Five university vice presidents from China’s Jiangsu Province learned important lessons during an almost four-month stay at UCCS.
Zhang Qintang, 41, a vice president at Jiangyin Polytechnic College, drew chuckles as he demonstrated his new found comfort with American slang.
“I finally understand the meanings of your three actions,” Qintang said while demonstrating thumbs up, high five and air quotes.
And while Qintang’s comments were light-hearted, the presentations he and his colleagues shared with campus deans and administrators were serious. Each shared information about their respective home universities as well as tactics learned at UCCS that they seek to employ when they return to China. Subjects ranged from implementing a transparent budget processes, helping students transition from technical colleges to universities, leadership studies, and fostering student success.
Each of the fellows expressed gratitude for time UCCS faculty, staff and administrators, shared pictures of their home campuses, and extended invitations for UCCS administrators to visit China.
The campuses were universally modern, attractive and fast growing. Qu Lixin, deputy prinicipal, Wuxi City College of Vocational Technology, spoke of his institution’s library located in the middle of campus, clock tower and mountain surroundings as similarities with UCCS. Later, he shared that he hopes to take with him the UCCS focus on student success, leadership development programs, the Bachelor of Innovation program and requirement that students connect academic studies with real problems through capstone projects.
The fellows received certificates of completion from Ding Jo. H. Currie, chief executive officer of California-based United Education Alliance, as well as gifts from Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak that commemorated their stay.
But it was Zhuang Guozhen, vice president of Changzhou Institute of Mechatronic Technology, who summarized the group’s appreciation and, in the process, captured the spirit of three American presidents, Barack Obama, John Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln.
“During the past 120 days, we have also enjoyed your hospitality as warm as the sunshine. We experienced your friendliness as pure as the snow. We also shared the academic reputation as high as Pikes Peak,” Guozhen said.
“When we came, we were students to UCCS. Now that we have certificates, we are alumni. Being alumni, we must ask not what UCCS can do for us but what we can do for UCCS.”
– Photos by Jeff Foster, University Advancement