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Ryan Piurek
University Communications

Last modified: Monday, November 19, 2007

IU presidential trip to China expected to expand partnerships, exchanges

Nov. 19, 2007

Michael McRobbie

Michael McRobbie

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie will lead a 10-member university delegation to China from Nov. 24 to Dec. 1.

McRobbie's first trip abroad since becoming IU president on July 1 is expected to result in expanded relationships with leading universities in China as well as increased opportunities for student and faculty exchanges.

"China has enormous potential for new collaborative research initiatives and exchanges of students and faculty," McRobbie said. "These linkages will create many new opportunities for overseas study and academic research in a country that plays an enormously important role in the global economy."

The delegation is scheduled to meet with officials at East China Normal University in Shanghai, Zhejiang University in Hangzhou and Peking University in Peking.

The IU representatives will meet with their counterparts in these institutions and discuss existing areas of cooperation as well as potential new partnerships in information technology, research and the life sciences.

During the trip, IU expects to sign a new agreement of friendship and cooperation with Zhejiang, as well as an implementation agreement with the Guanghua School of Law at Zhejiang to begin exchanges of law students and faculty.

IU will also co-host an all-day symposium on research commercialization with Zhejiang on Nov. 28. McRobbie and Zhejiang President Yang Wei are expected to speak during the morning session.

Additionally, two receptions will be held with IU alumni and friends during the trip, one in Beijing and the other in Shanghai.

Patrick O'Meara, IU vice president for international affairs, said the delegation's visit to Zhejiang University is expected to be especially fruitful because it is an ideal institution for expanded relationships with IU.

"Zhejiang University is one of China's top institutions of higher learning, and IU has already had a 25-year relationship with it," O'Meara said. "It is located within Zhejiang Province, which has had a sister-state relationship with Indiana for 20 years. We will be meeting with Provincial representatives as well as university officials to discuss new linkages."

This is IU's second high-level trip to China in two years. While serving as IU interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, McRobbie led a delegation to China in July 2006.

During the trip, IU reached an agreement with Tsinghua University, often described as the MIT of China, to establish a cooperative research program focusing on student exchanges and expanding and improving worldwide use of the Internet for scientific research. It also entered into an agreement with Fudan University that is allowing for regular exchanges of law students and faculty, and a continuing examination of American rule of law.

Joining McRobbie and O'Meara on the trip will be IU first lady Laurie Burns McRobbie as well as Bill Stephan, vice president for engagement; Terry Clapacs, vice president and chief administrative officer; Robert Schnabel, dean of the School of Informatics; Lauren Robel, dean of the IU School of Law-Bloomington; Patricia McDougall, associate dean of faculty and research at the IU Kelley School of Business; Shawn Reynolds, university director of international partnerships and strategic initiatives; and Rebecca Wood, communications assistant to the president.