UAA Delegation Visits China October 14-21 2009

The staff of the UAA Confucius Institute was part of a delegation of UAA officials traveling in China October 14-22, 2009. The delegation included Provost Michael Driscoll, Director of International Affairs Ted Kassier, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences James Liszka, UAA CI Director Paul Dunscomb and UAA CI Associate Director GuoFeng Fricke.

The trip had several objectives; to participate at the Conference for Chinese International Education and Exchange in Beijing, to discuss possible future exchange and other activities with Renmin University and Beijing University of Language and Culture as well as activities of direct interest to the UAA CI including visits to the Confucius Institute Headquarters at Hanban and a trip to Changchun to visit the campuses of Northeast Normal University, our CI partner.

 Renmin UAA The delegation visited Renmin University the afternoon of Thursday October 14. Our Provost met with Vice-President Chen Yulu to discuss the prospects for faculty and student exchanges and other areas of cooperation.

Dean of CAS James Liszka, UAA CI Director Paul Dunscomb UAA CI Associate Director GuoFeng Fricke visited Hanban on the morning of Friday October 16. We met with Liang Xueming and Cao Ding of the Division of Confucius Institute Affairs. Ms. Liang oversees Hanban's relations with about 300 CI's worldwide and Cao Ding is responsible for more than two dozen CI's in the US. They're very busy people! We were delighted to share the morning with them and then enjoy lunch while discussing the operations of the UAA CI.  Hanban-xuemingcaoding
 P0006228 The afternoon of Friday October 16 the delegartion visited Beijing Language and Culture University. Provost Driscoll discussed prospects for exchanges and other areas of cooperation with Vice-President Zhao Min. Beijing Language and Culture University is partner to 16 CI's worldwide and four in the US.

On Monday we flew to Changchun, 500 miles northeast of Beijing, to visit Northeast Normal University. This was a first time visit to Changchun for everyone except Dean Liszka and we were all excited to make the trip. Ms. Li Yingge, who is NENU's liason for its three CI's met us at the airport along with Prof Huang Jiying who will join the UAA CI in January!

On Tuesday Provost Driscoll and the rest of the delegation met with Vice-President Zhang Shaojie, Dean of International Cooperation and Exchange Zhao Junfeng, Li Yingge and Prof. Huang to talk about the present and future of the UAA CI and various projects and exchanges we could pursue in the future. Our two immediate priorities are to try and organize and scholarly symposium on biological and environmental issue in Anchorage this coming May, and for UAA to host a meeting of the Directors and staffs of the CI's in South Korea and Valencia, Spain (and perhaps a new one in Canada, too) which are all partnered with NENU.

 NENU UAA
 Hanban Zhao The last major event of out trip took place the afternoon of Wednesday October 21 when Provost Driscoll, Director of International Affairs Ted Kassier, UAA CI Director Paul Dunscomb and UAA CI Associate Director GuoFeng Fricke returned to Hanban to meet with Deputy Director General Zhao Guocheng, who had returned earlier that day from a twelve day trip to Africa and Europe and had other duties later that night! We very much appreciated the time DDG Zhao spent with us. At the end of our meeting DDG Zhao and Provost Driscoll signed an agreement to establish the fulltime position of Associate Director of the UAA Confucius Institute. This will provide permanent, fulltime staff for the UAA CI and is a vital step forward in making it a success.