JACKSON, Tenn. – Jan. 20, 2010– Union University Provost Carla Sanderson is on her way to Iraq, where she will spend several days meeting with Kurdish government officials seeking to establish a democratic form of higher education in the Kurdistan region.
“It’s an overwhelming opportunity to be an ambassador for democracy in higher education,” Sanderson said. “Outside of spreading the gospel, education is the strongest tool to reform, and the chance to be a part of such reform in the Middle East is extremely compelling.”
Sanderson’s trip is part of a U.S. Agency for International Development grant with the U.S. Department of State, and came about in part through her experiences as a commissioner for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, an entity of the U.S. Department of Education.
She will be a guest of Iraq’s minister of education, who has asked for assistance as he moves Iraq’s higher education system away from what it has been in the past, with little opportunity for student choice and faculty governance.
In short, Sanderson said he wants “to rescue future generations of students,” and that’s a mission with which she closely identifies.
Sanderson will be part of a four-day workshop in Erbil, Iraq, where she will meet with the Iraqi minister of education, in addition to high-level administrators and faculty members from several Iraqi universities.