Chinese delegation renews friendship, partnership ...

Chinese delegation renews friendship, partnership at MTSU

MTSU bolstered its commitment to international education in May as educators from China Agricultural University in Beijing visited the campus and discussed plans for the future with MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and other administrators.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, right, jokes with Professor Meng Fanxin, chairman of the board for China Agriculture University's International College, during a May 10 reception for CAU delegates visiting MTSU. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

The University’s partnership with China Agricultural University in Beijing continues providing both institutions with opportunities for valuable cultural exchanges, both small and large.

“Because CAU is MTSU’s oldest partner in China, this is more like having an old friend or family member come to visit, to catch up and strengthen our relationship,” said Dr. David Schmidt, MTSU vice provost for international affairs.

McPhee noted that at least three of CAU’s administrators worked through internships at MTSU for periods ranging from three to six months.

Professor Meng Fanxin, who chairs the board of CAU’s International College, and Xu Tingwu, the college’s assistant dean, also met with Dr. Jim Burton, dean of MTSU’s College of Business, and faculty from the Department of Economics and Finance.

CAU’s International College is one of its major attractions for study-abroad students from Western nations because classes are conducted in English. The goal is to foster both student and faculty exchanges.

“We’re now developing some programs and initiatives … with our colleges of business and mass communication,” McPhee said.

In fact, the Department of Recording Industry, which is housed in the College of Mass Communication, is of particular interest.

“Many Chinese students like country music,” Xu said. “This is just the right place, and many Chinese students will be interested in Tennessee.”

In addition, MTSU Dance Program Director Kim Neal Nofsinger and a student dance troupe are in China now for multiple performances, including one at CAU on May 18. This trip is co-sponsored by the Office of the President and MTSU’s Confucius Institute.

McPhee’s wife, Liz, and two of her fellow teachers at the Discovery School at Reeves-Rogers, Teresa McCarthy and Angela Bunyi, will accompany 16 children in grades four through six in early July to visit CAU and another MTSU partner, Hangzhou Normal University.

“The trip is providing an awareness and connection to the world that these children would have never had otherwise,” McCarthy said. “The children will also bring a new cultural understanding and perspective home with them that they will share with friends and families throughout our community.”

For more information on international education at MTSU, contact the Office of International Affairs at 615-904-8190.

— Gina K. Logue (