The University of Lynchburg will provide doctoral-level education to faculty members at a Chinese technology institute beginning in 2020.
Dr. Sally Selden, provost, signed an agreement with Dr. Ziaofeng Wei, president of Suzhou Chien-Shiung Institute of Technology in Suzhou, China, on Monday. In January 2020, 30 SCSIT faculty members will enroll in the University of Lynchburg’s Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies Program.
The on-campus program is being adapted for delivery to the SCSIT faculty in a hybrid format. In addition to online classes during fall and spring semesters, the SCSIT faculty will come to Lynchburg in the summers of 2020 and 2021 for on-campus seminars.
“Our partnership with SCSIT is exciting for the University as we continue to expand our global footprint and international impact,” Dr. Selden said. “This partnership exemplifies the types of strategies that are central to Vision 2020. China is a significant player in global higher education, and we are honored to offer the EdD in Leadership Studies to 30 SCSIT faculty.
“I am particularly impressed with SCSIT’s leadership and their committed to developing their faculty and creating a world-class educational experience for their students.”
Dr. Atul Gupta, associate provost and dean for graduate studies, said the new partnership could lead to further international impact, which he sees as an important point of growth for graduate programs. “The University of Lynchburg has an opportunity to expand our footprint and our impact globally,” he said. “I think it opens new doors for us.”
CSIT is named for Chien-Shiung Wu, a Chinese-American scientist who made significant contributions to nuclear physics. Its president approached the University of Lynchburg last year to propose a partnership.
“Their president has a very strong vision of where he would like to see the institute go. They would like to expand what they’re doing and reach out in the community,” Dr. Roger Jones, dean of the College of Education, Leadership Studies, and Counseling, said. “This will help him expand the leadership capacity of his faculty so they can help him move SCSIT in that direction.”
Dr. Selden and Dr. Jones traveled to China last September to discuss the partnership. Dr. Jones said he could tell that the faculty and leaders of SCSIT had researched the Lynchburg doctoral program well.
“They like the fact that our doctoral program is interdisciplinary,” Dr. Jones said. “We focus on developing community leaders who understand the broader aspect of community. We encourage leaders to get rid of silos and move communities forward. To have somebody basically reach out and want to work with you is a powerful statement to the quality of the program.”
The University of Lynchburg launched its Doctor of Education in 2011. Graduates from the program have included leaders in education, health care, nonprofit leadership, government, and other fields. Its fifth cohort begins classes this summer.
“The Doctor of Education is making a mark in the world by educating capable, collaborative leaders for organizations and communities, and I am thrilled that the leaders of SCSIT recognize the program’s quality,” University of Lynchburg President Dr. Kenneth R. Garren said. “This new, international partnership advances the University of Lynchburg’s mission on a global scale. I congratulate the faculty who developed and continue to lead this program.”