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DIT and Purdue University sign new MOU

Posted: 25 May, 2016

WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana —During a visit by a DIT delegation to Purdue University, the President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton and Purdue President Mitch Daniels signed an agreement that will expand on collaborative efforts that have been ongoing between the two institutions for more than a decade.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels, from left, and Dublin Institute of Technology President Brian Norton sign a memorandum of understanding that will expand collaborations between the two institutions. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood

The new memorandum of understanding (MOU), among other areas, lays the groundwork for a reciprocal exchange of students, staff and faculty; collaborative research projects and commercialization; exchange of publications, reports and other academic information; collaborative professional development; and so-called “Hot Desking” of faculty and staff in each institution’s incubators, whereby DIT and Purdue entrepreneurs would exchange desks for set periods.

“What makes this relationship so unique is the breadth of engagement campus-wide,” Daniels said. “The colleges of Health and Human Sciences and Liberal Arts and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute have had robust exchanges with DIT for many years, and faculty and student interest in collaborations, from both sides, is significant and growing.”

During the visit, Professor Norton was invited to speak about the transformation of higher education in Europe to faculty and associate deans for academic affairs.  He also delivered a research presentation entitled “Optimized Harnessing of Heat, Clearness and Spectrum in Solar Energy Devices.”

“DIT and Purdue are natural partners,” said Dan Hirleman, Purdue’s chief corporate and global partnerships officer. Student success and career preparedness are priorities for both of us. The fact that both Purdue and DIT have such strong links to industry creates the perfect ecosystem for our students to engage in research and professional development activities that allow them to apply what they have learned outside the classroom. We look forward to exploring ways in which Purdue’s Foundry and DIT’s Hothouse can collaborate, for example, as both are dedicated to providing entrepreneurs with the tools to launch startup companies.”

Professor Norton also shared the exciting news that the Marriott Foundation has committed to funding five DIT hospitality students each year for four years in a semester-long exchange at Purdue’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.  Commenting on the productive visit, he said:

“This visit has been a great opportunity to acknowledge the continuing success of our collaboration with our colleagues in Purdue University, and I would like to thank President Daniels and his colleagues for once again welcoming a DIT delegation to West Lafayette. Building on the success of our collaboration to date, both institutions have now agreed to work together in a range of disciplines where we share particular strengths. The announcement that the Marriott Foundation is to generously support scholarships for DIT students of hospitality to spend a semester here in Purdue University is very timely and exciting.”

A number of Purdue colleges and departments have established student and faculty exchanges with DIT.  Thanks to “course mapping” between the institutions, students’ credits will fit into the standard curriculum, allowing on-time degree completion. Through Study Abroad scholarships, one of the key initiatives outlined in Purdue Moves, undergraduate students at Purdue who participate in semester-long programs abroad qualify for up to $3,000 to help defray the costs of travel and living expenses.

“It is only through immersive international experiences that our students can fully understand global issues and prepare themselves for leadership roles in the international community,” Daniels said. “Relationships with international partners such as DIT are vital to ensuring that Purdue students graduate with the global competencies necessary for success in today’s world.”

Following the visit to Purdue University, Professor Norton will attend a reception for DIT graduates in the IDA offices in Chicago.  Some seventy graduates will attend the event, at which Irish Consul General, Orla McBreen will be guest of honour.