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Delegation from Queretaro, Mexico, to visit ASU and Jonesboro this week


JONESBORO – The governor of the State of Querétaro, Mexico, and a group of government officials and businessmen will tour Arkansas State University and Jonesboro this weekend, announced Dr. Tim Hudson, chancellor.

Governor Jose Eduardo Calzada Rovirosa will be leading a delegation that includes Querétaro’s secretary of education, General Director of Science and Technology, along with the General Director and the president of the private conglomerate, GRUPO PROYECTOS, whose representatives also visited Jonesboro last May as a part of the exploratory process.

During a weekend of activities, the Mexican delegation will be in discussions with Chancellor Hudson and university officials regarding an initiative that could perhaps result in Arkansas State University establishing a sister campus in Mexico.

Querétaro is a modern city of approximately two million people and capital of the State of Querétaro, Mexico. Located in the highlands two hours north of Mexico City, Querétaro is considered by the U.S. Embassy to be one of Mexico’s most progressive regions. Multi-national corporations such as Bombardier Aerospace, Samsung Electronics, Colgate-Palmolive, General Electric, New Holland, Proctor & Gamble, and Nestle’ have located in Querétaro and moved top level executives there.

Largely because of this international business presence, successful private sector representatives want to expand educational opportunities for all citizens of Mexico in the form of an “American-style” university.  They have found strong support from Governor Calzada, who has identified enhancing educational access as a cornerstone of his administration.

“ASU has an unprecedented opportunity for global leadership and unmatched access to the rapidly growing, increasingly affluent, and academically prepared Mexican higher education market,” explained Dr. Hudson.  “We now have reached a major juncture in the due diligence of this project that, if fully realized as a sister campus operation in Querétaro, could ultimately transform the trajectory of higher education in Mexico and position Arkansas State as a leader in innovative global education delivery.”

According to Chancellor Hudson, if established, the sister campus in Mexico would align with the university’s globalization mission, provide ASU students, faculty and staff with collaborative research and exchange opportunities, and elevate Arkansas State’s standing in the important perceptual evaluations among peers.  Recruitment of U.S. students who are seeking international engagement as part of their academic career could also be enhanced.

Any campus in Mexico would be completely self-supporting financially and generate revenue for ASU-Jonesboro.  ASU would own no assets; rather, it would install an academic program in facilities owned by a Mexican foundation, with all initial expenses underwritten by local investors.  This partnership would provide ASU access to a burgeoning market of qualified students.

“A campus in Queretaro will give A-State a major opportunity to improve the university’s outreach,” commented Dr. Lynita Cooksey, interim vice chancellor and provost.  “Access to new internships and exchange activities for Jonesboro students and faculty will be invaluable, and would not be possible without this partnership.”

While in Jonesboro, Governor Calzada will be presented a “key to the city” from a representative of Mayor Harold Perrin’s office during a welcoming meeting with city officials and Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce representatives.

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is scheduled to attend a reception and dinner with the visitors Friday evening.

The distinguished guests will get a full tour of the ASU-Jonesboro campus Saturday morning, and then participate in the annual Legislative Day luncheon and reception at the Chancellor’s Residence.  That evening they will get a taste of American culture as they “tailgate” and attend the football game against Western Kentucky University at Liberty Bank Stadium as special guests of the university.

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