Schill’s first international trip as UO president focuses on Asia

With more than 3,250 students from Asia and 22 exchange agreements, it is easy to see the region is essential to the University of Oregon. So it makes perfect sense that Michael Schill’s first international journey as president has taken him on a 10-day barnstorming trip across the region.

Schill, along with a delegation of university leaders, is currently visiting China, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia through July 1. He is hosting meetings with Asian university leaders, prospective students, alumni and other friends of the UO, while also participating in the 2016 Association of Pacific Rim Universities Annual Presidents Meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

“The UO’s global connections to students, donors, alumni and other scholars in Asia is essential to our success as a research university,” Schill said. “It is so exciting to meet with our many enthusiastic supporters all across Asia and to strengthen these relationship and collaborations. Our students and faculty benefit immensely from these global exchanges and experiences that we are cementing while here.”

President Schill was joined by Dennis Galvan, vice provost for international affairs, Mike Andreasen, vice president for university advancement and John Manotti, associate vice president for international advancement, and Abe Schafermeyer, director of international student and scholar services.

“We’ve built research partnerships and student opportunities across the region, in every city the president has visited,” said Galvan. “”In every location, alumni, friends, students and their families are excited to meet the new President and eager to him describe how global engagement boosts research excellence, widens student access and helps ensure student success.”

Since their arrival, the group has held receptions for incoming students, parents, alumni and donors in Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore.  A team travelling in parallel to the President has also held orientations for new students and their families in Guangzhou and Shanghai.

During the trip, Schill joined delegates from 17 countries and 45 research-led universities as part of the 20th Annual APRU Annual Presidents meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for discussions on knowledge creation, the economic growth of Southeast Asia, the potential impacts of Brexit on Pacific Rim higher education, and the future of humanities and social sciences in the Asia-Pacific region.

While in Beijing, the team met with one of China’s top research institutions, Tsinghua University, to finalize their participation in a new, UO-led APRU research collaboration on Sustainable Cities and Landscapes.  The new partnership builds on UO’s Sustainable Cities Initiative and top-ranked Landscape Architecture department to tackle challenges of urbanization around the Pacific Rim.  Four APRU universities join UO in running the program, including Tsinghua, National, Taiwan University, University of New South Wales in Australia and University of Washington,

President Schill also met with the President of Asia’s top-ranked university, the National University of Singapore, to deepen exchange and research ties, especially in areas of mutual strength in the natural and physical sciences. 

He held talks with a member of the State Council of the Chinese government, Madam Xu Lin, to discuss the successful history and future prospects of UO’s unique Confucius Institute, built seven years ago by UO faculty to focus on China’s global emergence and its impact on culture, economy and environment.

President Schill will wrap up his tour of Asia with a visit to Seoul, South Korea.