Jan. 10, 2020
Janaka Ruwanpura elected chair of advocacy group’s international commission
First Canadian to lead a commission of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Dr. Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (international), has been elected as the new chair of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Commission on International Initiatives (CII) Executive Committee. Ruwanpura is the first Canadian member to chair the executive committee of one of APLU’s commissions and councils.
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The association's membership consists of 243 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations.
Prior to and since joining the CII executive committee in 2017, Ruwanpura has made many contributions to the Commission on International Initiatives. Through a joint effort with the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary was the co-host of the 2017 CII Summer meeting. Ruwanpura played a key role in organizing and leading this important meeting for the CII.
He also served in 2015-16 as a member of the initial design committee for APLU’s inaugural Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research and Engagement, helping to conceptualize and develop the criteria for the new award. Later, under his leadership, UCalgary became the platinum winner in 2017. Ruwanpura also led in the development of collaborative sessions at APLU’s annual meetings, discussing successful university partnership models and increasingly sophisticated measurement frameworks for assessing internationalization’s progress and impact.
As vice-provost (international) at UCalgary, Ruwanpura leads the implementation of the international strategy aimed to position the UCalgary as a global intellectual hub, advancing the university's efforts in areas such as international education and research partnerships and programming, staff and student mobility, on-campus internationalization and more. UCalgary has become an award winning university in internationalization under his leadership.
UCalgary won the APLU’s Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research and Engagement (the first Canadian university to win this award), the Board of Directors’ Award for Comprehensive Internationalization from the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) in 2016, and the bronze award for Excellence in Education from the Canada China Business Council. UCalgary received the Catalyst award for innovation from CBIE in 2019 for developing an International Partnership Assessment Rating Index (IPARI) to assess existing university partnerships, identify top partners in each country, and develop strategic partnerships.