Eastern Michigan University president and key personnel travel to China to expand University’s global presence, programs and opportunities for students and faculty

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University President James Smith and several key personnel are traveling to China this month to strengthen the University’s global presence, increase the enrollment of international students, expand study abroad and teaching English as a second language opportunities for students, and enhance faculty collaboration and research with international colleagues.

EMU President James Smith

President Smith built strong ties with China during his previous presidential tenure, at Northern State University in South Dakota, including the establishment of the Confucius Institute and enhancing cultural exchanges and partnerships.

EMU College of Technology Dean Mohamad Qatu; Kevin Kucera, vice president for enrollment management; Dr. Connie Ruhl-Smith, director of development for international relations; and, Professor James Berry, Leadership and Counseling, will accompany Smith on the trip, which runs through May 5.

They will visit Eastern’s partner schools in China, including Tianjin University of Commerce (TJUC), where the University has a long-standing master’s degree in human relations and organizational development. Eastern faculty travel to Tianjin and teach on their campus. The team also will speak to several university leaders in China about EMU’s new mechanical engineering program, set to launch this fall.

Additionally, President Smith will meet with high school officials in China about Eastern’s Early College Alliance program, in order to further raise interest in the program among high school students, who could then transition to enrollment at Eastern. The Early College Alliance Program allows students to graduate high school as they earn college credits.

The group also will work to expand opportunities for Eastern students to teach English as a Second Language in China. 

“These are important efforts in further establishing Eastern’s global presence,” Smith said in discussing the trip with the EMU Board of Regents at its regular meeting Friday, April 21. “This is particularly true, given our close proximity to Detroit Metropolitan Airport. We expect this trip to be very productive in furthering the University’s long-term interests.”

More information about Eastern’s international programs and support of international students can be found on these websites:

Office for International Students and Scholars

International Admissions

Study Abroad

English as a Second Language

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.



April 22, 2017

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom