Yudof invites Chinese educators to Minnesota

Nancy Ngo

Top education officials from the University and China could soon reunite.
Although no contracts resulted from Mark Yudof’s China trip, the University president rolled out the red carpet for the country’s educators to visit Minnesota in coming months. He also paved the way for future University delegations to travel to Asia.
“In 72 hours you don’t negotiate brand new agreements. So many of these things are based on relationships,” Yudof said after his return from China late last week.
Yudof said Friday he might return to China for a similar mission. But by then, more contractual agreements should be in place, he said.
Among the first Chinese visitors to the University could be Wei Yu, the Chinese vice-minister for education. Such a visit could come at the end of February.
Wei is interested in possible adoptions of the University’s medical technology and molecular and cellular biology research models, Yudof said.
Wei would also like to evaluate the University’s model of extension of technology into rural areas to aid farmers.
David Pui, the director of the University’s China Center who accompanied Yudof on his trip, said such a tie could prove to be significant because 50 percent of those living in China are involved in the agricultural business.
A team from the Carlson School of Management will travel to the country in February to plan an executive training program for Chinese nationals who would work for American markets. So far, 3M has expressed interest in participating in such a venture.
David Kidwell, dean of the Carlson school, said the team will go there to establish a letter of intent for the potential program.
The program would add to an already tight bond between the University and China. Students from China make up the highest number of international enrollees at the University.
About 1,200 Chinese students attend the University and several faculty members work on collaborative projects with 160 Chinese schools.
School officials will also help plan a conference in China where the country will look at models for creating stockholder corporations. U.S. models of ownership, distribution of stocks and equity planning would be explored, Yudof said.