SOUTH BEND -- The University of Notre Dame is considering establishing a School of International Affairs.
The idea has been discussed among some top administrators for about three years, according to R. Scott Appleby, director of the university's Kroc Center for International Peace Studies and a history professor. He has been appointed director of academic planning for the proposed school by Provost Thomas G. Burish.
This is part of a broader discussion about how Notre Dame can play a larger role in global and international affairs, Appleby said Wednesday.
"Our students must become prepared to live as global citizens, as well as national citizens," he said.
The upcoming academic year will involve extensive discussions about the proposal with faculty, staff and administrators across all disciplines, he said. Based on those discussions, Appleby hopes to be able to make a recommendation to university leaders about whether to proceed with the proposal by May or June 2014.
If the recommendation is to move ahead to create such a school, the proposal then would be sent to the university's Academic Council and ultimately to the board of trustees for a final decision.
If the proposal is approved, it would be the first new college or school at Notre Dame in nearly a century.
The last such creation was Notre Dame's College of Foreign & Domestic Commerce, founded in 1921, which is now the Mendoza College of Business.
The university has four undergraduate colleges, plus schools of architecture, law and the Graduate School.
An international affairs school "would draw on strong existing (degree) programs and faculty, but also would include building a new degree program -- a master's degree in international affairs," Appleby said. There also could be a bachelor's degree program in international affairs, he said.
Launching a new school might require a new building, but that's among the issues that will be discussed, Appleby said.
"There would be hope for a new building," he said, but no such commitment has been made.
A school of international affairs would fit within Notre Dame's mission as a Catholic university, Appleby said. "Catholicism is inherently a global, universal faith," he said.
Notre Dame already offers more than 40 international study programs in 20 countries around the world, as well as a domestic program in Washington, D.C. In recent years, about 60 percent of Notre Dame students have participated in study programs in other countries.
Many of Notre Dame's peer institutions have schools of international studies, including Duke, Georgetown and Princeton universities. Within this state, Indiana University established a School of Global & International Studies in 2012.
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