Enhancing Global Learning

Kennesaw State University President Dan Papp brings experience in international affairs to his new j

Kennesaw State’s Dan Papp brings experience in international affairs to his new job A pair of oversized purple-framed glasses, homage to former KSU president Dr. Betty Siegel. Two sets of Russian nesting dolls: one representing former Soviet leaders from Lenin to Gorbachev, the other featuring Atlanta Braves from the early 1990s, among them David Justice, John Smoltz and Rafael Belliard.

These items, prominently displayed on shelves in the office of Dr. Dan Papp, Kennesaw State University’s president, seem to belie his credentials as a serious-minded academic with vast experience in high-level public policy and international affairs. But books interspersed among the whimsical personal effects, weighty volumes on topics from international security policy to Soviet-American relations, tell the other side of Papp’s life story.

“I’ve had the best of all worlds,” says Papp, who moved seamlessly from education to policy to government to research and back to education. He has instructed or lectured at institutions as diverse as the U.S. Army War College, the Air War College, and Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

Papp was the first director of the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech, and a visiting professor at Western Australia Institute of Technology. His research has been funded by the departments of the Army, Education, and Defense, the United State Information Agency and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He has written or edited 10 books, including a biography of Dean Rusk, Georgia native and former secretary of state in the administrations of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Papp’s experience in international affairs will come into play as KSU goes through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) re-accreditation process. Re-accreditation, he says, “takes place every 10 years and even before I was chosen to head KSU, the university had chosen Internationalization and Globalization as its Quality Enhancement Program (QEP).”

The QEP at Kennesaw will create programs to enhance global learning and understanding in each academic discipline. “In our nursing education, for example,” Papp says, “it’s critical that folks are able to deliver the services that their patients and others need. In order to appreciate what they’re doing they need to appreciate what’s being done in other parts of the world. Public health isn’t just a local issue, it’s a global issue.”

Papp likens knowledge of basic international affairs to an understanding of the role of information technology. “When we were in college information technology was absolutely irrelevant to higher education,” he says. “In the 21st century it’s absolutely requisite. When we were in school internationalization and globalization weren’t things that most people thought about, but now you have to see how those issues impact you. If you’re the corner florist or somebody involved with agriculture, you better know something about international affairs.”

Prior to his arrival at KSU, Papp served as vice chancellor for academics and fiscal affairs for the University System of Georgia from 2000 until 2006. His responsibilities included everything from academic, faculty and student concerns to business and financial affairs to strategic planning at the system’s 35 colleges and universities. Papp is well acquainted with KSU’s impressive growth.

In the past decade, KSU grew from a small commuter school to Georgia’s third largest state university with an enrollment nearing 20,000. Residence halls are filled, there’s a sizable waiting list, and 100 students were housed at Marietta’s Southern Polytechnic State University. A new Social Sciences building is almost ready for occupants and the school’s first doctoral program, an Ed.D. in Leadership Education, just came online. The school hopes to break ground in 2007 on a $60 million Nursing and Allied Sciences building, but must raise $13 million on its own.

“We’ll just go out and do it,” says Papp, who notes that KSU has never had a comprehensive campaign. That will change when the school launches its first campaign to address multiple dimensions including endowment, capital, and annual operating funds.

Papp plans to look beyond state funding to other revenue streams including research, foundation and corporate grants, enhanced auxiliary services and other private sources.

Categories: Influential Georgians