HSU Signs Pacts with Chinese University - Humboldt State Now

HSU Signs Pacts with Chinese University

Humboldt State University and Xi'an International Studies University (XISU), People's Republic of China, have signed five milestone accords that lay the groundwork for sweeping collaboration.

Initial plans, completed in mid-June in the city of Xi’an in northwest China, call for long-term faculty and student exchanges, joint academic programs, mutual faculty research and scholarship, and shared economic development and service projects.

The ground breaking blueprint encompasses a Center for Chinese Studies at the Arcata campus and an HSU administrative infrastructure within the XISU that would help lead to the establishment of a “Humboldt College” there. That apparatus would enable Humboldt State to recruit Chinese students to study in residence in Arcata and participate in joint academic endeavors.

In addition, this new collaboration creates the opportunity to offer HSU courses at XISU taught by qualified HSU instructors, according to Dr. Rosamel Benavides-Garb, chair of Humboldt State’s Department of World Languages and Cultures.

Succeeding HSU faculty members would be installed each semester as a “presence on the ground” at XISU, which takes its name from Xi’an, China’s ancient capital for 13 dynasties and the home of the famed terra cotta warriors and horses.

HSU President Rollin Richmond and XISU President Sishe Hu formalized their compact during the Alexander von Humboldt and Zheng He Fourth International and Interdisciplinary Conference of 2006 on travel literature to and from the Americas, Europe and China, from all centuries.

The conference was named after HSU’s namesake, the world-renowned 18th and 19th century German explorer and scientist and his 14th and 15th century Chinese counterpart, who made calls at more than 30 countries and territories.

Dr. Ray Wang, Program Director of Chinese Studies at HSU’s Department of World Languages and Cultures and chair of Library Information Services, said that more than 100 participants attended the Xi’an conclave, most of them university faculty from across the globe. They exchanged ideas and scholarship in the field of travel literature. There was also an ongoing discussion of how to teach travel literature in the classroom to underline its immense influence in the realms of education, economics, politics, globalization and the information revolution.

Four HSU seniors also made presentations at the conference:

Dr. Wang recalled that the conference series began in 2001 in Arcata at the instigation of faculty in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. The second and third forums took place in Mexico.

Tentative plans call for the next session in 2008 or 2009 in Berlin, in approximate conjunction with the anniversary of von Humboldt’s death in 1859.

Dr. Lilianet Brintrup, also a member of the World Languages and Cultures faculty and the ongoing President of the conference, “has worked hard to make this conference a true meeting place to exchange ideas,” Dr. Wang said. He was President of HSU’s Executive Committee for this year’s conference.

According to Dr. Benavides-Garb, Dr. Wang and other HSU faculty members, the Xi’an agreements are part of an effort to develop ways in which to prepare students better for 21st century job markets and enable members of the HSU academic community to develop international relationships. China’s population of 1.3 billion, the world’s largest, will make it an economic powerhouse and one of the world’s biggest employers in the next few decades.

In the words of Dr. Benavides-Garb, “the signing of these agreements is a natural consequence of HSU’s ongoing educational mission, to provide comprehensive international educational opportunities to our students. These initiatives are unique to HSU, since they are engineered by HSU faculty and administrators in partnership with international institutions.”

For more information, contact Dr. Ray Wang at 707/826-5614 or rw6@humboldt.edu or Dr. Rosamel Benavides-Garb at 707/826-3159 or rsb1@humboldt.edu.