza).

Many of his scholarly publications examine the nature, determinants, and political implications of attitudes and values held by ordinary citizens the Middle East. His work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Institute for Peace, the U.S. State Department and others.

Tessler was named a 2010 Carnegie Scholar for the next phase of this research, which focuses on political Islam. He also has written extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As director of the International Institute, Kollman will work with U-M's schools, colleges, and programs and partner institutions around the world in developing academic programs, including language study, and research opportunities for faculty and students.

Kollman is professor of political science, LSA, and research professor in the Center for Political Studies, Institute for Social Research. His research and teaching focus on political parties, elections, lobbying, federal systems, formal modeling and complexity theory. He has been principal investigator on five multiyear National Science Foundation grants, and has won several awards from the American Political Science Association.

His publications focus on lobbying in the United States; on political parties in the United States, Great Britain, Canada and India; and on computational models of politics. At U-M he has served as director of the European Union Center and Center for European Studies, director of the Center for International and Comparative Studies, and director of the program in Florence. He also was interim director for the Center for Political Studies.

News Category: research
Department: International Institute