UCCS to host Chinese university leaders for unique semester-long program

January 11, 2013
Tom Hutton, (719) 255-3439, thutton@uccs.edu
Ding-Jo H. Currie, (714) 371-4108, dcurrie@unitedea.org

Editor’s note:     Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend an official welcome ceremony scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 14 at Dwire Hall on the UCCS campus.

UCCS to host Chinese university leaders for unique semester-long program

UCCS SignatureCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Five university vice presidents from universities in China’s Jiangsu (John-Soo) Province will begin a 17-week visit to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs with a formal welcome ceremony scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Jan. 14 in Dwire Hall 204.

The ceremony will feature an exchange of gifts, a traditional part of Chinese culture, as well as remarks by Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak and Ding-Jo H. Currie, chief executive officer of California-based United Education Alliance. The United Education Alliance arranged for the visit in coordination with the Ministry of Education of Jiangsu Province and UCCS officials. United Education Alliance launched similar programs in fall 2012 at two University of California campuses. The Jiangsu University President Fellow Project is the first outside of California.

The ceremony is open to UCCS faculty, staff and students as well as interested community members.

“We are honored to host our peers from Chinese colleges and universities at UCCS,” Shockley-Zalabak said. “Through such exchanges, we develop knowledge, dispel stereotypes and connect and improve the world through education.”

For 17 weeks, the presidential fellows will learn about American public higher education by interviewing key staff and faculty, interacting with UCCS students, participating in various meetings and discussions, and attending classes and other university functions. They will also participate in community discussions and visit other colleges in the region. Each of the visitors has strong English language skills and was selected in a highly competitive process.

The program is designed to provide the vice presidents insight into American higher education and to prepare them for president positions at a Chinese university or college. The participants are expected to complete a project utilizing their experiences, observations and insights gained at UCCS for implementation at their universities upon their return to China.

“Since the goal of the President Fellows Program is to exchange the best of the East and West, I have chosen UCCS  as a partner for two reasons: the outstanding reputation of the university and the excellent leadership of Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak,” Ding-Jo H. Currie said. “I have known her and worked with her. She is the kind of leader and mentor any rising president would want to model after and learn from.”

Located on the eastern coast of China, Jiangsu Province is home to more than 78 million people and covers more than 39,000 square miles. By comparison, the State of Colorado is approximately 104,000 square miles and has 5.1 million people.

The vice presidents will live on campus in apartments designed for upper-level students. Kathy Griffith, a retired UCCS staff member, will serve as liaison. She will be assisted by Jing Votruba. She is a native of China and married to Jason Votruba, manager, UCCS Bookstore.

For more information about the United Education Alliance, visit http://www.unitedea.org/

As a strategic goal, UCCS seeks to improve the exposure of students, faculty and staff to other cultures and to help develop global awareness. Having educational leaders from China on campus will help students understand similarities between the countries and has the potential of developing future exchanges between UCCS and campuses in Jiangsu.

Brief descriptions of fellows follow. Biographies are available on request.

Qu Lixin, 45, is deputy principal of Wuxi City College of Vocational Technology where he is in charge of teaching, training and international cooperation.

Shen Sulin, 51, is vice president of Wuxi Institute of Commerce where he is in charge of teaching.

Jin-hong Liu, 50, is vice president and professor of Nantong Vocational College. She is in charge of the headmaster’s office including foreign affairs, alumni association, state-owned property management, and a branch campus.

Zhang Qingtang, 41, is vice president of Jiangyin Polytechnic College.

Zhuang Guozhen, 49, is vice president of Changzhou Institute of Mechatronic Technology where he is in charge of student affairs.

UCCS is one of the fastest growing universities in the nation and offers 36 bachelor’s degrees, 19 master’s and five doctoral degrees. UCCS enrolls about 9,800 students on campus annually and another 2,000 in online programs.