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 VOL. 23, NO. 11DECEMBER 5, 1997 

School of Social Work Teams Up with the UN for Joint Program

Links Created for Research, Training and Education


Columbia's School of Social Work and the Division for Social Policy and Development of the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs have embarked upon a unique program initiative that will be officially launched in January 1998.

  In an effort to "improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of social policy and development programmes in nations throughout the world," the two institutions aim to develop cooperative linkages in the areas of research, education, program design and professional development.

  In conjunction with this initiative, the Division for Social Policy and Development will be designated as one of only two Educational Training Centers for the School of Social Work.

  In September, 1998, the Division will serve as a field instruction site for School of Social Work students who are doing graduate work that will lead to the M.S.W. degree.

  Joint research programs that involve the School's faculty and doctoral students will address critical worldwide problems concerning social policy and development. In addition, the two organizations will co-sponsor a biennial United Nations Day for up to 500 participants that will examine important social policy, development and international social welfare issues.

  Ronald A. Feldman, dean of the School of Social Work, said: "This program will be one of the most innovative and exciting partnerships in social work education." The collaborative program, he said, "will enable both organizations to significantly strengthen their respective efforts to advance human well-being worldwide and to improve training programs for the professionals who will be called upon to address such critical challenges."

  This initiative will receive financial support from an endowment that was established in July by School of Social Work benefactor Albert Musher. "By addressing the potentially fruitful interrelationships among social work education and the international work of the United Nations," observed Feldman at the time of the $100,000 gift, "Mr. Musher has established a truly innovative precedent."