Nov 172008
 
Authors: Elyse Jarvis

In alignment with Gov. Bill Ritter’s trade mission, Interim CSU President Tony Frank and a team of CSU deans traveled to Asia to sign an agreement with two Japanese institutes Tuesday that will allow CSU students and researchers further opportunity to research abroad.

The agreement, a memorandum of understanding between Japan’s National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Gifu University’s School of Medicine and CSU, will allow faculty and students from each university to begin the process of creating the collaborative Center for Environmental Medicine, which will conduct research on food and environment contaminating agents.

“The general goal of this trip is to meet with universities where (CSU) already (has) faculty-to-faculty connections and to get to know those universities better to start to execute possibilities for eventual agreements with them,” Frank said from Japan in a phone interview.

While the center will bear no physical location, the partnership will allow Japanese researchers to visit the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on the CSU campus and will give faculty, graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to study in research facilities overseas.

“CSU will have access to a broader spectrum of facilities because of the partnership with Japan’s government,” said Dell Rae Moellenberg, a university spokesperson.

Frank said the agreement will partner with CSU’s new School of Global Environmental Sustainability and fuel its internalization plan, which he said details that CSU will seek to establish connections with universities similar to CSU in terms of mission, size and research goals.

“We’re creating tangible research collaborations that provide various opportunities for students to have a more global experience,” Frank said.

Frank and his team will travel to China today to form similar relationships with three other Chinese universities. Calling CSU’s established connections with the Chinese universities “less mature,” Frank said that the visit this week is expected to be thefinal step in executing similar agreements to those with Japan within a “year or so.”

Partnerships in Asia are all expected to contribute to the newly created center.

The first projects to be researched include investigations into melamine in food products, heavy metal levels in water sources for agricultural products that are distributed globally and the quality and purity of Vitamin C, according to a university press release.

Ritter will remain in Asia through next Tuesday to promote “a multi-year strategy to establish long-term business relationships and cultivate business and investment leads,” said Evan Dryer, Ritter’s main spokesperson.

Ritter will promote higher education opportunities on behalf of CSU, Colorado School of Mines and CU-Boulder.

News Managing Editor Elyse Jarvis can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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