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Hall Names Hargett Chief China Advisor

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 19, 2006) -- UAlbany President Kermit L. Hall today named professor of Chinese studies James Hargett Senior Policy Advisor to the President on China Relations. As senior advisor, Hargett will counsel the president on the University's burgeoning collaborations and partnerships with higher education institutions in China.

"Jim Hargett has played a critical role in building the University's presence in China," President Hall said. "A fine mix of language skills, cultural understanding, and good old common sense make him an ideal choice."

"China is, and will continue to be, a major force in the political and economic geography of the world," Hargett said. "Everyone knows this. If the United States is going to deal effectively with China in the future, it must have skilled people who are knowledgeable about the country and its history and culture, and who can speak the language. This is where I fit in. I train students at UAlbany to acquire these skills."

Hargett has led classes and exchange programs with China since joining the University in 1990. He has written widely on China, including On the Road in Twelfth Century China: The Travel Diaries of Fan Chengda (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1989); China Scene: A Multimedia Course in Chinese Culture and Society (co-written with Honggang Jin and Debao Xu; Boston: Cheng and Tsui, 2001); and Stairway to Heaven: A Journey to the Summit of Mount Emei (SUNY Press, 2006). He taught at Princeton-in-Beijing Chinese Summer School, Beijing, and lived and studied in Hangzhou and Shanghai in the late 1980s, the latter on a Fulbright fellowship. He graduated from the University of Bridgeport and received his master's and doctoral degrees in Chinese from Indiana University.

Hall has focused on China in his endeavors to internationalize UAlbany as a higher education institution. On May 11, Hall signed a comprehensive agreement with President Lizhong Yu from East China Normal University (ECNU) to expand research collaborations, joint degree and curricular programs, and provide regular student and faculty exchanges. The University has also entered collaborations with Fudan University, Sichuan University, and Nanjing University in Jiangsu Province. UAlbany will host 150 students from China in the summer of 2006, as well as 30 university presidents from throughout Jiangsu Province. And on May 21, 2006, Jiangsu Province Party Secretary Li Yuanchao will visit the University at Albany to deliver the keynote address to the School of Business graduates, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with SUNY Chancellor John R. Ryan on May 19.


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