Chinese university presidents visiting UCCS this spring

Jan. 28, 2013

Eleanor Skelton
[email protected]

The conference room in Dwire Hall appeared more similar to a UN conference than an academically-oriented event.

Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak welcomed five professors from the Jiangsu province of China to the UCCS campus on Jan. 14 in an official ceremony supplemented by a gift exchange.

“This is the first time that we have had the privilege of hosting a fellowship program, because it’s a university presidents’ fellows program,” the chancellor said. “This is our first opportunity to have these wonderful people here for 17 weeks on our campus.”

The chancellor introduced Dr. Ding-Jo H. Currie, the founder and the president of the United Educational Alliance, which “promotes the enhancement of higher education through collaboration.”

“This president’s fellows program to me is really more than a program about five fellows or about UCCS, frankly,” Currie said in her address. “I wanted to share with you the vision is really about connecting the two worlds together.”

She said that the program is one of the visions of the Jiangsu province’s Department of Education.

Currie also described the broader intentions of the project. “The goal and the purpose of the program is really for the fellows, who have been selected through a very rigid process, to participate in this process … looking at the American higher education model and how it functions as a system at the national level, at the state level and here at the institutional level, all of the operational aspects,” she said.

“They will be talking to everyone from a broad spectrum, in terms of breadth as well as depth. It’s really a complete 360, if you will, of UCCS,” Currie said. “Not only that, they will also study the community and they will look at different kinds of systems in addition to UCCS – anther university within the CU system as well as looking at maybe a small, private college and, of course, from me, a community college.”

The five fellows – Qu Lixin, deputy principal of Wuxi City College of Vocational Technology, Shen Sulin, vice president of Wuxi Institute of Commerce, Jin-hong Liu,vice president of Nantong Vocational College, Zhang Qingtang,vice president of Jiangyin Polytechnic College and Zhuang Guozhen, vice president of Changzhou Institute of Mechatronic Technology – all addressed the group at the podium.

The presidents thanked the chancellor and the campus for their hospitality. Several commented on the cold weather in Colorado Springs in contrast to their home province.

Guozhen said, “We have been here just for three days … The first day cold, the second day windy and the third day snowy. But we [had] comfortable accommodation and convent transportation [and] the integrity and friendliness and hospitality of the people we met at UCCS. I’m very glad to meet you.”

He displayed an ID card he had been given, and said, “Because I am a [member] of UCCS, I am proud of any and every achievement made by UCCS in the future.”

Brian Burnett, vice chancellor for Administration and Finance, David Moon, the provost and professor of political science, Homer Wesley, vice chancellor for Student Success, and Martin Wood, vice chancellor for University Advancement, all presented gifts to the fellows.

Burnett had gifts to warm the negative temperatures, and Moon gave gifts for when the sunshine returned later in the week. The chancellor presented official seals of the university.

The five fellows presented Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak with a necklace and a carved wooden sculpture.