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May 29, 2020
In his message on May 22, President Frenk advised the University of Miami community that mitigating the financial impact of COVID-19 would require hard but critical decisions to ensure continued success in fulfilling our core academic mission. One such decision is the closure of the Office of Hemispheric and Global Affairs effective on June 8, 2020.

This office, which was opened almost three years ago, has been responsible for spearheading the University’s coordinated international efforts on multiple fronts and across all campuses. Dr. Lourdes Dieck-Assad, who has served as vice president for hemispheric and global affairs and launched several strategic initiatives to leverage the University’s geographic location, will be stepping down, while key functions of the office will continue under the supervision of the provost.

Since its founding in 1925, the University of Miami has embraced its privileged position at the heart of the Americas. While the University remains committed to the aspiration of being the hemispheric university as a core pillar of its strategic plan, the reality of the global economy requires a more streamlined approach that builds on its successes in the region and beyond.

Under Dr. Dieck-Assad’s direction, the office worked closely with areas across the University that have international-facing objectives, including all schools and colleges, units serving international students, study abroad and student exchange programs, and engaged in outreach to international businesses and organizations. The creation of the International Activity Database, for instance, provides scholars, researchers, students, and others with a tool including more than 600 entries, which helps foster partnerships in specific regions or disciplines. The office was instrumental in the launch of the Hemispheric University Consortium, which now includes 14 member institutions across the Americas. President Frenk is currently serving as the consortium’s president, and the University will continue to play an active and central role in its ongoing development.

In making today’s announcement, President Frenk expressed his deep gratitude for Dr. Dieck-Assad’s leadership and dedication, as well as the work of the staff to standardize the University’s approach to international collaboration. He stressed that despite this difficult administrative decision, the University of Miami will continue to be an enlightening and innovative force in the hemisphere and across the globe.
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