UC Santa Barbara is establishing a novel graduate program and center in global and international studies that will focus on the academic preparation of professionals to work in the global non-profit sector as well as in international government and multinational business.
Kinko's founder Paul Orfalea and the Orfalea Family Foundation of Santa Barbara are providing critical seed money for the new effort in the form of a major financial pledge, which was announced at UCSB on Monday. Orfalea is currently a distinguished visiting professor in the Global and International Studies Program at UCSB, where he teaches a popular course in global business.
"As the world becomes more interconnected, we need to understand the processes and interactions that bring people together across traditional boundaries," said Orfalea.
"UC Santa Barbara will have one of the first graduate programs and centers in international studies in the nation to focus on issues of globalization. This program will provide special training for those seeking to work internationally in non-governmental organizations whose activities---on issues ranging from economic development to human rights---improve the human condition. We are delighted to support the campus in this significant endeavor."
The multiyear Orfalea commitment of $500,000 annually will enable the university to launch the new graduate program quickly and ensure its future. In tandem with the foundation's financial commitment, the campus will dedicate faculty and facilities to meet the needs of the new program.
"UCSB is extremely grateful to Paul, Natalie, and the Orfalea Family Foundation for their extraordinary contribution to global and international studies and the excellence of the campus," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang.
"Their vision and commitment to create a program and center that focus on the complex issues of globalization will set the international standard for this dynamic interdisciplinary field."
In recognition of the generous support from the Orfalea Family Foundation, the new center will be named the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies.
Mark Juergensmeyer, director of global and international studies at UCSB, said he was "humbled by this extraordinary commitment and excited by the challenge to fulfill such high expectations.
It is truly gratifying to know that one of our best professors will leave a lasting contribution to the university by helping to develop an innovative new program."
The new Orfalea Center will promote and advance global and international studies through interdisciplinary conferences, seminars, and public programs.
It will also provide support for the new graduate program in the form of student fellowships and internships, visiting professorships, and staff.
UCSB's new graduate program, which will offer a master's degree in global and international studies, will train students for careers in international affairs, government service, and multinational business.
It will differ from other master's degree programs in the field in both its global approach and its emphasis on a growing "third sector" of non-profit, non-governmental organizations working in a wide variety of areas, including environmental protection and economic development as well as human rights.
"This program will provide a new kind of education for a new kind of career," explained Richard Appelbaum, professor of sociology and global studies, who chaired the planning committee for the new master's degree.
"International non-government organizations have become leaders of global civil society, and we want to help prepare the leaders for these organizations."
According to Gene Lucas, UCSB's executive vice chancellor, the new graduate program and center are the result of a multiyear planning and review process.
"This will be the first graduate program of its kind in the nation, and we are delighted that it will be at UC Santa Barbara," said Lucas.
An inaugural conference with leaders in global and international studies will be presented by the Orfalea Center this fall.
Prospective students will be recruited for the master's degree program during the coming academic year, and the first class will enroll in the fall of 2006.
The Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies and the new M.A. program are part of the social sciences division of the College of Letters and Science at UCSB.
Melvin Oliver, dean of social sciences, explained that "it would not have been possible to launch the new master's program without the special support of Paul Orfalea and the Orfalea Family Foundation. It speaks to the commitment and expertise of our faculty in global studies, and it will enable us to offer one of the most exciting and stimulating M.A. programs anywhere and to position UCSB to become a global leader in this important interdisciplinary field."
More than 700 undergraduate students now major in global studies at UCSB.
There are also 20 graduate students enrolled in doctoral programs in six academic departments that have added an emphasis in global studies.
Paul, Natalie and the Orfalea Family Foundation are generous benefactors of UCSB.
Their past leadership gifts to the campus include $2 million to the Orfalea Family Children's Center, named in memory of Paul's parents, and support for the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education and its Autism Research and Training Center. In addition, they have provided financial support for intercollegiate athletics and physical education and recreation at UCSB.
About the Donors
Paul and Natalie Orfalea and their family have a long history of supporting educational initiatives, including scholarships and child development programs.
In 2000, the family started the Orfalea Family Foundation, which supports various charitable activities.
Paul Orfalea is a successful business leader and entrepreneur.
The son of Lebanese immigrants, he founded Kinko's (a nickname derived from his trademark curly hair) in Isla Vista, UCSB's adjacent community, in 1970, selling school supplies and photocopies to college students.
Today, Kinko's is a leading provider of electronic communications and document production services with locations throughout the world.
In 2004, it was acquired by FedEx Corporation.
Paul is currently involved in a range of business ventures, including West Coast Asset Management Inc. and Stone Canyon Venture Partners LP.
An alumnus of the University of Southern California, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by USC's Marshall School of Business in 1998.
His illustrious career has been profiled in "Forbes," "People," and "Fortune" magazines. Last year, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Babson College in Massachusetts.
Natalie Orfalea is a former chair of the Chancellor's Council, UCSB's premier annual giving program.
Following a successful career at Xerox Corporation, she ran an independent product-development firm.
Currently, she plays leadership roles in numerous community organizations in the Santa Barbara area.
Paul Orfalea has served as a trustee of The UCSB Foundation.
In recognition of his dedication and service to the university, he was named an Honorary Alumnus of UCSB in 1998.
The Orfaleas have two children and live in Montecito.