PSU Faculty Development: Vietnam Immersion Program on Urban Sustainability
Program Dates in Vietnam: September 3 to 17, 2010
Application Deadline: Friday, April 2, 2010
This program, funded by a Miller grant, seeks to strengthen the sustainability dimensions of the PSU teaching faculty and curricula by immersing a diverse group of six PSU faculty from multiple disciplines in an engaged two-week learning experience in Vietnam. The faculty will participate in an intensive and interactive program with Vietnamese stakeholders that will serve as a living laboratory for thinking and acting creatively around several urban sustainability projects. Faculty engagement in this program will benefit the PSU community through: post-program development of interdisciplinary sustainability curriculum and course offerings; cross-cultural research opportunities with Vietnamese faculty; and, enhanced sustainability-focused international partnerships. The Vietnam Faculty Development Immersion Program will be co-led by Professor Marcus D. Ingle from the College of Urban and Public Affairs and Dr. Shpresa Halimi from the Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices. Drs. Ingle and Halimi have extensive experience with sustainability issues and institutions in Vietnam, and both have been involved in PSU’s expanding range of international programs and exchanges there.
Portland State University is committed to sustainability as a core theme. The ten-year, $25 million challenge grant from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, awarded to PSU in September 2008, has catalyzed action and served as a means to meet the fierce regional and global competition for preeminence in sustainability scholarship and action.
The following broadly defined, overlapping and interdisciplinary areas illustrate emerging nodes of sustainability scholarship, research, and partnerships at Portland State:
- Urban and civic ecology, including ecodistricts, ecosystem services, sustainable governance, and urban-rural continua;
- Sustainable urban infrastructure, including transportation, energy, water management, and social infrastructure;
- Green building, including all facets of green construction, supply chain, materials, and methods;
- Green business practices, including leadership, management, green accounting, and establishment of green business clusters.
PSU has made the integration of sustainability across its academic programs a central institutional priority. Recent efforts have aimed at engaging faculty in development of sustainability curricula. These efforts have included: development and adoption of sustainability as one of eight campus-wide learning outcomes; incorporation of sustainability into PSU’s general education program; providing faculty development through analysis of syllabi and a sustainability retreat; and development of a series of courses leading to a Graduate Certificate in Sustainability.
This program seeks to strengthen the interdisciplinary sustainability dimensions of the PSU teaching faculty, curricula, and course offerings. Six PSU faculty will be selected to travel to Vietnam for an intensive two-week, hands-on exploration of sustainable development issues and responses in one of the world’s most rapidly transitioning societies. The program’s design will provide opportunities for participating faculty to work collaboratively before, during and following the Vietnam visit. Before the visit, PSU faculty will refine the learning objectives for the program and learn more about Vietnam’s sustainability context. In Vietnam, the program will involve: university, government, civil society and business briefings; community-based sustainability assessments and projects; and intercultural faculty presentations. PSU faculty will partner with two groups of local faculty: — one from the Ho Chi Minh National Academy for Politics and Public Administration (the Academy) in Hanoi and from the University of Sciences in Ho Chi Minh City. Together, the PSU and Vietnamese faculty will engage in several urban sustainability projects. Upon completion of the two-week field experience in Vietnam, it is our intention that faculty will incorporate new sustainability perspectives and other lessons learned into their course curriculum and research priorities.
This faculty development program concept stems from our premise that sustainability challenges are global in reach. PSU’s sustainability curriculum and course offerings should fully embrace diverse international perspectives. PSU’s faculty and students need to be fully aware of the urban sustainability challenges, successes and failures from other countries and regions of the world.
Professor W. Barry Messer, one of PSU’s distinguished urban sustainability colleagues with experience in Vietnam, notes the potential value of this immersion opportunity in stating, “I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit and work with our Vietnamese partners on two separate occasions and found the experience to be very rewarding. The rich and welcoming culture provided the perfect context for a vibrant and robust exchange. The experience and insights gained from this collaboration continue to provide great dividends to both my teaching and research.”
Intended Program Outcomes for PSU Faculty
1. Expands knowledge and understanding of interdisciplinary sustainability issues and concepts for faculty whose primary area of research to date may have
focused on sustainability practices in the developed world. The comparative laboratory of the program also supports rapid learning and comprehension of
key concepts for faculty who may not have had significant prior exposure to sustainability concepts and practices.
2. Broadens faculty perspective through exposure to urban sustainability issues in a rapidly modernizing Asian country, providing increased understanding of sustainability practices and projects compared to that of the Pacific Northwest.
3. Provides an opportunity for engaging faculty in intercultural research leading to the formulation of competitive proposals to study and teach about sustainability.
4. Enhances understanding of how different perspectives of sustainability can shape the dialogue on sustainability at PSU.
5. Introduces different disciplinary perspectives to the study of sustainability during and subsequent to the immersion aboard experience.
6. Contributes to understanding of how intercultural experiences can contribute to the international and domestic student residential experience at PSU.
7. Broadens faculty interest and capacity in developing and offering international faculty-led programs for students or other faculty.
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world with more than 85 million inhabitants. A recent Thanh Nien News article from Vietnam stated that:
“[Vietnam] reduced poverty from 58 per cent in 1993 to 16 per cent in 2006. Vietnam’s openness to trade along with a number of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements helped it generate foreign direct investment while transforming it from a food-deficit country to a major exporter of agricultural products. But the World Bank warned that like other developing countries – which stand to suffer the most from climate change and the degradation of natural resources – Vietnam must protect its environment to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.”
Vietnam’s rapid transformation and drastic reduction in poverty under the free market economy has encouraged investment by multinational corporations directly tied to the Oregon economy, such as Intel and Nike, leading to a rising standard of living for many Vietnamese. However, this growth has not necessarily been equitable, and has fostered a dramatic increase in urban migration by the rural poor. One of the most significant problems facing the country is the threat of environmental degradation due to a lack of enforceable environmental standards, particularly in its large metropolitan areas.
PSU has a rapidly expanding education footprint in Vietnam. In the last 5 years dozens of PSU faculty, staff and students have visited Vietnam for internships and volunteer work on a range of projects (see attached PSU flyer for a summary of PSU’s projects in partnership with Vietnam). In addition, more than 50 Vietnamese government and educational leaders have visited PSU to learn about our environmental sustainability practices and governance structures. PSU is now leveraging our many relationships with Vietnam to build faculty teaching and research expertise related to sustainable urban communities. By assisting faculty engagement abroad, we further create an opportunity for PSU to increase its international recognition, and deepen its relationships and partnerships, all the while contributing to Vietnam’s overall sustainable development goals through research, teaching, and engaged outreach.
Marcus Ingle, Ph.D., PSU Executive Leadership Institute
Professor Ingle obtained his Ph.D. in social science from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs, Syracuse University, in 1977. He has over 35 years experience in international public service working in more than 80 countries. His career spans from local to multinational assignments in the government, nonprofit, corporate and academic sectors. He has worked for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), The World Bank Group and the University of Maryland. From 1997 to 2003 he worked with Booz Allen Hamilton, the worldwide strategy and technology consulting firm, in Columbia, Vietnam, Hungary and the Balkans.
From 2006 to 2008, Dr. Ingle was PI for a University-Community urban sustainability engagement project funded by USAID in Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnamese partner for that project is the University of Sciences, and they will be a co-sponsor for this immersion program. Dr. Ingle is currently the PI of two Ford Foundation grants to the Hatfield School of Government in CUPA on “Leadership for Sustainable Development” in Vietnam. The Vietnamese partner for these grants is the Ho Chi Minh National Academy for Politics and Public Administration (the HCM Academy) in Hanoi. The HCM Academy will be the other sponsor of this program.
Dr. Ingle began teaching at Portland State University in 2003. He is the lead for the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Ph.D. specialization in global leadership and management. His work with PSU includes collaborative efforts and engaged research geared toward global sustainability and leadership development. He led short term study exchange programs in Vietnam in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Co-Lead: Shpresa Halimi, Ph.D., PSU Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices
Dr. Halimi obtained her Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy with a concentration in Multi-Level Environmental Governance from the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government, Portland State University, in 2008. She has over 15 years of international experience in program management, teaching, training and consulting through her work with institutions of higher education, government organizations, NGOs and community groups in the USA, South East Europe and South East Asia.
In her current position as the Academic Sustainability Program Manager, Dr. Halimi works on advancing PSU’s academic sustainability activities – focused on enhancing the student learning experience, building the success of faculty’s contributions to teaching and research, broadening and deepening community engagement, and strengthening the overall institutional capacity to ensure long-term success.
From 2003-2005 Dr. Halimi was the project manager for a community-based environmental management program funded by USAID in Ho Chi Minh City. From 2006-2008 she managed the community-university engagement program implemented in partnership with the University of Natural Sciences in Ho Chi Minh City. She led the short-term study exchange program for PSU graduate students in Vietnam in 2006.
Please see the program information PDF (link above) for a tentative schedule
Environment & Accessibility
Portland State University welcomes applications from individuals with disabilities.
As Thomas Friedman’s recent book title suggests, Vietnam is “hot (almost always), flat (at least partially with some notable spikes), and crowded (especially in the urban centers).” Vietnam’s transitional urban context provides a robust laboratory for exploration, engagement and reflective learning. The country and its people are very open and hospitable.
Selection Criteria/Qualifications for Faculty Participants
Faculty applying for this unique development opportunity should meet most or all of the following criteria:
1. Holds tenure or is in a tenure-track position
2. Has teaching responsibility as part of current appointment
3. Has demonstrated an academic interest in sustainability issues
4. Has demonstrated an openness to interdisciplinary academic work
5. Has little or no professional experience with urban sustainability issues in an Asian country
The program will pay the following costs for participants: lodging expenses for the duration of the program, round trip airfare between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, miscellaneous per diem expenses up to $65/day, and ground transportation expenses for program activities.
Participants are responsible for securing funding for their international airfare expenses to and from Vietnam (estimated at about $1500), as well as any costs related to visas, immunizations, (estimated at $200), and personal spending.
Interested faculty should submit a letter of interest, addressing the selection criteria listed above, as well as a curriculum vitae.
For information, please contact:
Marcus Ingle, Professor and Director of Global Initiatives, Executive Leadership Institute, Urban & Public Affairs, 503-725-8202, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shpresa Halimi, Academic Sustainability Program Manager, Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices, 503-725-9671, email@example.com
Todd Waddell, International Faculty Led Programs Coordinator, Office of Education Abroad, “firstname.lastname@example.org:mailto:email@example.com