Dr. Luis M. Proenza, president of The University of Akron (left), and President Qifeng Zhou of Peking University sign a new educational cooperation agreement between the two institutions. At the podium is Dr. David B. Baker, UA's interim provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer.
A long history of collaboration between The University of Akron and China's prestigious Peking University has culminated in the signing of a new educational cooperation agreement between the two institutions. Dr. Luis M. Proenza, president of The University of Akron, and President Qifeng Zhou of Peking University signed the agreement July 1 at a ceremony and celebratory luncheon held in the Goodyear Polymer Center.
Dr. David B. Baker, interim provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer at UA, served as master of ceremonies.
UA President Dr. Luis M. Proenza (left), and President Qifeng Zhou of Peking University.
With a joint Ph.D. program in polymer engineering that has been in place for nearly 15 years, the broadened agreement will extend to law, education, engineering and the general sciences and include such initiatives as joint research projects, student exchange programs, visiting scholars and cultural programming.
"The University of Akron is fully committed to continuing our research and educational collaborations with Peking University," Proenza said. "I have had the opportunity to visit this prestigious university and am pleased to further develop our educational and cultural collaboration."
Zhou said he feels particularly close to The University of Akron, not only because of a longtime friendship with Dr. Stephen Cheng, dean of UA's College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, but also because his only daughter is a UA alumna, and his daughter met her husband at UA.
"I'm very pleased and honored to sign this agreement of cooperation between Peking University and The University of Akron," Zhou said. "This was made possible by the long relationship between our two polymer science programs, but through this agreement we will further enhance cooperation in other disciplines such as law, the sciences, education and engineering."
► Hear UA President Dr. Luis Proenza discuss the agreement with Peking University on Akron News Now.
He also extended an open invitation to Proenza to visit Peking University again in the future. In September 2008, Proenza became only the 16th university president from around the world - and the only one from the Midwest - to formally present a speech at the prominent Chinese institution.
Proenza emphasized the need for UA and other American research universities to extend their reach beyond U.S. borders for the sake of the global economy.
"To succeed globally, all universities, businesses, industries and governments must work in partnership to support clusters of innovation that will ensure an increasingly stronger and larger source of human capital," Proenza said. "So, let's plunge ahead - our common future depends on it."
Media contact: Laura M. Massie, UA, 330-972-6476.