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Hall Brings Models of Successful University-Government Collaboration to China
UAlbany delegation joins Arizona State, Ohio State to help create blueprint for modernization of Chinese higher education

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 26, 2005) -- President Kermit L. Hall and University at Albany faculty will join a delegation to Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China to form an Institute of University Design aimed at helping the higher education community and government redefine the role of the modern university in China. At the heart of the discussions will be the role of the academic institutions in regional economic development.

The formation of the Institute is spearheaded by President Michael Crow of Arizona State University, at the invitation of the Chinese Ministry of Education and President Xie Heping of Sichuan University. Hall will be accompanied by Peter Bloniarz, dean of the School of Information Science and Policy and associate provost for informatics, and Edward Cupoli, head of the Nanoeconomics Constellation at the University's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

"We've been asked to help rethink and recast the universities in the province, and also offer expertise on economic development issues," said President Hall. "Our inclusion in this group and the interest of the Chinese in having us participate is a genuine affirmation of the growing international stature of the University at Albany."

The group departs on Friday, May 27 and will engage in meetings through June 2, joined by representatives from such institutions as Ohio State University, Louisiana State University, Colorado State University-Pueblo, University of Idaho, and some two dozen Chinese universities. The UAlbany delegation stop in Hong Kong to meet with officials from Hong Kong University and with Professor Chris Smith of the UAlbany Department of Geography and Planning and informatics faculty, who is on sabbatical at Chinese University.

Among the themes the Chinese government seeks to tackle are human capital building and training for emerging industries, entrepreneurial collaboration between universities and local or regional government, use-inspired research and technology transfer, sustainability and environmental protection, fostering innovation, and addressing diverse local needs.

Hall will lead the discussion "The Role of the University in Local and Regional Economic Development -- Universities and Government." He will emphasize the key role the University at Albany has played in developing partnerships with state government, citing existing examples from Albany NanoTech and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, as well as the University's IT Commons initiative.

The president, a constitutional scholar and author of The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, will also give a presentation on the U.S. Supreme Court to students at Sichuan University.

Ultimately, the Institute of University Design plans to expand engagement to other nations and public universities, and the May-June forum will focus on the production of a "toolkit" for innovative public university design. The book, the Institute's first publication, will comprise chapters by each of the U.S. and selected Chinese university presidents, and will be distributed internationally.


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