BANGKOK – Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie and members of an IU delegation concluded a highly successful weeklong trip to Thailand that resulted in expanded and deeper ties between IU and leading institutions in the Southeast Asian country.
Highlights of the trip included IU's prominent role at a 50th-anniversary celebration of the National Institute of Development Administration, which IU helped establish. Last Friday, McRobbie renewed a partnership agreement with Chulalongkorn University, Thailand's top public research university.
On Monday, McRobbie and IU Vice President for International Affairs David Zaret had an audience with Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Afterward, the IU president honored Disnadda Diskul, an IU alumnus who for 44 years has led the Mae Fah Luang Foundation, which addresses poverty and living conditions facing minority groups in northern Thailand.
"One central part of Indiana University's history is a rich tradition of international engagement that goes back more than 100 years," McRobbie said during his address Thursday to 1,200 higher education, government and business leaders at NIDA's celebration. "The many decades of cooperation and friendship that Indiana University and Thailand have enjoyed have been a major part of that tradition."
McRobbie was the only president of a U.S. university asked to deliver a keynote address at the National Institute of Development Administration's Silver Anniversary conference. NIDA has trained thousands of the Thai government's top administrators and diplomats for service across the country and around the world.
Others in the IU delegation included IU Kelley School of Business Dean Idalene Kesner. This was McRobbie's second official trip to Thailand as IU's president; he last visited in 2012.
IU and Thailand have a long, rich history of partnership dating back to 1948. IU helped establish the Institute of Public Administration at Thammasat University in 1955. A decade later, IU helped create the National Institute of Development Administration, Thailand's leading educational institution, which concentrates exclusively on graduate studies in fields related to national development.