Well, I recently returned from a 9 day trip to China and am excited about the possibilities there. I’ve been there numerous times before, but this time was one of the more productive trips because of the multiple opportunities that can truly distinguish the School of Business from others.
My first stop was in Xiamen (aka “the Charleston of China” since it is located on the water, with similar weather, and heavy in tourism), where we already have a close relationship with Xiamen University. In fact, last year we recruited four MBA students, two MS in Accounting students, and two undergraduates from there. This time I made a presentation to the entire School and interviewed 7 students for our MBA program (in Charleston), tentatively beginning this fall. I also interviewed several other prospective MBA students who would begin their graduate studies the following fall (2013). I am excited about Xiamen University because there are also opportunities across campus. My math and science colleagues are planning a trip there this summer to discuss potential collaboration with their School.
The second stop was to Xiangyang, which is located in the center of China. The city is interested in teaming with the School of Business and building a campus there at no cost to South Carolina. (There is only one other U.S. university that has a physical campus in China, and that’s Duke University.) I met with the mayor, vice mayor of education, and other provincial leaders to discuss the possibilities. They like our high quality education and what we have to offer and will let us know whether we can move to the next step. (That would be to discuss the responsibilities from both parties. At this point, I would need to have further discussions with our Provost and President.) If we end up moving forward with this initiative, it will be revenue-generating and totally self-supporting. I honestly believe that it could transform our business school (and potentially campus), since it would give us a strong presence in the middle of the world’s largest nation.
The third stop was in Hong Kong. There I met with the owner, as well as vice president of China Education Group. (When I worked at UNC Charlotte, I developed revenue generating programs with CEG.) We discussed an additional graduate program that would appeal to executives interested in furthering their education. Without going into details, this program is in high demand in Asia and we’d be the first to offer it in Hong Kong. It, too, would be revenue generating and totally self supporting. Stay tuned for more details.