USF World News

Nankai University Delegation Visits USF
November 28, 2010

The University of South Florida has had a long-standing partnership with Nankai University in China for over 20 years. To further strengthen this relationship, the USF Confucius Institute (CI) was established in early 2008, with faculty support from Nankai University and funding support from Hanban / Confucius Institute Headquarters. The USF Confucius Institute is one of over 300 worldwide and offers Chinese language and culture classes year round.

USF recently hosted Vice President Naijia Guan and Mr. Jun Hu of Nankai University as they attended the annual CI Advisory Board meeting from November 27 – 30, 2010. The delegation met with USF leaders including President Genshaft, Provost Wilcox, Vice Presidents Karen Holbrook and Michael Hoad. They explored prospective opportunities of collaboration between the two universities with representatives from various levels of USF, including Dean Petersen (College of Public Health), Dean Eisenberg (College of Arts and Sciences), Dean Forsythe (College of Business), Dean Crummett (International Affairs), Dr. Linda Whiteford (Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs), Dr. Victor Peppard (Department Chair of World Languages), and Dr. Roger Brindley (Associate Director of USF World).

On the morning of November 29th, Vice President Guan and Mr. Hu attended the annual CI Board meeting with USF members Provost Wilcox (Board Chair), Senior Vice President Holbrook, and Dr. Ann DeBaldo (Associate Vice Present for USF Health). The CI Director, Kun Shi, presented a current report of the CI as well as a plan for the future. Attendees included Dean Crummett and Dr. Zhaoying Han, Associate Director of CI and professor from Nankai. The 2011 CI budget was also reviewed and will soon be approved with suggestions for revision. Both sides plan to initiate regular virtual meetings and rotate an annual CI Board meeting in order to make the USF-CI a center of K-16 Chinese in Florida.

Two students from Dr. Eric Shepherd’s class (Marsha Louis and Jessica Church) put on a performance of tongue twisters and kuaiban (fast talk) for the delegation. Their ability to socialize and converse proficient Chinese created a strong impression among the guests present.