U of M President Eric Kaler to visit Hong Kong and South Korea
University of Minnesota (U of M) President Eric Kaler will visit Hong Kong and South Korea November 10 through 19. He is scheduled to meet with colleagues at leading universities, industry partners and some of the thousands of U of M alumni living in Hong Kong and South Korea.
“The challenges facing the world require international collaborations and as Minnesota’s only comprehensive, land-grant, public research university, our students need global perspectives and our faculty need global partnerships,” said President Eric Kaler. “Even in this time of great technology, face-to-face visits with our key partners are important to create, sustain and strengthen meaningful student exchanges and research collaborations. In a highly competitive higher education environment, such global partnerships enhance the University’s and the state’s reputation around the world.”
A key visit on Kaler’s agenda is Seoul National University (SNU), with which the U of M has a longstanding relationship. After the Korean War, through a major grant from USAID, the U of M led a multi-year project to help rebuild SNU, particularly its health sciences disciplines. The “Minnesota Project” helped develop SNU into one of South Korea’s premiere universities and a key U of M research partner today.
The visit will include several opportunities to connect, celebrate and engage with the thousands of U of M alumni living in Hong Kong and South Korea, many of whom play prominent roles in academia, politics and business.
This trip will mark Kaler’s third international visit since taking office in 2011. He traveled to China in July 2013, and the trip resulted in a series of collaborative agreements, including a unique partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to help solve China’s critical air quality issues. He traveled to Norway in August 2014, which resulted in the continuation of a unique research collaboration through the Norwegian Centennial Chair.
The delegation in Hong Kong will include President Kaler and his wife Karen Kaler; University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF) leadership: Kathleen Schmidlkofer, President and CEO, Becky Malkerson, Executive Vice President for Development, and Robert Burgett, Vice President of Development; Dean of International Programs Meredith McQuaid, China Center Executive Director Joan Brzezinski, Director of International Alumni Audra Gerlach (UMAA) and Speechwriter Jay Weiner (President’s Office).
The delegation in South Korea will include President Kaler, Dean McQuaid, her Chief of Staff Molly Portz, Burgett, Gerlach and Weiner. The delegation will also include prominent faculty with important connections in South Korea, including Associate Dean for Research Srirama Rao (College of Veterinary Medicine), Associate Professor Sang-Hyun Oh (Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Science and Engineering), and Associate Dean Kenneth Bartlett (College of Education and Human Development).