May 24, 2016

Dublin Institute of Technology, Purdue expand partnership

Daniels dit signing Purdue President Mitch Daniels, from left, and Dublin Institute of Technology President Brian Norton sign a memorandum of understanding that will expand collaborations between the two institutions. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) President Brian Norton and Purdue President Mitch Daniels on Monday (May 23) signed an agreement that will expand on collaborative efforts that have been ongoing between the two institutions for more than a decade.

The new memorandum of understanding (MOU), among other areas, lays the groundwork for a reciprocal exchange of students, staff and faculty; collaborative research projects and commercialization; exchange of publications, reports and other academic information; collaborative professional development; and so-called “Hot Desking” of faculty and staff in each institution’s incubators, whereby DIT and Purdue entrepreneurs would exchange desks for set periods.

“What makes this relationship so unique is the breadth of engagement campus-wide,” Daniels said. “The colleges of Health and Human Sciences and Liberal Arts and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute have had robust exchanges with DIT for many years, and faculty and student interest in collaborations, from both sides, is significant and growing.”

Norton arrived on campus from Ireland with a delegation of 10 DIT faculty members and administrators to strengthen and formalize the partnership. In addition to signing the MOU, Norton gave two presentations: a luncheon talk on the transformation of higher education in Europe to faculty and associate deans for academic affairs and a research presentation entitled “Optimized Harnessing of Heat, Clearness and Spectrum in Solar Energy Devices.” DIT delegation members used the visit as an opportunity to meet with their Purdue counterparts across campus.

“DIT and Purdue are natural partners,” said Dan Hirleman, Purdue’s chief corporate and global partnerships officer. Student success and career preparedness are priorities for both of us. The fact that both Purdue and DIT have such strong links to industry creates the perfect ecosystem for our students to engage in research and professional development activities that allow them to apply what they have learned outside the classroom. We look forward to exploring ways in which Purdue’s Foundry and DIT’s Hothouse can collaborate, for example, as both are dedicated to providing entrepreneurs with the tools to launch startup companies.”

Norton also announced that the Marriott Foundation has committed to funding five DIT hospitality students each year for four years in a semester-long exchange at Purdue’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

“This visit has been a great opportunity to acknowledge the continuing success of our collaboration with our colleagues in Purdue University, and I would like to thank President Daniels and his colleagues for once again welcoming a DIT delegation to West Lafayette,” Norton said. “Building on the success of our collaboration to date, both institutions have now agreed to work together in a range of disciplines where we share particular strengths. The announcement that the Marriott Foundation is to generously support scholarships for DIT students of hospitality to spend a semester here in Purdue University is very timely and exciting.”

A number of Purdue colleges and departments have established student and faculty exchanges with DIT. Thanks to “course mapping” between the institutions, students’ credits will fit into the standard curriculum, allowing on-time degree completion. Through Study Abroad scholarships, one of the key initiatives outlined in Purdue Moves, undergraduate students at Purdue who participate in semester-long programs abroad qualify for up to $3,000 to help defray the costs of travel and living expenses.

“It is only through immersive international experiences that our students can fully understand global issues and prepare themselves for leadership roles in the international community,” Daniels said. “Relationships with international partners such as DIT are vital to ensuring that Purdue students graduate with the global competencies necessary for success in today’s world.”

DIT is a comprehensive public doctoral-awarding institution that prides itself in combining the academic excellence of a traditional research university with professional, career-oriented learning. DIT has a community of more than 20,000 students and 2,000 faculty and staff. Although DIT, as it is now known, was officially established in 1992, it is a descendant of the first technical education institution in Ireland that was established in 1887. 

Source: Dan Hirleman, 765-494-9095,

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