In order to explore the opportunities for collaboration as well as to gain a greater insight into leading universities globally, a delegation led by UIC Vice President (Academic Affairs), Prof Chen Zhi, visited a selection of institutions in the Boston area: namely Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston College and Emerson College.

UIC Vice President (Academic Affairs) Prof Chen Zhi, the Associate Dean of the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences (DHSS) Dr Charles Lowe, and the Director of the International Development Office (IDO) Dr Katharina Yu, visited Harvard University and MIT on 27 August.

Vice Provost for Research at Harvard Prof Rick McCullough met with the UIC delegation and gave a promising introduction of potential collaboration-related activities on a faculty-faculty level at Harvard.

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Prof Rick McCullough (left) and Prof Chen Zhi

In the afternoon, Prof Chen and the delegates met with the Manager of External Relations at MIT Ms Jennifer Camacho, who gave an informative presentation on potential synergies between MIT and UIC both on an institutional and faculty-on-faculty level.

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Prof Chen (right) and Ms Camacho

Following the presentation was a meeting with MIT’s Prof Stephen Tapscott who is also a leading translator as well as being a scholar in the poetry of William Carlos Williams. Prof Tapscott has previously visited UIC where he gave a lecture on the intersections between Imagism and the films of Charlie Chaplin and gave an inspiring reading of his own poetry to an appreciative audience of students and faculty.

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Dr Yu, Dr Lowe, Prof Chen, and Prof Tapscott

The UIC delegation continued their journey to Boston College, an institution ranked 37 nationally on 29 August. They had a meeting with the Director for the Office of International Programmes Nick Gozik, Associate Director of the Office of International Programmes Ms Christina Hatzipetros, and Programme & Exchange Manager Ms Minna Ha.

During this first visit, the participants led by Prof Chen and Dr Gozik gave a brief introduction and discovered many convergences between the two important liberal arts institutions. Prof Chen extended the invitation for them to visit UIC in order to continue the very productive conversations on potential partnerships.

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Dr Lowe, Dr Yu, Prof Chen, Dr Gozik, Ms Hatzipetros, and Ms Ha

The last visit during this fruitful trip was at Emerson College ranked by US News & World Report magazine to be in the top five nationally in innovation. The representatives of Emerson College were the Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr Michaele Whelan, Associate Vice President of Internationalisation Dr Anthony Pinder, the Dean Institute of Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies Dr Amy Ansell, the Dean of the Graduate School and Professional Studies Professor Jan Roberts-Breslin, as well as the Associate Director of Internationalisation Initiatives Corey Blackmar.

The participants led by Prof Chen and Dr Whelan engaged in an extended dialogue on possibilities for collaboration between these two innovative leaders, and as a result, agreed to work towards building a sustainable institutional link, including developing global summer programmes, an internship programme and initiating visiting faculty initiatives.

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Dr Michaele Whelan with Prof Chen

Leadership from Emerson has visited UIC a number of times, and the UIC team led by Prof Chen Zhi was pleased to meet with such old friends of the College. Overall, the visit by the delegation was a great success. All members agreed there was much work to be done, and UIC look forward to continuing the conversations as well as to harvesting the results of our dialogue with the global leaders in higher education.

 

Editors: Dr Charles Lowe (DHSS), Samuel Burgess, Deen He, Lauren Richardson (MPRO)
(from IDO)