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EMKE Program Background

Reaching across two sectors of higher education

The EMKE program's name grows out of a report for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs by James J. Duderstadt, president emeritus of the University of Michigan, titled A Master Plan for Higher Education in the Midwest: A Roadmap to the Future of the Nation's Heartland. In this 2011 report, Duderstadt recommends that the Midwest, as a region, needs to develop and support a "knowledge ecology" that can adapt to address the challenges of a rapidly-changing world. Colleges and universities would play an important role in this effort.

The ACM and the CIC, both established more than a half-century ago and with membership mostly located in the Midwest, have strong institutional structures to support EMKE. There also is an ongoing web of connections among the members of the two consortia arising through their students and faculty. Many students from ACM colleges are attracted to graduate study in CIC universities, and many CIC graduate students have gone on to teach at ACM colleges, comprising 30-40 percent of the full-time faculty at many ACM institutions.

These connections make clear that liberal arts colleges, which are especially known for their teaching, also are sites of excellent research. Research universities, seen as hubs of high level research, also sponsor excellent teaching, as well as research into good teaching.

For both types of institutions, collaboration across sectors fostered by this project could promote greater financial and curricular flexibility, and the sharing of costs, specialized resources, and institutional learning among a larger group of institutions in the Midwest region.

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