This fall, the University of New Hampshire signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Howard University to mutually enhance one another’s capabilities in the areas of education, research, and capacity building. The partnership aims to establish cooperative relations in the areas of curriculum development, research, professional development, student and faculty exchange, joint course offerings, and postdoctoral recruitment.
Before the MOU was signed, UNH and HU worked on a number of projects together. The relationship between the two universities began in 2015 when the late Dr. Julie Williams, senior vice provost for engagement and faculty development, helped HU transform faculty development and create its own Office of Faculty Development. The two institutions joined forces again in 2017, when Dr. Teresa Redd, professor emerita at Howard University, helped revamp UNH’s Freshman English 401 course—the university’s largest course--to include more diverse assigned readings. In summer 2019, faculty and students from HU, along with faculty and students from across New England attended the Public Humanities Institute at UNH. Also, a collaboration between the Howard University Graduate School and the Office of Engagement and Faculty Development supported the participation of five emerging Howard University PhD scholars in the UNH Writing Academy. Each of these engagements has supported the growth of UNH and HU faculty and students by reinforcing academic research links and cultural interchange between the two.
“This partnership began informally through the work of Dr. Julie Williams. Because of Julie’s sustained efforts to connect people and projects at the two institutions, many partnerships have happened,” said Leslie Couse, executive director of Engagement and Faculty Development at UNH. “Given this track record, the two institutions formalized their relationship through a Memorandum of Understanding.”
Both universities are research institutions. Howard University is a private, historically black university located in an urban setting, while UNH is a public, predominantly white university located in a rural-suburban setting, with expertise as a land, space, and sea-grant institution.
Provost Wayne Jones shares, "Our partnership with Provost Wutoh and the academic affairs team at Howard has been key to building a partnership where we could share expertise equally for our students, faculty, and staff. Regular meetings between Provost Wutoh and I have clearly demonstrated the many similarities in challenges and approaches around research, student success, and faculty development."
Together, UNH and HU are working on a few priority projects led by the Office of Faculty Engagement and other university departments.
“The initial selection of IMAP’s student collaboration provides a significant boost for the partnership between UNH and Howard University. The win demonstrates the strengths and synergies between our institutions, and the excitement we share in developing visionary collaborations. Ultimately we aim to provide new opportunities for the next generation of scholars, scientists and innovators,” according to Nathan Schwadron, Presidential Chair and Waite Professor of Physics. In addition to building stronger synergies between UNH faculty including between their respective Law Schools, UNH and HU are also working to increase the number of STEM graduates and are jointly pursuing collaborative funded research in those areas.
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