By Deirdre Schwiesow
HAVING TAUGHT AND CONSULTED for organizations around the world, Ahmad brings firsthand experience with the issues of globalization and international development to his students in the School of Management. His passion for encouraging research excellence has resulted in multiple Walden awards and grants, including the 2008 Extraordinary Faculty Award. Ahmad is the author of numerous publications. Here, he addresses the topic developed in his latest book, Exploring Globalization.
AS THE LONGEST-SERVING FACULTY MEMBER, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHANGE YOU HAVE SEEN AT WALDEN?
When I came on board as an adjunct faculty member in 1988, I believe we had no more than 200 students and 20 faculty in only four programs. Now we have four colleges, an estimated 40,000 students, and more than 1,400 faculty members spread all over the world. We are also connected with over 50 universities through the Laureate International Universities network. In addition, the quality of doctoral work has improved.
ONE OF YOUR PRIMARY AREAS OF RESEARCH IS GLOBALIZATION. WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES IN GLOBALIZATION TODAY?
There is skepticism about the future of the global economy. About a year ago, when the cracks began to develop in national economies, the same scholars who had jumped on the bandwagon of endorsing globalization said, ‘We’ll have to go back to the past’—meaning nationalizing economies. I think that’s untenable. The international monetary institutions have had a dual impact—it’s neither all negative nor entirely positive. The power structure is still controlled by the American and European interests. We have to neutralize that for these organizations to play a judicious role in the development of the world community.
WITH THAT IN MIND, HOW CAN GLOBALIZATION ENCOURAGE POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE?
It needs to be accompanied by global consciousness at all levels of political, economic, and human action. Global consciousness can be generated by globalization of our education and the popular culture. Another way for people to better understand globalization and develop global consciousness is to travel abroad, particularly in countries outside their own culture area.
WE HEAR YOU HAVE QUITE A COLLECTION OF WALDEN T-SHIRTS.
Yes, I have every Walden T-shirt ever distributed in a summer session since 1992. If an occasion arises, I would be delighted to put them up for a public display!
Read more about Dr. Aqueil Ahmad’s book, Exploring Globalization, and download a sample chapter. (PDF)