PULLMAN— A new WSU office opened its doors Oct. 23. An acting director is currently placing phone calls and organizing the day’s activities. There’s nothing exceptional about this except that the new WSU office is located in Chengdu, China.
Through an agreement between WSU College of Business and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE) in Chengdu, the WSU China Center will allow WSU faculty and students to have access to international exchange opportunities in a variety of fields. Colleges will be able to further develop study abroad programs as well as graduate education and research projects in China. The program director will serve as a local representative for relationship building and problem solving and will assist with logistical issues for faculty and students, as well as assisting with the screening of potential SWUFE students wishing to attend WSU.
Jerman Rose first visited the SWUFE campus in 1998, and since then the associate dean for international initiatives in the College of Business has been building a bridge that has allowed SWUFE students to participate in a MBA cooperative program with WSU, and has also allowed Chinese students to travel to WSU to complete a certificate program in international business. WSU Professor Bintong Chen, Department of Management and Operations, played a critical role in the final realization of the Center. There have been 25 visiting scholars from SWUFE over the last 10 years, working with students and faculty in Pullman and offering a real-world view of global business connections.
“The partnership offers our students an opportunity to get on-the-ground experience in China, where the economic growth there is not even a question,” said Rose. “Apart from making better graduates, we can use executive training programs in China and Chinese businesses coming here to interact with local businesses.”
WSU’s goal of preparing students for a global marketplace makes the China Center a new tool that WSU colleges can add to their different global and international initiatives. The center can manage exchange opportunities for faculty and students, faculty-led programs in China can be coordinated through the center, as well as international collaboration in projects at student or faculty level.
“This will be a great asset not just for our College of Business, but for our entire university. As Washington State University continues to enhance its international focus, the WSU China Center will serve as an outstanding resource for faculty, staff and students working and learning in Asia,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd.
The opening ceremony was attended by WSU alumnus Shilei Yang, acting director of the WSU China Center and assistant dean of the School of Business Administration for International Relations at SWUFE; Zhao Dewu, SWUFE president, Ding Renzhong, SWUFE vice president; Yang Dan, Executive Dean of the School of Business Administration of SWUFE; Eric Spangenberg, WSU College of Business dean; Jerman Rose; and CB International advisory board members Bob Wolfe, of Northwestern Venture Associates; Chip Lang of Microsoft; and Paul Wiggum, of Boeing.