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Turkish higher education delegation to visit ASU campus Nov. 16

November 11, 2009 -- Arkansas State University will welcome a delegation of rectors from universities in Turkey, Monday, Nov. 16, to discuss proposed relationships and collaborations between ASU and the Turkish institutions of higher learning.

The five rectors include Professor Dr. A. Nafi Baytorun of the University of Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam; Professor Dr. Hasan Ceylan, Yϋzϋncϋ Yil University; Professor Dr. M. Yavuz Coskun of Gaziantep University; Professor Dr. Mustafa Gϋndϋz of Adiyaman University; and Professor Dr. Serdar Bedii Omay of Mardin Artuklu University. Two interpreters will accompany the contingent.

“ASU is delighted to host these dignitaries from five Turkish universities with the anticipation that this visit will enhance the relationship between ASU and Turkey, in general, and with key individuals from these universities, specifically,” Dr. Dan Howard, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at ASU stated.  “Among other things, it is hoped that the foundation will be established to forge a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between each of the Turkish Universities represented with ASU that will lead to an array of positive collaborations such as student and faculty exchanges, shared research and creative expression, cross cultural activities, and an array of other mutually beneficial engagements.”

The group will have a full day, beginning with a tour of the Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI) led by executive director Dr. Carole Cramer, followed by a brief meeting with ASU Chancellor Robert L. Potts and the Executive Council. A reception begins at 10:15 a.m. in the main lobby of the Administration Building. Meetings and briefings ensue in Cooper Alumni Center until 3 p.m. when the delegation will depart for Little Rock.

The Turkish rectors’ visit is sponsored by the Meridian International Center and designed to highlight and explore the higher education system and university administration in the United States. This includes current major issues facing U.S. university administrators and ways that universities collaborate with other entities on important issues.

Meridian International Center, located in Washington, D.C., is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening international understanding through building global partnerships with leadership exchanges, international collaboration, and cultural diplomacy.

Although Jonesboro is located in a part of the county that is considered economically underdeveloped, the city has begun to rapidly develop over the last few years. The Turkish group will meet with policy makers and university officials to discuss the impact of ASU on this increased development and how the institution partners with businesses and government to benefit the community.

The visitors will be exposed to a variety of perspectives on higher education in the U.S. through meetings with universities, as well as the possibilities for academic and other exchanges between U.S. and foreign universities. The program also addresses the structure of the U.S. higher education system and responsibilities of the U.S. federal government as it applies to higher education.

The trip gets underway in Washington, D.C., before continuing a journey to Texas where the Turkish rectors will visit Texas A&M University and the University of Texas in Austin. In addition to ASU, the delegation will visit the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.

Dr. Baytorun’s research area is centered on automation and irrigation in greenhouse structures; Dr. Ceylan is a chemistry professor; Dr. Coskun’s expertise is in internal medicine; Dr. Gϋndϋz works in Social Work.

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