OsloMet turns 1
Norway’s newest university is headed by American immigrant
M. Michael Brady
Oslo Metropolitan University, established Jan. 12, 2018, is Norway’s newest public university. The stylized logo of its abbreviation, OsloMet, signals that it is a 21st-century undertaking. It’s headed by American linguist Curt Rice, the first foreigner to lead a Norwegian higher education institution. In mid-January 2019, Curt Rice and OsloMet had cause to celebrate its first successful year.
OsloMet consolidated the public colleges and research institutes amalgamated as Høyskolen i Oslo og Akershus (Oslo and Akershus University College) in the two adjoining counties of Oslo and Akershus. The greater part of OsloMet is located near the center of the city of Oslo, with two smaller campuses, one at Sandvika, the administrative center of the municipality of Bærum west of the city, and Kjeller, a village northeast of it.
Rice was born in 1962 in Johnson City, N.Y. When he was 4, his family moved to Rochester, Minn., where he grew up and went to high school. He then studied philosophy at Augsberg College in Minnesota and went on to the University of Texas for a doctorate in linguistics in 1991. He is married to Tove Irene Dahl, a Norwegian and fellow student at Augsberg College and the University of Texas, who also finished her doctorate in 1991. The couple then decided to take a year in Norway, so Rice could experience Dahl’s native country.
That one year became many. By the mid 1990s, both were members of the faculty of the University of Tromsø. Various academic appointments and incentives followed. In 2015, Rice was appointed rector of Oslo and Akershus University College, the predecessor of OsloMet.
“Q&A with Curt Rice,” by John Elmes, The Times Higher Education: www.timeshighereducation.com/news/people/qa-with-curt-rice/2019893.article.
“Concordia Language Villages: Skogfjorden’s Dahl Knighted by Norwegian king,” The Norwegian American, July 14, 2009: www.norwegianamerican.com/featured/concordia-language-villages-skogfjordens-dahl-knighted-by-norwegian-king.
M. Michael Brady was educated as a scientist and, with time, turned to writing and translating.
This article originally appeared in the September 6, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American.