The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By BENJAMIN LADNER
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Over the course of the recent political primaries the concept of celebrity has been cleverly manipulated by opponents of Barack Obama to create uniformly negative connotations. He’s been called a “rock star;” he’s “hot;” he’s “so cool.” How else to explain the unprecedented public response to his appearances, they ask?
The Times Higher Education
28 July 2000
‘Academic diplomacy’ can succeed in nurturing trust between nations where politicians fail, says Benjamin Ladner
After a long day of discussions with North Korean government leaders and professors from Kim Il Sung University, dining in the revolving restaurant on top of Pyongyang’s finest hotel can be a dreary affair. The large hotel was nearly deserted and the city mostly dark because of the lack of electricity. Nevertheless, we had a friendly, even boisterous, meal.
September 1, 2008
Dr. Benjamin Ladner’s formal educational career began at Baylor University (B.A.), followed by Southern Seminary (B.D.), and finally his Ph.D. at Duke University. His dissertation explored the poetic and epistemological works of Elizabeth Sewell against the background of contemporary culture.
From that strong academic foundation, Ladner went on to fashion a distinguished national and international career. From early beginnings as a young assistant professor teaching philosophy and religion at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, to his leadership of the National Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, a prestigious non-profit academic organization founded by Phi Beta Kappa, the American Council on Education, and other leading academic societies. The NF worked in every state and at every educational level to improve teaching and academic quality.
His outstanding academic, management, and fundraising experience caught the attention of American University in Washington, DC, where he became president in 1994. Dr. Ladner took hold of an institution in crisis and moved it during his tenure (1994-2005) to a place of preeminence in global education. From reorganizing the administration to setting fundraising records, from stabilizing finances to strategic planning, from improving academic quality and diversity, to boosting enrollments, Ladner’s vision and energetic refashioning of the image and quality of the university was recognized in every area of the institution.
Dr. Ladner’s commitment to international education was especially noteworthy. Under his leadership the number of students studying abroad doubled, programs and partnerships with foreign universities multiplied, and he negotiated contracts to create and manage two new American-style universities in the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria. Additionally, he undertook a program of “academic diplomacy,” which built bridges of understanding and cooperation in such difficult areas as North Korea, China, Cuba, Uzbekistan, and Iraq, to name a few.
Universities in two countries, South Korea and Uzbekistan, have recognized his work with honorary degrees.