When Carl Oxholm III became president of Arcadia University in Glenside last summer, he immediately began talking to everyone he could about the university. “Students, graduates, teachers, maintenance people, neighbors, elected officials, religious leaders — I wanted to hear their versions of what Arcadia is, and what Arcadia could be,” he says

This reflects his training and experience as an attorney. “I’m a strategist and an advocate,” he says. “The attorney’s role is to ask questions, figure out what the client wants and then figure out how to get there. That’s how I see my role at Arcadia,” he says.

The answers to the questions told Oxholm that one of Arcadia’s greatest strengths is its international focus. The College of Global Studies serves 3,500 students per year, from not only Arcadia but 300 other colleges and universities. “We have connections in 75 cities around the world — this is an incredible asset,” Oxholm says.

He wants to build on that asset. “I’d like to increase the number of international students coming here, and to do more faculty exchanges. We have the capacity to make this a truly global campus,” he says enthusiastically. “The faculty had already been thinking about global connections. This is just enhancing what they have already done.”

 

Thinking big

These days, travel is not the only way to interact with people on the other side of the globe. Oxholm wants to take experience from his most recent job — creating Drexel’s campus in Sacramento, Calif. — and put it to work for Arcadia.

“[At Drexel] we used technology to connect classrooms in Pennsylvania and California,” he says. “We could do that around the globe — have a class meet virtually at 9 p.m. in Pennsylvania and 9 a.m. in Singapore.”

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