An effort across multiple departments and the Office of the Provost at Florida International University (FIU), yielded the university’s first inbound study tour in higher education administration. The program, which ran during October 2012, drew 15 senior administrators from China’s Tianjin University of Commerce (TUC), where FIU has a School of Hospitality Management, to the university’s Biscayne Bay Campus.
Organized by Executive and Professional Education (EPE) in the College of Business, “the two and a half week program gave the TUC delegates the opportunity to see firsthand how an American university works,” said Rosangel Quintero (PMBA ’10), associate director.
Event ties closely to university’s China goals.
FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg is committed to fostering new relationships with Chinese universities and strengthening existing ones. A visit by two representatives from TUC expanded into the idea of creating an in-depth residency for members of that university’s leadership team. EPE’s expertise made the office the ideal point of coordination.
“We worked with many constituencies at FIU to develop a full agenda,” Quintero said. “It provided a mixture of team building exercises, lectures related to leadership, management, diversity and much more; tours of the Frost Museum and the College of Business Complex on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus; and the Homecoming football game.”
In addition to contributions from faculty and staff from throughout FIU, students from TUC enrolled at FIU in the college’s Dual Degree Program served as translators and tour guides.
Natalia Dwarika, EPE program coordinator, who is in charge of EPE’s inbound study tours for undergraduate and graduate students, helped refine the program content based on expectations expressed by the TUC officials. These requests were conveyed through Peng Lu, assistant provost for Chinese affairs, after the initial visit paid to President Rosenberg by the two TUC delegates.
“Based on feedback we received, the opportunity to meet one on one with their U.S. counterparts was very enriching to the participants,” Quintero said. “We anticipate replicating the program for other institutions eager to be exposed to the best practices that guide American universities.”