Seattle, WA and Chandigarh, India – In October, 2015, Antioch University Seattle’s (AUS) Clinical Mental Health Counseling Core Faculty and Chair Colin Ward, PhD, LMHC, was a keynote speaker at the 3rd World Congress on Excellence, hosted by Panjab University, Chandigarh, in India. This visit helped pave the way for ongoing conversation between Panjab University and AUS. This conversation, in turn, has recently blossomed into a more formal relationship between the two schools, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
This thoughtfully written MOU was signed into existence this March, by Professor Arun Kumar Grover, the Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh, and by Dan Hocoy, PhD, President of Antioch University Seattle. The representatives of the school who will be directly involved in the ongoing participation in the MOU are Professor Meena Sehgal, of the Department of Psychology at Panjab University, Chandigarh, and Jane Harmon Jacobs, PhD, the Academic Dean of Antioch University Seattle.
Although these schools are over 6,000 miles apart and located on opposite hemispheres, Panjab University, Chandigarh and Antioch University Seattle have much in common. Panjab University was founded in 1882. Its Department of Psychology, which was founded in 1959, is one of the largest Psychology programs in India. Antioch University was founded in 1852. Antioch University Seattle is renowned for its groundbreaking School of Applied Psychology, Counseling, and Family Therapy.
In their shared MOU, AUS and Panjab University, Chandigarh outline the scope of their collaboration, the duration of the MOU, and other matters. For example, the MOU describes itself as “designed to foster a friendly relationship between Antioch University Seattle and Panjab University through mutual cooperation in the areas of training, education, and research.” It further says “Each institution may offer the other opportunities for activities and programs such as teaching, research, exchange of faculty and students, and staff development that will foster a collaborative relationship.” The MOU elaborates, saying “The institutions contemplate implementation of programs or activities such as: a) joint educational, cultural, and research activities; b) exchange of teaching staff and advanced graduate students for research, lectures, and discussions; c) participation in seminars and academic meetings; d) exchange of academic materials, publications, and other information; and e) special short-term academic programs.”
On the subject of exchange students, the MOU says that a separate agreement will be needed, “stipulating the details of credit transfer, fees, participant qualifications, and quality assurance process before initiating the exchange of students or the acceptance of applicants as international students at either institution.” Moreover, MOU clarifies that “No financial obligations are assumed under this agreement.” And “The financing of any of the activities mentioned in this agreement shall be dependent on the availability of funds and shall be subject to specific agreements by which these activities may be accomplished.”
In essence, the MOU is the start of a formal relationship, which is expected to grow into multiple new agreements over the duration of its five years. It lays the groundwork for the creation of future collaborative projects. Antioch University Seattle’s social justice mission embraces diversity. Coming together in collaboration with an esteemed university on the other side of the globe is an especially rich opportunity to help our academic community members grow as world citizens.
Learn more about the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.