By Cliff Foster
A four-person MSU delegation led by President Stephen Jordan recently returned from a visit to universities in Albania and Hungary that could lead to more faculty exchanges and other collaborations between the University and the schools.
Members of the delegation met last month with administrators at the University of Shkodra in Albania and the University of Pécs in Hungary. Accompanying Jordan were Ali Thobhani, executive director of the Office of International Studies; Sandra Haynes, dean of the School of Professional Studies, and Peg Fraser, professor of elementary, secondary, linguistically diverse and K-12 education.
The hope, Haynes says, is that “we can create the kind of relationship where we have ongoing and regular exchanges of information, students and faculty.”
Jordan was invited to the University of Shkodra to celebrate its 55th anniversary as well as the country’s 100th anniversary of independence. While there, he delivered remarks to a gathering of university faculty, administrators and members of the community, Thobhani says.
The trip also served to strengthen the University’s partnership with the school. MSU Denver has similar relationships with Yunnan Radio & Television University in China, Aksum University in Ethiopia and the University of Pune in India.
From Albania, Thobhani and Haynes traveled to the University of Pecs, another partner-school, which was sponsoring a conference on science, technology and engineering and celebrating the opening of a new science building.
Citing both stops, Thobhani says the MSU Denver delegation came back “with some important ideas to expand our collaboration.”
In summer 2013, for example, a group of junior faculty members from the University of Pécs will come to MSU Denver for an immersive English language and American cultural experience. Additional faculty exchanges with the University of Pécs and the University of Shkodra are in the works.
The goal of all this, Thobhani says, is to promote an exchange of ideas and give faculty and students “a chance to look at the international dimensions of their disciplines.”
Adds Haynes: “In this age of globalization, it’s extremely important for our students to have a global outlook. So having these partnerships will help us bring the world to the students or send the students out into the world.”
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