Ginnette Bellegarde Siby, Mali’s minister of higher education, will visit Utah State University Oct. 12 and 13 to tour USU’s teaching and research facilities, including the Utah Water Research Laboratory, the College of Engineering, the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services and the College of Agriculture. “This visit will solidify the relationship between USU and the government of Mali,” said DeeVon Bailey, associate vice president for international research. Siby will sign an Agreement of Cooperation to develop academic exchanges and cooperation in teaching, research and service between the government of Mali and USU and other universities and colleges within the state of Utah, including Salt Lake Community College, Weber State University and Utah Valley University. The signing ceremony will be held at the state capitol in Salt Lake City on the morning of Oct. 14. Gov. Gary Herbert and USU President Stan Albrecht are scheduled to attend, along with other top administrators for other state universities and colleges. “Utah will be in a unique position as the first state where such an extensive partnership between a broad set of higher education institutions and the government of Mali exists,” said Bailey. “As a result education in Mali will benefit greatly from this new relationship. At the University of Mali, the ratio of students to faculty members is 80,000 to 800, a number three times the number of students at USU, with the same number of faculty.” The partnership will focus on several different facets, which may include education and research projects, as well as an increase in cultural programs. “Utah State University is very proud of its exchange, technology and research programs,” said Bailey. “Through the Study Abroad program, Huntsman Scholars and researchers currently participating in West Africa, USU already has shown its support to this partnership,” which, according to Bailey, will lead to funding opportunities from a variety of sources. “Outreach is a key component of Utah State University’s mission,” said Brent Miller, vice president for research. “By partnering with other colleges and universities in the state and the government of Mali, we are also supporting the university’s global initiative.” The Mali partnership and other international relationships are facilitated at USU by the Office of Global Engagement, established in 2009 to aid faculty in creating international education, research and outreach connections. The office represents a collaboration between USU’s vice president for research and provost, with DeeVon Bailey serving as associate vice president for international research and Mary Hubbard serving as vice provost for international education. With a century-long legacy of international engagement, USU continues its land-grant tradition of sharing information and knowledge worldwide. For more information, visit the Web site (http://internationalresearch.usu.edu/).
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