CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
UI president to travel to Taiwan, Korea to meet alumni, reaffirm ties
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman will travel
to Taiwan and South Korea in early January to meet with alumni, reaffirm ties
with several universities in each country, and seek additional support for
an endowed chair in Chinese Studies.
Coleman, along with a group of UI administrators, will leave Jan.3 for Taiwan
and will spend five days there before going on to South Korea. The group will
return to Iowa City Wednesday, Jan. 14.
Jae-On Kim, director of the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS),
says one of the main goals for the trip is to visit with UI alumni, former
visiting faculty members, and past participants in the International Writing
Program. Taiwan has more foreign alumni -- approximately 1,000 -- than any
other country, Kim said, and a UI president has never visited the country.
Many UI alumni in Taiwan hold prominent positions in the country and could
be influential in spreading word about the UI, Kim said. "In addition,
many of our young alumni are very successful and will be the next leaders
in business, government, and education," he said.
Michael McNulty, UI associate provost and dean of international programs,
said that UI alumni in both countries are planning receptions for the group,
which will aid the university's effort to support a strong alumni network
in East Asia. "In the same way we endeavor to keep in touch with our
alumni here in the United States, we would like to develop a stronger network
of international alumni," McNulty said. "They are an important part
of our university community."
The group also seeks to reaffirm and strengthen linkage agreements the UI
has with National Taiwan University and National Taiwan Normal University
as well as with Ajou University and Ehwa University in Korea.
In each country the UI group will be briefed by U.S. government or embassy
officials. The group will also meet with the Taiwanese Minister of Education,
who is a UI alumnus from the 1960s as well as with several foundations who
may be able to help broaden the UI's research effort in East Asian Studies
by supporting a new chair in Chinese studies within CAPS.
"Having the president visit in person to discuss the project demonstrates
to Asian officials that our priorities have support at the highest levels
of the university," said Stephen Arum, assistant dean of international
In Korea the group will return to many of the places Coleman visited on her
first visit to the country in June 1996. In addition to renewing those academic
and personal friendships, the group will also visit with Kwan Rim, former
associate dean of the UI College of Engineering, who is president of Samsung
Advanced Research Institute.
(Editors Note: If you would like more information about the trip, both McNulty
(319) 335-3565 and Arum (319) 335-0335 will be available for comment the week
of Dec. 29.)