Faculty Delegation Explores Conditions of U.S. and U.K. Education Ventures in China

Author: Amanda Skofstad

ND Faculty Delegation to ChinaND Faculty with Zhejiang representatives, from left to right: Jonathan Noble, Yibin Ying (Zhejiang), Elliott Visconsi, Ken Henderson, Hildegund Muller, Claudia Polini, Nick Entrikin, and Miao Zhe (Zhejiang).

As announced on February 25, 2015, J. Nicholas Entrikin, Associate Provost and Vice President for Internationalization, and Jonathan Noble, Assistant Provost for Internationalization, Asia, led a faculty delegation to China March 9–15, 2015.

Members of the faculty delegation included (alphabetically): Michael Desch, Professor & Department Chair, Political Science; Kenneth Henderson, Professor & Department Chair, Chemistry and Biochemistry and Senior Assistant Provost for Internationalization; Hildegund Müller, Associate Professor, Classics and Associate Vice President for Research; Claudia Polini, Professor, Mathematics and Director, Center for Mathematics; Elliott Visconsi, Associate Professor, English and concurrent Associate Professor, Law and Chief Academic Digital Officer. 

The delegation’s objective was to help evaluate Notre Dame’s opportunity to develop a joint liberal arts college with Zhejiang University. Towards this goal, the delegation met with administrators and faculty of other Sino-American and Sino-British higher education partnerships and programs, including NYU Shanghai, Duke Kunshan, the University of Nottingham Ningbo, and the Harvard Shanghai Center.

The delegation also visited Haining, the site of Zhejiang University’s International Campus, and met with administrators and faculty from Zhejiang University to discuss curricular issues related to the proposal.

The delegation toured Hangzhou and Shanghai and attended Mass at Saint Joseph’s Church in Shanghai, where they met with Catholic priests and academics. This delegation followed a January 2015 visit to China by President John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and Provost Thomas G. Burish, who met with Chinese university, Church, and government leaders. 

Reflecting on the trip, Hildegund Müller, Associate Professor of Classics, said, “I was very impressed by the academic environment we encountered at ZJU. The meeting with Catholic clergy made a deep impression on me. From my very limited experience, China strikes me as a country of great complexity and great opportunities, and we should not be ignoring the latter because of the former.”

Further faculty discussions on the proposed collaboration will be organized within the relevant colleges and will include members of the ND-ZJU Faculty Curriculum Committee.

Originally published by Amanda Skofstad at international.nd.edu on April 06, 2015.