The Sun Never Sets on FIU
May 8, 2013
I have often said that the sun never sets on FIU! And so it was on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, in Beijing. Your team was busy meeting with representatives from the large U.S. educational establishment in China. Our message: that our university is already deeply involved in educational exchange with counterparts in China and is ready to deepen relationships with the country that is likely to emerge as the 21st century economic and financial powerhouse.
The day’s highlight, no doubt, was a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and two-time governor of the state of Washington. The voluble ambassador made it clear that he was committed to educational exchange and that he appreciated FIU’s deep relations in China. He also introduced us to senior embassy officers who managed U.S. commercial and educational relations with China.
We were guests at a dinner reception hosted by William Zarit, minister for commercial affairs; Mark Lewis, the U.S. commercial officer; and Thomas Hodges, the embassy’s public affairs officer. Minister Zarit is a contemporary who received his bachelor’s degree from Miami University (Ohio). What an opportunity to compare notes on our undergraduate experiences at one of the country’s special public institutions of higher education. Now we are connecting in China at a great time to build a new partnership with the U.S. embassy in pursuit of a common goal—to deepen our collaborations with Chinese educational institutions, expanding on the excellent base we have established with Tianjin University of Commerce.
We also were very pleased to spend some time with FIU graduate and friend Derek Capo, whose China-based business focuses on educational exchange with U.S. universities. You may remember Mr. Capo as one of our best ambassadors for our World’s Ahead campaign.
The time zone changes—we are fully 12 hours ahead of Miami—allows literally for the sun to never set on our institution. It also means that we are working on little sleep given that our biorhythms are completely out of synch with the schedule of meetings here in China. This is the price we pay for our international aspirations—a price that is well worth it! China’s presence in global affairs is expanding rapidly. We must ensure that our students have commensurate opportunities to learn about and experience China and its people, culture and institutions. There are so many faculty-based initiatives already underway in China that our contribution at this point is simply bringing the diverse commitments and energies together so that we may exceed expectations and possibilities! I am very optimistic that this will be done—as you will see.
Note from FIU News: This is President Rosenberg’s fourth annual blog chronicling the TUC-FIU partnership, the annual China Commencement and our students in the China program.