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Free Trade Focus of First Provost's Forum in February 2007

The first project selected for the University of Iowa Provost's Forum for International Affairs will explore free trade in the global workplace.

Terry Boles, associate professor of management and organizations and director of the Institute for International Business (IIB); Ann Knudson, assistant director of IIB; and Cathy Cole, professor of marketing, all in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business, will organize "Free Trade: Implications for the Global Workplace," a three-day forum Feb. 22-24 that will examine free trade and consider the broader implications of free trade for local and global workplaces and communities.

Speakers and presenters include: Arvind Panagariya, professor of economics at Columbia University and world expert on trade and poverty; Pietra Rivoli, associate professor of business at Georgetown University and author of "Travels of a T-shirt"; and Christopher Foster, deputy secretary of business and economic development for the State of Maryland. The forum will also include a moderated business panel and a case competition open to graduate and undergraduate student groups from across campus, which will focus on the business, legal and ethical problems companies face in an increasingly global environment.

Each year, the provost sponsors a Forum for International Affairs, which provides an opportunity to debate, discuss and reflect upon urgent international issues of significant importance for our time by melding scholarly expertise, public intellectuals, and community engagement in high impact ways. In addition to serving the University of Iowa community broadly, the forum will be an annual event that positions the UI as a national focal point for discussions of international affairs.

"I am extremely pleased with the substantive topic chosen for this inaugural forum," said UI Executive Vice President and Provost Michael Hogan. "I believe the Free Trade forum will provide a wonderful example of why we created this annual event-to inspire greater awareness of significant international issues and trends."

The organizers and topic of the annual forum are selected by the provost upon the recommendation of a committee selected by the dean of International Programs. In announcing the competition, the provost may from time to time give priority to a specific issue in, or approach to, international affairs.

William Reisinger, associate provost and dean of UI International Programs, said that these forums allow members of the campus and community to grapple with urgent international issues.

"It is vital that the world's leading universities promote informed debate about our changing world," Reisinger said.


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