Pictured (L-R) are Dr. Cao Changde, dean of ATC's School of Education; Dr. Dennis Pataniczek, dean of SU's Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies; SU Provost Diane Allen; SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach; ATC President Zhao Xiaohe; ATC Provost Cheng Xi; Dr. Maarten Pereboom, dean of SU's Fulton School of Liberal Arts; and Dr. Li Yizhong, vice dean of ATC's School of Humanity and Society.
During the visit, SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach and ATC President Zhao Xiaohe signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will guide the universities collaboration on new international partnerships in the next several years. Opportunities discussed include faculty and student exchanges, and joint research projects.
“Both universities are eager to contribute to strengthening the historic relationship between our states through new academic collaborations,” said Dr. Brian Stiegler, director of SU’s Center for International Education. The Anqing province has enjoyed a formal sister state relationship with Maryland for 30 years.
Home to 22,000 students, ATC is a public comprehensive university offering academic programs in the humanities, natural sciences, health professions, business and economics. Like SU, ATC has its historic roots in preparing new teachers, an area in which approximately 40 percent of its students are enrolled today.
The first students from ATC will likely study in SU’s teacher education program, although opportunities may emerge for all four academic schools to collaborate.
In addition to welcoming Chinese students to the Eastern Shore, SU will begin to develop Salisbury Abroad, a semester-long program at ATC in China that will allow SU students to explore Chinese language and Chinese area studies. The Fulton School of Liberal Arts hopes to eventually embed this experience in a new interdisciplinary minor in Chinese Studies that can be earned almost completely during one semester in China, at the same cost as tuition and on-campus housing in Salisbury.
The delegation from Anqing Teachers College was led by Xiaohe; Provost Cheng Xi; Dr. Cao Changde, dean of the School of Education; and Dr. Li Yizhong, vice dean of the School of Humanity and Society. The interpreter was Tu Wangbei, assistant director of the ATC Foreign Affairs Office, and the facilitator was Dr. Sam Song, executive director of Center for International Education Development.
During their visit, the ATC delegation toured the SU campus and attended a luncheon hosted by Dudley-Eshbach and Provost Diane Allen. They also met with deans and faculty leaders from the Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies and the Fulton School of Liberal Arts, and toured Pinehurst Elementary School.
Dr. Douglas Dewitt, assistant professor of education specialties at SU, initiated the relationship with ATC during numerous visits to China over the past two years. He and Dr. Maarten Pereboom, dean of the Fulton School, both presented papers at an international conference co-sponsored by ATC on strengthening teacher education programs through liberal arts.