Colorado State University Vice President for Engagement Lou Swanson visited five Chinese universities in January. All five universities – Zhejiang University, Hunan Agricultural University, Huazhong Agricultural University, Nanjing Agricultural University and Northeast Agricultural University – are members of the China-US University-based Agricultural Extension Alliance. Additional China Alliance members include Sichuan Agricultural University, Northwest Agricultural & Forestry University, Northeast Agricultural University, Shenyang Agricultural University and China Agricultural University. Oregon State University, Purdue University, the University of California System, the University of Nebraska, the University of Maryland, and Texas A&M University are US Alliance members. Anhui Agricultural University and Colorado State University are the lead Alliance institutions.
Dr. Swanson presented his ideas for university-based Extension collaboration at several Chinese universities, and visited affiliated Rural Development Institutes and private industry partners.
The Office of Engagement, which includes CSU Online and CSU Extension, promotes collaborative partnerships that emphasize each member’s unique strengths and interests. CSU has a tradition of building collaborations with far-reaching institutional and policy impacts, from the creation of the US Peace Corps by CSU faculty member Maury Albertson to leadership in international water and natural resource management.
Several of the Chinese Alliance members are planning a faculty and staff exchange visit to US campuses in June 2018. “These universities will be building their capacity to participate in national-level policy discussions in China,” said Swanson. “Global challenges such as food security, climate change, environmental sustainability, and social and economic development of rural areas requires that all of a nation’s talent, including university talent, is focused on these issues.”