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OSU Global hosts second cohort of Ethiopian higher education leaders

Friday, October 27, 2023

Media Contact: Alex Christy | Communication Specialist | 405-744-5496 |

Oklahoma State University recently welcomed to campus the second cohort of higher education administrators from Ethiopia as part of a U.S. State Department Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) grant program in collaboration with Texas Tech University and Ohio State University.

The 25 delegates spent three days attending information sessions, touring academic and athletic facilities, and making connections with OSU leadership, staff and faculty.

Higher education delegates from Ethiopia gathered around a table for an information session hosted by OSU Global.
Higher education delegates from Ethiopia gather around a table for an information session hosted by OSU Global.

This year’s LMG program participants gathered in August for a two-day workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where they met with the charge d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy and began connecting with other Ethiopian and American university representatives. The program officially began with the delegation’s arrival in Lubbock, Texas, where they toured TTU before traveling to Stillwater.

OSU Global hosted the delegation, giving them the opportunity to hear from campus leaders on OSU’s land-grant mission, building academic programs and managing the operations of a higher learning institution. On Oct. 19, OSU faculty were invited to a reception where the delegates were able to meet and chat with them on shared educational interests. After receiving tours of the OSU campus, athletic facilities and the Endeavor Laboratory, the delegates departed for Ohio State on Oct. 22 for the last leg of their tour.

Group photo of delegates outside of the Wes Watkins CenterThe delegates gather around Dr. Brad Rowland for a tour of the Endeavor Laboratory
The delegates gather for a group photo before meeting Dr. Brad Rowland for a tour of the Endeavor Laboratory.

The connection between OSU and Ethiopia can be traced back nearly 70 years to the early 1950s. Then president of Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College Henry G. Bennett was given leadership over President Harry S. Truman’s Four Point Program, the goal of which was to provide technical and educational support to developing nations. Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie requested Bennett’s help establishing an agricultural college, making Ethiopia the first country to participate in the Four Point Program.

Unfortunately, Bennett was killed in a plane crash before the official agreement between OSU and Ethiopia was signed, but his efforts and connection with Selassie laid the foundation. Since then, OSU has maintained a close connection with universities in Ethiopia, particularly Haramaya University and Jimma University, both of which OSU faculty helped to establish in the 1950s and ‘60s.

In May 2021, the Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs committed to offering $502,957 from the University Partnership Initiative to OSU, TTU and Ohio State. Since then, these partners have worked closely with the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Higher Education to create a robust LMG program that identifies and addresses the needs of collegiate administrators.

Associate Provost and Dean of OSU Global Randy Kluver has been integral to the development of this LMG program and strongly believes in its lasting impact.

“This project has really helped to fulfill the promise of OSU’s contribution to Ethiopian higher education that began with the Four Point Program,” Dr. Kluver said. “It has allowed OSU’s current leadership, faculty and students to continue building capacity and meeting the needs of education programs in Ethiopia, a goal first envisioned by President Bennett over seven decades ago.”

Associate Provost and Dean of OSU Global Dr. Randy Kluver visits with a table of delegates at Ethiopian delegation reception.
Associate Provost and Dean of OSU Global Dr. Randy Kluver visits with a table of delegates at Ethiopian delegation reception.

The conclusion of this year’s visit marks a historic achievement in the long history between OSU and Ethiopia — senior leadership representatives from nearly every higher education institution in Ethiopia have visited the OSU campus as a part of the LMG program. While the administrators travel back home to apply their knowledge and resources, OSU Global looks forward to future partnerships and opportunities to connect with its Ethiopian colleagues.

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