Southeast Alumnus in Dubai as Fulbright New Century Scholar


Photo of Jason Lane in Dubai

Southeast Alumnus Dr. Jason Lane is currently in the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC). Here, he is in front of the building that houses Michigan State University, which is hosting him; Murdoch University of Australia; SZABIST of India; and HULT International Business School of the United States.


July 22, 2009 – Dr. Jason Lane, a 1999 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University and a faculty member at the State University of New York at Albany, is in Dubai this month as a participant in the 2009-2010 Fulbright New Century Scholar program.

Thirty-five academics from across the globe were selected from several hundred to participate in the program in which they are studying how universities can expand their roles in generating solutions to global challenges, advancing economic and community development and improving quality of life.  The Scholars, he says, are exploring universities as innovators and knowledge centers. Some of his colleagues are engaged in innovative work like improving seaweed manufacturing and boosting water supplies in arid countries. Lane says he is examining organizational innovations and how institutions are designed to foster innovation. Specifically, he says he is examining the role international branch campuses play in local development and how they affect the development of the domestic higher education market.

Lane plans to spend this month and next in Dubai, and will make a return trip there in January. During that time, he will meet with policy makers and university administrators in Dubai, which is home to 25 campuses from other countries.

A number of educational institutions, including schools such as Michigan State University (MSU), Texas A&M and New York University have opened “brick and mortar” campuses in the Middle East designed to serve the local population and from which students may earn a degree, Lane said. His fellowship is being hosted by MSU.

Branch campuses are a way for institutions to increase their share of the global higher education market as well as expand their international prominence, Lane said. Universities are increasingly recognized as significant contributors to economic and social development in the developing world, he said.

“Because of their historic role as knowledge incubators and protectors of ideas, the university has an abundance of capital it can use to help address many of the world’s problems,” he said. “Part of our collective efforts is to investigate successful and innovative ways in which universities are engaging with society to address these problems.”

While Lane is being hosted by Michigan State-Dubai, he will visit several campuses in both Dubai and Qatar. Both the Dubai International Academic City and Qatar Education City are designed to support the development of International Branch Campuses, “although we are seeing these IBCs opening in several countries across the world,” he said.

Lane’s fellow scholars are investigating other higher education innovations across the globe. The group met in Washington, D.C., in May and will convene again in Berlin in October. They will come together for one final session next spring in Washington, D.C. Lane, a Troy, Ill., native, is a former Student Government president at Southeast where he earned a bachelor of science degree with a major in political science and a minor in business.

“I certainly would not be doing what I am doing today had it not been for my experiences at Southeast,” he said. “My interest in higher education and politics started while a political science student. And, I really started studying the organization and governance of universities during my two-year terms as Student Government president. I was probably the only student who memorized all of the strategic planning priorities for the University at the time. But, I was passionate about learning as much as I could about the University, how it operated and how it could be improved.”

Lane had the opportunity to work as a student in the Southeast President’s Office during the administrations of former president Dr. Dale Nitzschke and current president Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins, and during the tenure of former Board of Regents President Donald Dickerson and former Associate to the President Art Wallhausen. These administrators, Lane said, “provided me a solid foundation for understanding the realities of higher education that could only be understood from the perspective of that office.”

Lane just completed his second year at the State University of New York at Albany. There, he is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Policy Studies and an affiliate faculty member of the Comparative International Education Policy Program as well as the Rockefeller School of Public Affair’s Public Policy Program. Prior to that, he served on the faculty at the University of North Dakota for four years. He attended graduate school at Penn State University. He currently teaches courses related to public policy, politics and the administration of postsecondary educational institutions. His research focuses on the relationship between higher education institutions and governments.

Lane is the son of Jack and Ellen Lane of Jackson, Mo. His sister, Jenny Lane Dunham and her husband, Patrick Dunham, also both Southeast graduates, currently reside in Cape Girardeau and are the parents of Olivia Dunham.