SHU Signs Letter of Intent for Academic Collaboration with Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University

News Story: September 24, 2015

Sacred Heart University has signed a letter of intent with Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU) in India to develop a relationship of sharing faculty and educational opportunities, including a study abroad program, for the students of both institutions.

“India is one of the fastest growing and largest economies—a lot of U.S. multinational corporations have significant presence in India and continue to expand their business there. These multinational companies are looking for graduates who have cultural awareness of that part of the world,” says Rupendra Paliwal, vice president for strategic planning at SHU, who facilitated the arrangement. “This agreement will provide excellent opportunities for our students to become aware of the business, cultural and educational environment in India. We are excited about our collaboration with a reputed university like PDPU.”

The heart of the agreement is “to establish ties of friendship and cooperation for the purpose of promoting mutual understanding and academic, cultural and personnel exchange.” SHU faculty will visit PDPU for two- to three-week periods, initially in the academic areas of business administration, finance and mass communication. The universities will file for a Fulbright Specialist Fellowship to facilitate the visits.

“This agreement promotes faculty and student exchanges and thus helps to further internationalize the college,” says John Chalykoff, dean of SHU’s Jack Welch College of Business (WCOB). “Sacred Heart’s strategic plan calls for greater internationalization of the University and the building of such partnerships helps further that goal. This agreement is a major step in that direction.”

Additionally, faculty and administrators from SHU’s School of Communication and Media Arts will help PDPU enhance its own communications bachelor’s program and together will form an International Exposure Program to introduce students to the academic, research, industry and cultural facets of the two universities.

“This exciting agreement with PDPU represents the College of Arts and Sciences’ commitment to fostering an academic culture that values global awareness and understanding that both students and faculty can avail themselves of,” says Robin Cautin, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “This partnership increases Sacred Heart’s international reputation and, more importantly, reflects the university’s commitment to fostering global awareness among faculty and students through intellectual and cultural exchange.”

“In today’s research and academic world, collaborative effort is the buzz word and we look forward to strong and sustainable collaborations with SHU. We are sure this step would go a long way in mutually reciprocal growth in the academic and research culture of both universities,” said Nigam Dave, dean of the School of Liberal Studies at PDPU. “We look forward to sending our students for short-term exposure programs and long-term academic years and to hosting SHU students and faculty on PDPU Campus.”

According to Paliwal, the seeds of the agreement were planted at a 2012 international conference in New York City, when he met and began speaking with representatives from PDPU. The letter of intent calls for the initial phase of the relationship to last five years, with provisions for extending it further.