Harvard Leaders Voice Support for Harvard-Chile Relationship

Harvard President Drew G. Faust, Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick ’78, and Vice Chairman of the Banco de Chile Andrónico Luksic stressed the importance of collaboration between Harvard and Chile during the inaugural event Thursday morning for the Rethinking Chile at the Beginning of the 21st Century Seminar.

The seminar, hosted by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, celebrates the achievements of Andrónico Luksic scholars—15 Chilean scholars who have had the opportunity to study at Harvard since the Rockefeller Center created the program in 1999. The center founded the program through a generous donation from Luksik.

Thursday’s event drew an audience of people that spanned continents, from Harvard professors and students to the Ambassador of Chile to the United States.

Speakers praised the Rockefeller Center’s regional office in Santiago, Chile, which offers support to Harvard affiliates in the area and was the University’s first such global office.

Faust called Harvard’s program in Chile a “model in global engagement.”

The office has helped 843 Harvard students travel to various Latin American nations and 110 Harvard faculty members conduct research in Chile, according to Faust.

The inaugural event for the seminar, whose activities run through Friday afternoon, was followed by a round table discussion between leaders of various Chilean universities.

During that discussion, Andrés Benítez, rector of the Adolfo Ibáñez University, said he thought Chilean schools could benefit by learning from Harvard’s emphasis on research.

“Harvard has three times [the] articles as all the universities in Chile in [a] given year,” he said

Benítez added that despite the importance of research, universities should be wary of sacrificing quality of teaching in its pursuit.

“A university that combines research and teaching has not been discovered yet, not even at Harvard,” he said.

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