At a retirement celebration for David Zaret, Indiana University vice president of international affairs, IU President Michael A. McRobbie recognized Zaret's leadership in strengthening the university's global engagement and presented him with the President's Medal for Excellence.
"Indiana University has been fortunate to have, for the last seven years, an exceptional leader to help navigate the complex and shifting landscape of international higher education in David Zaret," McRobbie said.
During Zaret's tenure as vice president of international affairs, he has accompanied McRobbie and other senior leaders on about 20 international trips, many of them first time visits to those countries by an IU delegation.
Zaret also oversaw the launch of IU Global Gateway offices in Europe, India, China and Mexico and the extension of IU's global network of alumni.
From the top: IU President McRobbie speaks during a retirement celebration for David Zaret, vice president of international affairs. Zaret wears the President's Medal for Excellence. Zaret with his wife, Julie Knost, who director of IU's office of affirmative action, and his son, Max Zaret, who is a recent IU graduate.
"Almost without exception, no corner of the globe, no type of institution, and no academic discipline has been immune to the forces of globalization," McRobbie said. "This is particularly true in higher education, where the international relationships, partnerships, and programs of universities—especially major public research universities like Indiana University—have become even more central to the missions of universities."
McRobbie pointed out that IU is ranked seventh in the nation for number of students studying abroad and noted that Zaret had lived and studied abroad as a student and as a faculty member of IU.
"…at IU, we believe that it is essential that as many of our students as possible study overseas, since there is no better way for them to learn about other countries and cultures," McRobbie said. "During David’s time as vice president, IU has sent record numbers of IU students overseas for study abroad."
From the left: Zaret is greeted by IU First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie and IU Vice President of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs James Wimbush. The audience applauds during Zaret's retirement celebration. IU President McRobbie with Hannah Buxbaum, the next vice president of international affairs; Patrick O'Meara, IU's first vice president of international affairs, and Zaret. Photos by Chaz Mottinger, IU Communications
In recognition of Zaret's 41 years of service at IU in his roles as a vice president, dean and faculty member, McRobbie awarded him with the President's Medal for Excellence, the highest honor an IU president can bestow.
"The medal is a reproduction in fine silver of the symbolic jewel of office worn by Indiana University’s president at ceremonial occasions," McRobbie said. "It is given to recognize exceptional distinction in public service, service to Indiana University, achievement in a profession, or extraordinary merit and achievement in the arts, humanities, sciences, education, and industry."
McRobbie also extended congratulations on behalf of the university to Zaret and his wife Julie Knost, director of IU’s Office of Affirmative Action, who is also retiring.
"All of us owe him a debt of gratitude for his dedicated and committed leadership, the effects of which will be felt for many years to come," he said.
Read President McRobbie's speech