SF State President Leslie E. Wong signed a letter of intent to build a partnership between a Chinese university and the College of Business Sept. 24, marking another presidential visit this year to create partnerships with foreign institutions.
“This is the beginning of developing a new partnership between our universities based on friendship,” Wong said at the meeting. “This document is an initial promise to work together, and in Chinese culture, friendship provides the foundation for building a relationship.”
The possible partnership between the Quancheng Institute of Jinan University and SF State will focus on hospitality, wine branding and hotel management, according to Robert Nava, vice president for university advancement.
Wong said his team’s fundamental motivation is to reconnect to areas with large alumni bases.
“If a visit enables us to visit a corporation, or government or a university that would promote an SFSU academic and/or research program, that is taken into our planning,” said Wong in an email. “Recruiting students is always part of my work, be it Daly City, Los Angeles or Seoul, but this is more effectively done by our international program.”
Linda Oubre, dean of the College of Business at SF State, said Penglai is considered one of the best tourist locations in China and is one of the fastest-growing destinations for tourism.
“They are looking to us to help build expertise in hotel management and tourism overall,” Oubre said in an email. “We will help develop talent, perform joint faculty research and exchange students.”
Government officials, industry and university leaders invited Wong, Nava and Oubre to Penglai, a city in the Shandong province of China, to discuss collaborations with students and faculty.
The group spent nine days on the expedition to China, as well as Korea to meet with partner institutions Chung-An University and University of Seoul in addition to city officials.
“As a first step, we are looking to send graduate students to our brand new MBA in hospitality and tourism management program, which is launching in Spring 2015,” Oubre said.
A delegation from Jinan College plans to visit Oubre at SF State in October to discuss the framework of cooperation between the colleges, according to Nava.
Wong said he attempts to reserve one week a year to intensive international outreach.
“Connecting our students to the world, and to China is critical,” Wong said. “Offering their students an experience at SF State is as well.”