Topics: Sustainability/Environment, College of Architecture and Planning

August 29, 2008

Ball State University has received a $220,000 federal grant to support a consortium promoting Ball State and Texas A&M student and faculty exchange with Brazilian universities in a collaborative effort to teach students how to create universities that address  current global environmental, social and economic challenges.  The consortium is also funded by a parallel Brazilian grant that supports Brazilian student and faculty exchange.

Landscape architecture professor and Land Design Institute director John Motloch will oversee Ball State's involvement in the US-Brazil Universities of the Future Consortium (USBUFC). Other U.S. partners include Texas A&M University and the not-for-profit Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems. Brazilian partners include the Federal University of Brasilia and the Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul.

Funds from the grants will cover stipends over the next four years for up to 40 students and eight faculty members from the partnering universities to participate in short-term or semester-long exchanges, Motloch said. The grant also will pay for the related expenses of curriculum development and supported research.

"Our aim is to educate students to address the profound challenges that must be addressed in the immediate and long-term future if humankind, as we know it, is to survive," Motloch said.

The program is jointly administered by the U.S Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and the Brazilian Ministry of Education.  Ball State's grant for the USBUFC was one of 13 awarded this year under the nation's U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Consortium Program.

A previous grant from the program funded Ball State's U.S. leadership in the U.S.-Brazil Sustainability Consortium, also overseen by Motloch.