North Carolina’s Junior Senator Richard Burr will be the keynote speaker for Commencement on May 7. Commencement begins at 10 a.m. on the lawn next to Lumbee Hall.
On January 4, 2005, Burr was sworn into United States Senate.
A Winston-Salem native, Sen. Burr graduated from R.J. Reynolds High School and Wake Forest University. He began his career far from the halls of congress.
After 17 years as a businessman with Carswell Distributing, a wholesale commercial products company, Sen. Burr entered public service to reverse the trend of rising taxes and centralized government that burdened North Carolina families and businesses.
Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994, Sen. Burr established himself as an effective legislator on health care issues and worked to restore accountability and fiscal discipline to the federal government.
Burr’s first major legislative achievement in the House was passage
of the Food and Drug Modernization Act of 1997. The “Burr Bill” made
significant improvements to the safe regulation of food, drugs and medical
devices, while cutting through government red tape to bring life-saving
medicine to the marketplace.
Sen. Burr co-sponsored the Lumbee Recognition Bill that was introduced March 17, 2005 by Sen. Elizabeth Dole. Burr also is a strong advocate for limits on textile products imported from China.
He recently joined the Senate Republican High Tech Task Force and was named chairman of the Senate’s Bioterrorism Preparedness and Public Health Subcommittee. Earlier, Sen. Burr was named vice-chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and to two additional subcommittees, the National Parks subcommittee and the subcommittee on Water and Power.
Sen. Burr currently serves as the state co-chairman of the Partnership for a Drug Free North Carolina, and as a board member of Brenner Children’s Hospital. He is also an active board member of Idealliance, a group of local, academic and government officials working to expand North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad Research Park.
Business school qualifies to seek AACSB accreditation
The School of Business is eligible for accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Business School Dean Eric Dent was notified in February that the school’s eligibility application to the premier international business association had been approved. The School of Business is at the starting gate of a 6-7 year process.
“The size of our growing University and the corresponding growth of the enrollment and faculty at the School of Business necessitates this move,” Dr. Dent said. “We are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and AACSB accreditation will enhance our reputation and validate the strength of our program.”
Dr. Roger Brown, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs said, “AACSB accreditation will be a wonderful milestone for our University as we continue to grow high quality programs. It is likely that through this process, the School of Business faculty will acquire skills in learning assessment that will benefit the entire campus.”
The process is lengthy and labor intensive, Dr. Dent said.
“It requires that we have a systematic process of building, monitoring and maintaining our programs,” he said. “The School of Business delivers very high quality programs, and AACSB accreditation ensures that our programs are driven by our mission.”
As Dr. Brown noted, AACSB has recently added an emphasis area on “learning outcomes,” Dean Dent said.
“It’s a significant shift from evaluating what is being taught to what is being learned,” Dr. Dent said. “The process was formerly driven by having resources and faculty with certain credentials in place, and now it is also about demonstrating that our students are meeting learning objectives.”
“We will measure and assess broad learning goals and objectives, such as students’ ability to communicate in a business environment, develop a business strategy, and analyze business data,” he said.
Dr. Rick Crandall, director of Special Programs for the School of Business, will lead the effort. A 1-2 year planning period is followed by five years of candidacy.
Dean John Rich of Emporia State University was appointed by the AACSB as UNCP’s mentor. He will be on campus later this spring to begin the mentoring process.
For more information about business programs at UNCP, please call (910) 521-6214 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
First faculty exchange representative visits from Taiwan
Business professor Dr. John Wei-Shan Hu of Taiwan spent two weeks in March at the University.
He participated in a faculty exchange program with UNCP’s sister university, Chung Yuan Christian University (CYCU).
“I want to express my gratitude to Chancellor (Allen C.) Meadors, Provost (Roger) Brown and to Dr. (Alex) Chen’s department (International Programs) for their kind hospitality,” Dr. Hu said. “I am honored to be the first exchange scholar to visit UNCP from my university. We hope to make this an annual tradition.”
A professor of finance in CYCU’s Business School, Dr. Hu is no stranger to higher education in the U.S. He earned his Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in financial management at Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in financial management at Oklahoma University.
Dr. Hu is from a distinguished family and has had an outstanding career in business and academia. He is the former dean of the Business College for CYCU and has authored numerous scholarly works.
Besides scholarly exchange, Dr. Hu is working to build bridges between CYCU and UNCP.
“Fourteen of our students and one professor recently traveled to UNCP for a two-week program on international business,” Dr. Hu said. “Your faculty impressed our students so much that two have applied for admission to your MBA program.”
“We are recruiting UNCP students,” he said. “We are planning a summer program for your students.”
The possibilities for exchange are many, Dr. Hu said. He discussed research possibilities with UNCP faculty and the creation of a joint MBA program.
“We also have an applied Chinese language program so that UNCP students could live and attend classes with our students,” he said.
Before leaving Pembroke, Dr. Hu met with his exchange counterpart Dr. John Parnell, the Belk Distinguished Professor of Management at UNCP.
“I look forward to meeting with Dr. Parnell and exchanging ideas,” Dr. Hu said.
Dr. Alex Chen, associate vice chancellor for International Programs at UNCP, said exchanges like this one are beneficial for both universities.
“Faculty are the ones who bring new ideas and knowledge to classrooms,” Dr. Chen said. “It is important to increase faculty interaction and exchange for UNCP.”
“We have sent more than a dozen faculty members to different countries to interact with other scholars last year,” Dr. Chen said. “This is the first two-week international exchange program, and both Drs. Hu and Parnell will benefit. Students of UNCP and CYCU will benefit from this program also.”
Dr. Hu said the hospitality at UNCP was warm.
“The people here are very friendly, and our students are very
impressed also,” Dr. Hu said.
For more information on International Programs at UNCP, please call (910) 521-4095 or email email@example.com.
UNCP business school to host Social Security seminar
The School of Business will host a seminar on Social Security reform at 10 a.m., Wednesday, April 20 in Room 225 of the Dial Humanities Building.
“Recognizing the importance and the urgency of the current Social Security reform debate, the School of Business is proud to announce a seminar on the topic,” said Dean Eric Dent. “The seminar will highlight various features of the Social Security system and analyze the various solutions offered. The presenters at the seminar have distinguished records in their respective areas of expertise.”
The presenters are:
Dr. Lamar Whittle is a retired research physicist. He received his B.S. in physics and mathematics from Berry College, Rome, Ga., and he completed graduate work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia University. His work experience include: research physicist at Columbia University and director of advanced technical planning and research at ITT laboratories. He also served as vice president and general manager at Airtronics, Inc.
In retirement, he served as chairman of the Georgia State Legislative Committee for the AARP and vice chair of the North Carolina Legislative Committee for the AARP. He also served as official spokesperson in North Carolina on Social Security and Medicare for the AARP. Currently, he serves as a delegate from Robeson County to the Senior Tar Heel Legislature. He has written a number of articles for newspapers on the subject of Social Security over the past 20 years.
Dr. Mohammad Ashraf is an assistant professor of economics at UNCP. He received his B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. in economics from Northern Illinois University. His research interests include monetary policy and theory, growth models, economic development, labor economics, and economic pedagogy. His research has been published, and he has presented numerous papers in the United States, Russia and Europe.
Dr. John Parnell is the William Henry Belk Distinguished Professor in management at UNCP. He completed the MBA at East Carolina University, the Ed.D. in public policy analysis at Campbell University, and the P.D. in business administration at the University of Memphis. He is the author of over 100 basic and applied research articles, published presentations, and cases in strategic management and related areas.
Dr. Ramin Cooper Maysami is an associate professor of economics UNCP. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in economics at Iowa State University. His areas of research include regulation of financial institutions, interest-free banking, finance and entrepreneurship. He has published widely and is also a certified financial planner.
Russians have great pride in their schools, nation
Editors note: Dr. Len Holmes continues his exploration of the Siberian region of Russia.
By Dr. Len Holmes (Chemistry)
Saturday, March 12
At 10 a.m. Natashe, a graduate student in biology (plant physiology), met me on the corner next to my flat. It was warm…approximately zero degrees centigrade. We walked to the school. This is a 20-minute walk. I note that crossing the streets is a bit dangerous. The automobile has the right-of-way. Also, being from the south of the U.S., I am very impressed with how well the Russians drive on snow and ice and there seems to be a persistent sheet of ice and snow. Russian women are often seen walking arm in arm. Initially, I thought this was a charming custom. Now, I believe it is to prevent slipping on the ice. I am impressed how well Russians can walk on icy streets. High-heeled women seem to have zero problems with such activity.
Arriving at the university, Natashe guided me to the TPSU museum where we met a young lady who has the job of presenting the museum highlights to visitors. I was a bit surprised when she introduced herself as Natashe. She is a post-graduate student from TSPU and working on her advanced degree in history. Like most other Russian young ladies I have seen, Natashe number two was slim, and well-dressed wearing carefully applied make-up.
The museum was one room, perhaps the size of a smallish classroom at UNCP. The floors were of waxed hardwood and there were about eight little chairs lined along one wall of the room (presumably for guests). Russian chairs are not heavy pieces of furniture. Russians as a whole are slim as they probably don’t eat much fast food. The chairs had spindly legs that might not endure under the bulk of many Americans. The floors and room was well-kept, simple and obviously it was an archive of which the school was very proud.
Around the room on the wall, were photos, artifacts and historical pieces commemorating the establishment and development of the university. TSPU recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary, a fact if which the Siberians are very proud. The town of Tomsk itself was established in 1607 by the Tartars as a fort on the town’s high point overlooking the Tom River.
Natashe took me around the room in a clockwise direction explaining the significance of each piece to TSPU. She carefully pointed with a short wooden pointer, not touching the artifacts. I was struck with how proud she was of her university and this simple exhibition was highly valued by the university. It was a spiritual moment. The exhibits were largely photos of the people who have graduated in its history and esteemed administrators. There was a feeling that she was an owner of the history and patriotism was deeply instilled into her heart.
The Russians speak frankly (almost proudly) about the history, which they have endured. Natashe admitted that there were many people taken from the university in the past under Lenin and executed. Stalin’s name never is mentioned. As an American, I cannot understand the Russian mind with regard to the “motherland.” Natashe provided great detail about the persons and groups of persons in the photographs. University administrators were held in high esteem. Many of them were pictured wearing medals on their suits and uniforms.
As we tapped on the wooden floors around the simple room, I had a vague feeling of shame because of abundance in America and how we Americans have lived lives of safety, riches and freedom. The Russian people have a mentality that they must live and endure in the elements that they have been placed. They survive and do what they can with silent acceptance. Each image in the room is protected by the university, and it may be that the revolutions, repressions and governments in the past did not allow the Russia before them to be preserved. A simple room of carefully wooden framed pictures, a few artifacts from some vague era and a Russian girl named Natashe with a polished wooden pointer left me wondering about how we Americans preserve our values and changes as a nation. I was diminished though I did not show it.
After the museum, a car waited us outside. The car was the personal car of Rector Valary Obukhov. The driver spoke no English. Natashe no.1 sat with me in the back and Natashe no. 2 took a place in the front. As the driver took us on the icy streets in the city, no. 1 would translate the narrative that Natashe no. 2 presented.
Tomsk is a city of universities and colleges. Of the approximately 500,000 who live in Tomsk, 100,000 are students. Both Natashes live in an eight- story building for student housing. The rent is 200 rubles a year, including heat and electric. Two hundred rubles is less than $7. The education is also free. I have been asked about the college cost in America, and the idea of tuition is a foreign one here.
Our driver was amazingly nimble at driving on those narrow iced streets. No hill could stop him. I was truly surprised.
We visited cathedrals that dated back 400 years. Most religious building were converted into warehouses, garages etc. during Soviet times. I guess these building were re-opened after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Each chapel had a beggar in front. I was told not to give to them because they use the money for vodka.
The tour of the city was express.
Sunday, March 27
The Russian child attends secondary school for 11 years. This is equivalent to grade 11 in the public school system in America. If the Russian student chooses to pursue higher education, it is free, no tuition or fees. Also, many of the textbooks required may be borrowed from the university for the term of the course. The course of study at university is five years, after which the student receives his or her “Post Graduate Certificate.” After their university education, the Russian student has attended 14 years of study from 1st grade to Post Graduate Certificate. The total years are equivalent (14 years) to complete the baccalaureate degree in the U.S.
The Russian system of higher education does not allow the student the wide menu of elective choices as his counterpart in the U. S. enjoys. The curriculum (or “profile”) is rigid, defined and explicit. Perhaps the ideal of American freedom and individuality is reflected in our liberal university curriculum system.
The Russian classes I visited were quite large by American standards (about 60). But the students are a delight! Many of them told me that they hope to visit America one day. They won my heart. When the teacher, professor or visitor enters the classroom, students stand in polite respect. The Russian places high value on education at all levels. Russian students begin to learn English from secondary school. They love America and want to learn about American culture. Many of the students were too shy to speak English to me, being afraid of making a grammatical mistake. They carefully listened to my words. In the vast majority of cases, I was the first native English-speaking person they had ever met. It was curious to me that female students far out-numbered the boys. I have no explanation for this.
The Russian system also has an equivalent to the community college system in the U.S. The Russian college is designed for students who wish to learn a trade or profession and go to work. They enter the college (free of charge) after the 11th year of secondary school. They work toward a three-year “Specialist Certificate that is similar to the community college A.A.S. degree. After the student completes the Specialist Certificate, he may decide to enter a university. Five years are required in the university. There is no direct college transfer program.
Upon earning the university Post Graduate Certificate, a student may enter a course of study for advanced education. He then completes three years of study, under a professor and defends his/her thesis for the “Candidate” degree. This is equivalent to a masters degree in the U.S.
I had the privilege to attend, as “respected guest,” one woman’s defense of her thesis for the Candidate degree. She had written and submitted her thesis to the Academic Council. This committee is composed of 14 persons. The members of the Academic Council are appointed for a five-year term by the Russian Academy of Education. The student has no privilege to select members of the committee. Finally, the “Doctors Degree” may be obtained after three additional years of research and study.
The Russian schools which I visited were very interesting. My studies took me to large cities (Novosibersk, population 1.4 million) and small rural village schools. The professor had scheduled our excursions with administrators in order maximize the cultural exchange. On my visits, the teachers, students and administrators gave me the most warm welcomes. It may not be an exaggeration for me to state that the President of the United States was ever received with more sincerity and gladness than the Russians showed to me. I am confident that of the hundreds of village teachers and students I was introduced to during this tour, not more than a dozen had ever seen, much less spoken to an American. The Siberian people have placed a new awe of human kindness in my heart. I will speak about Russian hospitality in a later note.
The schools in Siberia are not new buildings. Most were constructed during Soviet times and have an ordinary, institutional cubic design. The harsh winter also leaves its mark on the exterior shell. In most cases, it was not obvious to me that the building did hold a school. The building interiors were amazingly clean and orderly, particularly in small rural schools. The hallway floors, staircases and classrooms in the Russian schools are commonly cleaned and maintained by the students. The classroom furniture is extremely simple. I did not see many modern appointments such as whiteboards or multimedia accessories.
The Siberian teachers I met were very concerned about the futures of their students. My impression is that the teachers and administrators are working under fiscal pressures that is a symptom of the larger economic problems Russia is facing. I realized that the quality of education is not exclusively tied to education budget. Professor Palyanov is working to improve the quality of Russian teaching by increasing technology in education. I did not have opportunity to visit many of the laboratories of colleges and universities that we visited. Undoubtedly, Russia has some extremely fine technical institutes. In America, most educators have many technical “bells and whistles” to enhance instruction. I suspect that many Russians cannot afford the Internet. At the risk of oversimplification (and my considerable ignorance), I will state that we Americans are spoiled with gadgets.
I did not see evidence of large library holdings in my tour. Perhaps it was an oversight. Books are very expensive for the Russian. Russians are taught English from an early age, but seem to have little access to American texts, periodicals and books. I was told that it is most important for a student to learn English. Many students whom I met did have skills in the language. Speaking English was a key to success.
The new Russian nation is very different since dissolution of the Soviet Union. Slowly, Russia is opening to allow foreigners the freedom to move about. Many students desire to visit the United States. I believe that the Russians have much to offer the U.S. It was obvious to me that the Siberian education system is adjusting to a new world. There is an exciting future on the horizon of the Siberian frontier. I am indebted to the Professor for sharing some of his Siberia with me.
SASASAAS conference convened at UNCP
By Andrea Vukcevic
About 50 members and guests of the Southern Atlantic States Association for Asian and African Studies (SASASAAS) descended on the University March 18-19 for their semi-annual meeting.
The featured topic was a “State of the Country” report on China. UNCP representative and sociology professor Dr. John Bowman organized the two-day event that featured speakers on current issues.
“It’s a good opportunity for our faculty and students to learn about China and Asia,” Dr. Bowman said.
Featured speaker was Dr. Ge Su, minister/counselor for the Office of Congressional and Bilateral Affairs at the Chinese Embassy. Dr. Su entertained an eager audience with anecdotes and Chinese proverbs, while discussing U.S.-China relations in the 21st century.
“China’s population is five times yours,” he told the audience. “But you have 10 times as many lawyers as we do!”
Dr. Su illustrated the Cold War as remembered by both camps and summarized today’s global interdependence by holding up his cell phone.
“Motorola,” he began. “Is this a Chinese product or an American one?”
“It may be assembled in China, but American genius designed it,” Dr. Su said. “The iron ore in the circuits probably came from Australia, the steel from South Korea and the motherboard is from Taiwan.”
He noted major similarities in the Asian policies of the two nations – opposition to the spread of weapons of mass destruction in Korea and the promotion of economic interdependence and educational exchange between the U.S. and China.
“There are 300,000 Chinese have been students at U.S. schools,” he said. “I was one of them.”
After the presentation, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors and Dr. Alex Chen, vice chancellor for International Programs, presented Dr. Su with a gift.
“We are very honored to host this conference and have Minister Counselor Su on our campus,” said Dr. Chen.
In an earlier session, geographer Dr. Yong Wang of East Carolina University presented research on the Three Gorges dam project in central China. Three dams will flood an area inhabited by 1.25 million people. It will destroy the ecosystem along the Chang Jiang River but will generate about five percent of the country’s power.
Also on Friday, Appalachian State University Professor Dorothea Martin
presented “Punk Rock Music in China” and the changing mentalities
surrounding film, “leisure time” and the growing anti-socialist
“The conference was very successful,” Dr. Bowman said afterward. “I think some of the dialogue about Taiwan between Minister Counselor Su and the audience was just fascinating. The people who attended mentioned specifically the quality of the presentations and how much they learned.”
The Southern Atlantic States Association for Asian and African Studies is a consortium of 23 colleges and universities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia established to stimulate and enhance the study of Asia and Africa.
SASASAAS supports faculty instruction, funds international activities, provides audiovisual resources, organizes programs abroad for faculty and students and maintains linkages with other professional organizations as well as with the public schools and decision-makers in government and the private sector.
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