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Keough School seeks to globalize Notre Dame experience

| Friday, September 21, 2018

Since its establishment as Notre Dame’s newest school last academic year, the Keough School of Global Affairs has been extending its reach to undergraduates. In addition to its master’s program for graduate students, administrators hope the school will open global opportunities for undergraduates and globalize Notre Dame.

Ted Beatty, the Keough School’s associate dean for academic affairs, said the school had three goals in mind when it was established.

“The University, six years ago, made the decision to create the Keough School, partly to expand globally oriented programs on campus — research programs, teaching programs — that already existed. That was one goal,” Beatty said. “The second goal was to increase the international profile of Notre Dame, generally, and to try and globalize the campus. A third goal was to focus on policy issues. We have people from departments — political science, economics, sociology, etc. — in the Keough School. All that exists in Arts and Letters and elsewhere, as well. Our specialty, though, is to focus on critical issues of the 21st Century and policy issues surrounding them.”

Another one of the main ideas behind the school’s founding, Beatty said, was to consolidate a series of existing programs and institutes in one school.

“We bring together these seven institutes and centers that already existed and bring them together under one roof and try to support the programs they already have and build programs on top of that,” he said.

One of the main offerings of the Keough School is a two-year master’s degree in foreign affairs. This aspect of the school’s work began a year and a half ago, Beatty said. However, this year a new series of supplementary and second major, minors and other programs are being opened for undergraduate students.

“Our goal for undergraduate programs is to offer Notre Dame students, wherever they are at the University — whatever they do — we want to offer them a way to globalize their Notre Dame education,” he said. “Of course, there are many ways they can do that outside of the Keough School — through study abroad, in departments, whether they’re a history major, or an economics major, or an architecture major, or a science major — they can do global things in those departments, and that’s wonderful. But what we do differently than departments is focus on the critical issues of the 21st century, these policy related issues.”

A number of interdisciplinary options, designed to showcase the intertwined nature of today’s world, are available to students, Beatty said. Even if students don’t have time in their schedule for a major or a minor, Beatty encouraged Notre Dame students to explore their place in the world through the Keough School.

“If you’re a first-year student setting foot on campus thinking, ‘okay I want to do architecture, or engineering or political science, or whatever, but I’m interested in global issues and the ways in which the world is a globalized place,” he said. “What happens in the United States or London or Geneva or Nigeria or China or India has ripple effects across borders.’ Students want to understand themselves as global citizens they come and look at the menu of opportunities that the Keough School is offering.”

Beatty said he hopes the school continues to expand in the coming years.

“We’re at the very early stages. We’re a startup,” he said. “For the next five years we’re going to continue to be a startup. We’re hiring faculty every year and expanding capacity. One element of growth over the next five years is simply expansion of capacity — to do research, to offer curricular programs, to connect with policy issues. One aspect of that … is focusing on ways we can get undergraduates connect with, interested in, policy issues. We just opened a Washington, D.C. office this summer. We’re looking forward to ways in which we can connect undergraduates with opportunities in Washington and beyond.”

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About Tom Naatz

Tom is a senior at University of Notre Dame. He is majoring in Political Science and Spanish and is originally from Rockville, Maryland. Formerly The Observer's Notre Dame News Editor, he's now a proud columnist for the paper.

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