Southeast Officials Visit China


Delegation Nurtures Relationship with Chinese Universities

Photo of the Southeast Delegation

Xiangrong Liu, front row, third from right, president of Hunan Normal University, greeted the visiting delegation from Southeast Missouri State University, including President Kenneth W. Dobbins, Dr. Fred Janzow, Cindy Gannon and Dr. Joseph Wen.

(View a larger image of the Southeast Delegation)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Jan. 20, 2006 – Four Chinese students have arrived in Cape Girardeau and have begun the spring 2006 semester at Southeast Missouri State University.

The four, from Hunan Normal University in Changsha, China, arrived on campus Jan. 12. The spring semester began Jan. 17 at Southeast.

The Chinese students were personally interviewed by Southeast President Kenneth W. Dobbins during an October trip to China. The four represent a growing effort by Southeast to expand its international enrollments, Dobbins said.

The students join 12 other Chinese students already in Cape Girardeau who began their studies at Southeast during the fall 2005 semester. The 12 are from Sichuan Normal University in Chengdu, China.

The new international students are participating in programs Southeast established last year with Sichuan Normal University and Hunan Normal University. Under these partnerships, students will receive a degree from both Southeast and their home institution in China upon the successful completion of their work at Southeast and in China.

The partnerships offer Chinese students the opportunity to combine the best of a western and Chinese education, said Dr. Adelaide Parsons, director of International Programs at Southeast.

Dobbins said he and a three other Southeast officials in October attended a conference in Beijing that focused on such dual degree programs between U.S. and Chinese universities. These programs call for Chinese students to receive one year of general education on their home campus in China, complete their major courses on a U.S. campus and return home for their final year back on their home Chinese campus. About 60 representatives from U.S. universities attended the conference along with over 30,000 faculty, staff and students from Chinese universities.

The conference, which was co-sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and was titled “CEAIE/AASCU Sino-American Leadership Training Programs Forum,” was designed to put American and Chinese universities in touch with each other and to instruct officials on developing and sustaining global partnerships.

“The conference taught us how to improve our working relationships with Chinese Universities and included additional contacts with representatives of the Chinese higher educational system and our Beijing Embassy,” Dobbins said.

The trip to China allowed the delegation from Southeast the opportunity to nurture current relationships and develop new partnerships with Chinese universities.

After the conference, the Southeast group visited with officials at Beijing Foreign Language and Culture University; Sichuan Normal University; Hunan Normal University;  Shanghai Normal University; and Shanghai University.

“Our visit provided an opportunity for President (Kenneth W.) Dobbins to interact with faculty, students and administrators at the conference and at five universities and to exchange information on how higher education functions in both countries,” Parsons said.

She said Southeast could have agreements with Shanghai University and Beijing Foreign Language and Culture University by the end of this school year. Currently, Beijing Foreign Language and Culture University has only one American university partner – Harvard University. At Beijing Foreign Language and Culture University, Dobbins recruited a potential graduate student to come to Southeast to possibly establish a Chinese language program, Parsons said. Under the proposed arrangement, Southeast students would go to China to study Chinese and Chinese business practices, she said.

Among those visiting China from Southeast were Dobbins; Parsons; Dr. Fred Janzow, dean of the School of Graduate and University Studies; Dr. H. Joseph Wen, associate professor of accounting and management information systems at Southeast; and Cindy Gannon, associate athletics director/senior woman administrator.

“It gave us all a chance to see how higher education functions within Chinese culture,” Janzow said. “We also got to see their tremendous economic, social and educational growth. There is a need for an educated population as they move from a developing to a developed country. They are building like crazy and moving into the 21st century quickly.”

At Sichuan Normal University and Hunan Normal University, Dobbins proposed a program that would offer mid-level administrators and faculty on those campuses the opportunity to come to Southeast to complete advanced degrees, thus increasing their knowledge and enhancing their skills in how to plan and implement programs and services in higher education. Parsons said.  Dobbins spoke to audiences and individuals at both universities on the Southeast model of higher education and implementation of its programs.

“I’m particularly excited about the opportunity for our faculty and staff to train their faculty and their administrators,” Dobbins said. “This will provide our faculty and staff an exciting learning experience.” Gannon participated in the trip to visit with Chinese athletic officials and to lay the groundwork for future recruiting of athletes from China, she said. Gannon made contacts with volleyball, soccer, women’s basketball and men’s and women’s track coaches and shared with them information about the NCAA, and requirements for students to be eligible as athletes at Southeast. They also discussed the level of play in NCAA Division I athletics, Gannon said.

Wen, in addition to serving as the Southeast group’s translator, made contacts for the Donald L. Harrison College of Business. Sichuan Normal University is interested in adding business to their programs. Thus, Wen served as a resource to them for curriculum development.

Janzow met with officials of Chinese graduate programs and discussed with them Southeast’s MBA program and graduate degrees in education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). 

Parsons said the Southeast contingent also met with U.S. Consular officials to explain Southeast and its programs and to gather information on granting visas to Southeast students.

“It’s always important when the president (Dobbins) travels and meets with his counterparts and students,” she said. “His presence authenticates our University on their campus.”

Medium photo of Southeast Delegation

 Xiangrong Liu, front row, third from right, president of Hunan Normal University, greeted the visiting delegation from Southeast Missouri State University, including President Kenneth W. Dobbins, Dr. Fred Janzow, Cindy Gannon and Dr. Joseph Wen.

(View Larger Image of the delegation)