Colatrella Named Fulbright New Century Scholar

International team of Fulbright Scholars to spend one year examining higher education in the 21st century

Carol Colatrella, professor in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture, has been selected as a Fulbright New Century Scholar -- one of 31 top academics and professionals collaborating for the 2005-2006 year on the topic, "Higher Education in the 21st Century: Global Challenge and National Response."

This year's research scholars and professionals from 22 countries and regions, including Yemen, Egypt, and the United States, will work collaboratively over the next year to establish a broad framework for constructive action to ensure the future of higher education worldwide. The future of the academic profession, elite versus mass-access, the public-private mix in higher education, and the globalization of higher education will be among the key issues examined. The international team will provide insightful analysis that could serve as a realistic basis for refocusing and improving higher education in national and global contexts.

The thirty-one higher education specialists, one-third of whom come from the United States and two-thirds from any of the 140 countries worldwide with an active Fulbright program, are the newest Fulbright New Century Scholars selected to focus on a transnational topic of global significance for one year. This year's Fulbright New Century Scholars are examining the topic Higher Education in the 21st Century: Global Challenge and National Response. The group is being guided by New Century Scholar Distinguished Leader Philip G. Altbach, the J. Donald Monan, SJ Professor of Higher Education in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.

The New Century Scholars will also pursue individual research projects abroad and in the United States. For Colatrella's individual project "Advancing Women in the Academy: Comparing Perceptions and Considering Solutions in the United States and Denmark," she will research how gender affects processes of access and advancement for faculty members in Denmark. Her collaborative project will investigate aspects of the academic profession in Denmark to compare and contrast perceptions of faculty working environments as well as considering the outcomes of equity efforts in a smaller, more socially homogenous industrialized nation that, like the U.S., has preferred raising awareness of equity issues to passing specific laws forbidding inequities. Although Denmark is a nation with progressive attitudes and laws regarding sex roles and work-family arrangements, its universities, like those in the U. S., experience a dearth of women at upper ranks and in administrative positions.

The New Century Scholars will come together three times during the program year to share research, exchange perspectives and pursue collaborative activities in dynamic seminar sessions planned for Boston, Cairo, and Paris. After meeting for the first time in Boston from September 28-30, 2005 to define the specific ways in which they will collaborate over the next year, the New Century Scholars will hold their mid-term meeting in Cairo from March 15-22, 2006. As part of their mid-term meeting in Cairo, the 31 New Century Scholars will consult in a series of roundtable discussions with higher education specialists and administrators from Egypt and surrounding countries at the American University of Cairo. Co-hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Franco-American Commission for Educational Exchange, a final plenary will take place in Paris from October 19-25, 2006. During the plenary, the New Century Scholars will present their final analyses and recommendations. Visit www.cies.org to find out more about the 2005-2006 Fulbright New Century Scholars Program; click Fulbright Global Programs for U.S. and non-U.S. Scholars.

Now in its fourth year, the Fulbright New Century Scholars Program seeks to take advantage of the synergy created when scholars from vastly different spheres focus on a single issue of concern to people worldwide. Last year, a team of 31 Fulbright New Century Scholars, including leading feminist scholars and policy makers, examined Toward Equality: The Global Empowerment of Women. Previous groups of New Century Scholars have examined Sectarian, Ethnic and Cultural Conflict Within and Across National Borders, as well as The Challenges of Health in a Borderless World.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), which is a division of the Institute of International Education (IIE), the New Century Scholars Program is an international, interdisciplinary program designed for high quality research. The Program continues to provide a platform for a multinational group of outstanding scholars and professionals to produce a body of multidisciplinary research and analysis that might serve as the basis for the formulation of innovative approaches to policy issues of universal concern.