Sam Houston State University was one of two universities in Texas chosen to participate in a leadership training exchange program that will include 26 higher education institutions from China and the United States.
Dr. Jurg Gerber, director of SHSU International Programs, said this is the second year the exchange has taken place, and this is the first year that Sam Houston State has participated in the program.
The program will be hosted by both the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, a higher education association that comprises 425 U.S. colleges, and the Chinese Education Association for International Exchange. To introduce them to higher education in the United States, the first six Chinese university administrators participating in the project attended an orientation held in Washington, D.C. April 19-21. Each representative will now travel to an AASCU host campus for a two-week period of training and study.
Administrators from American universities will travel to China in October, and will attend an orientation on higher education in Bejing, China. Each American representative will then travel to a CEAIE university for a period of extensive training and study.
Sam Houston State will host the Gansu University of Agriculture. Its president, Wing Di, will come to Sam Houston State in April 2004 to represent the university.
Gerber said he hopes the exchange will increase the amount of contact that China has with the United States. He said Sam Houston State has already had several contacts with China, and an example of this is the university’s recruitment of Chinese international students.
He said this leadership exchange program will give Sam Houston State another chance to share American ideas and culture with the Chinese.
“China has been isolated for such a long period of time, and hopefully this exchange will increase our contact with them and allow them to take what they learn from us back to their country,” Gerber said.
Gerber said the curriculum of the orientations and training periods are still unclear at the moment because the program is still in its early stages of development.
He said he hopes this exchange will increase relations between the United States and the Chinese.
“We were not involved in the program the first year because we did not apply for the program,” Gerber said. “That year, there were 12 Chinese and 12 American universities involved.”
An article by Frank Krystyniak, director of public relations at SHSU, said the program will, “link Chinese and American universities by providing opportunities for programmatic development and expanding relationships for faculty and student exchanges.”
Twelve universities from China and 14 universities from the United States will participate in the program.
Other U. S. schools involved in the program besides Sam Houston State include: Stephen F. Austin State University, Cleveland State University, Emporia State University, Longwood University, Middle Tennessee State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, University of Alaska – Anchorage, University of North Alabama, University of Southern Colorado, University of West Florida and Washburn University of Topeka.