O'Meara's strategic advocacy
Patrick O’Meara succeeded Gus Liebenow as the second Chairman of the African Studies Program, before becoming Dean of International Programs, IU's first Vice President for International Affairs, and Chair of the Center for International Education and Development Assistance.
In a 1982 Christian Science Monitor Commentary, O’Meara connects the work of the government and the work of scholars, making an impassioned plea for continued federal funding of foreign language and area studies by underscoring “the strategic importance to US national security of independent researchers who openly and freely write and debate sensitive International social and political issues”.
Today, IU global and area studies continues the tradition of providing “a window·to-the-world for thousands of Americans who might otherwise be untouched by events and cultures outside of the US” while supporting national defense interests. A recent $1.26M Department of Defense grant to the Indiana University Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies “to further strengthen its Language Training Center program”, allows IU to provide language and culture training for “members of the U.S. Special Operations Command and Indiana National Guard” personnel, including those who work with military units throughout Africa.