A Brief History of VIPP
The Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP) was established in 1991 by Dr. Gill-Chin Lim, who was the Dean of International Studies and Programs from 1991 to 1995. Dr. Kwon Dae-Bong served as the first Director of VIPP from 1991 until the summer of 1993. It was under Dr. Kwon's leadership and guidance that VIPP enjoyed its initial success and began its journey to being a leader in international professional education.
Dean Lim and Dr. Kwon both recognized the need for professionals from around the world to gain access to MSU's diverse educational resources. VIPP was established so that professionals could come to MSU and gain global perspectives as well as enhance their professional skills. VIPP's non-degree, certificate programs opened the door for new groups of professionals and practitioners to learn and research at MSU.
During the first few years, Dr. Kwon pioneered many of the innovative VIPP program models that still exist today. Beginning with a mix of individual applicant programs, cohort programs, as well as long- and short-term specialized workshop programs, VIPP began its long growth. From a small program of three to four staff members in 1991, VIPP has expanded to handle the increased demand for international professional education. In response to that demand, VIPP is now home to 23 full- and part-time staff members, faculty, interns, and student workers.
VIPP's inaugural program was a modest one, having eight participants. Today, VIPP hosts about 200-300 short-term and long-term program participants annually and helps MSU bring in from 50 to 100 visitors and researchers a year from around the world. In the past year, VIPP hosted professionals from Korea, China, Japan, Russia, India, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and other countries. Over the past 20 years, the VIPP family has grown to include over 4,000 alumni from 30 countries.
From its inception, a central strength of VIPP has been its ability to collaborate with a range of academic disciplines across campus. Our visiting professionals study and do research in a myriad of fields, including Communications, Food Sciences, Urban Planning, Law, Music, Higher Education Administration, Bio-engineering, Public Policy, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Business, Human Ecology, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Osteopathic Medicine among others.
VIPP also takes great pride in helping to promote MSU's mission of helping to internationalizing Michigan. We have long reached out to engage with local and state government, Michigan businesses, NGOs, and the local community broadly. VIPP is also developing ties with corporations and agencies in other states and the national level. Now, after 20 years, VIPP continues to deepen these connections both within Michigan and beyond in the United States as well as to peoples and countries from around the world.