Director's Welcome

Günter Bischof
Director, Center Austria

Center Austria, when it opened in the fall of 1997, began to take care of programs that had grown out of the University of New Orleans’ partnership with the University of Innsbruck.

In 1976 the UNO history professor Gordon “Nick” Mueller opened the UNO International Summer School in Innsbruck; in 1979, the UNO History Department offered a graduate fellowship to Günter Bischof, the first Innsbruck degree seeking student at UNO; in 1982 the two universities began joint symposia and the “Austrian Student Program;” in 1983 they signed an official partnership treaty, which still governs their relationship.

Student and faculty exchanges began to grow in the 1980s – today some 60 University of Innsbruck students study at UNO every year.

The Austrian Marshall Plan Center for European Studies, formerly the Center for Austrian Culture and Commerce, has been renamed to reflect the contributions of our principal sponsor, the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation in Vienna. The Center celebrates 20 years of activities in the fall of 2017.

Center Austria has organized all these activities and more: regular symposia, student and faculty exchanges, lectures and publications, an art exchange with the City of Innsbruck. Contemporary Austrian Studies, an interdisciplinary yearbook, was launched in 1992.

Center Austria also entered partnerships with the Austrian Federal Ministries of Foreign A airs and Science and Research. e University of Graz and the Graz Boltzmann Institute for the Study of the Consequences of War have become valued partners in Austria, as has the Botstiber Foundation in the U.S.

In 2010 the University of Innsbruck founded Center New Orleans to organize the partnership activities with UNO’s Center Austria. Both universities have served as trailblazers in the internationalization of their institutions, as well as international student mobility programs in their countries. We thank all our partners for their ongoing support and hope to continue this multitude of programs for another 20 years.

Günter Bischof
Center Austria