Agreement to be signed during Thai university delegation visit

November 12 2007

Representatives from Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University in Bangkok, Thailand, are at Indiana State University this week, Nov. 14-16, to strengthen their relationship through a formal agreement, and to discuss specific areas of academic sharing for students and faculty.

The Rajabhat University delegation is particularly interested in faculty and student exchanges with ISU’s departments of music, including music business; nursing; business; and education, especially elementary education. The 11-member delegation includes Rajabhat University President Chuangchote Bhuntuvech, who will be accompanied by deans and directors from the academic areas to be discussed during their visit.

“They are looking to strengthen their academic programs in these areas, and because we have very strong programs and already have a relationship with them, they are turning to ISU for some assistance in building these program areas,” said Michael Chambers, interim executive director of ISU’s International Affairs Center, and associate professor of political science.

ISU signed a letter of intent to cooperate in October 2000 during a visit to what was then Suan Sunandha Rajabhat Institute, but the signing to take place on Thursday (Nov. 15) will be the first formal agreement.

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, there will be an official welcome and review of past cooperation, after which, the delegation will meet with ISU administrators, faculty and staff in break-out sessions, divided by academic area.

On Thursday morning, the delegation will visit two Vigo County elementary schools -- Franklin Elementary, which also houses the ISU Preschool program; and DeVaney Elementary.

The formal agreement-signing ceremony will take place from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the ninth-floor lounge of Hulman Memorial Student Union. The results of the break-out sessions also will be announced at this time.

“The strengthening of the relationship through a formal agreement should lead to increased opportunities for ISU faculty to travel to Thailand for cooperative research or teaching projects, as well as bring Thai partners to ISU for such projects,” Chambers said.

Some such faculty teaching exchanges already have occurred over the past few years, involving Karen Lui, education; Brian Kilp, music; Jean Kristeller, psychology; and Al Czyzewski, business.

“This agreement also could provide new international experiential learning opportunities for ISU students. We hope there will be increased student exchanges between the two universities, through either study abroad or shorter-term study trips,” Chambers said.

The delegation’s visit is taking place during International Education Week at ISU, which is a week-long celebration of the diversity on campus; and is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education in an effort to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States.

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RAJABHAT UNIVERSITY DELEGATION MEDIA OPS:

WEDNESDAY (Nov. 14):
-- 9 to 9:45 a.m.: Official Welcome and Opening Discussions, Review of Past Cooperation (Hulman Memorial Student Union, Dede I)

THURSDAY (Nov. 15):
-- 9 to 11:45 a.m.: Visits to Area Schools
9 to 10 a.m., Franklin Elementary, 1600 Elm St.
10:15 to 11:30 a.m., DeVaney Elementary, 1011 S. Brown St.

-- 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Formal Agreement-Signing Ceremony (ninth-floor lounge of Hulman Memorial Student Union)

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Contact: Michael Chambers, interim executive director of ISU’s International Affairs Center, Indiana State University, (812) 237-4391 or mchambers3@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Katie Spanuello, media relations assistant director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3790 or kspanuello@isugw.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

A delegation from Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University in Bangkok, Thailand, is at Indiana State University this week, Nov. 14-16, to strengthen their relationship through a formal agreement, and to discuss specific areas of academic sharing for students and faculty. The signing is taking place during International Education Week at ISU.

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