Penn President Amy Gutmann visited China this week, joined by deans and faculty members from across the University, to initiate and reaffirm Penn’s academic partnerships and agreements with universities in Beijing.
On March 9, President Gutmann and Tsinghua University Council Chairman Hu Heping reaffirmed a shared commitment to sustainability, highlighting the work of the Penn-Tsinghua T.C. Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy Studies. The T.C. Chan Center, founded in 2006, is one of the only centers of its kind in the world, devoted solely to sustainable building design and green technologies.
T.C. Chan Co-Director Ali Malkawi convened an academic panel, “Towards a Sustainable Future: Cross-Cultural Research and Technological Innovation,” joined by John Bassani of SEAS, Eric Orts of Wharton and Tsinghua colleagues. Dean of Penn Law School Michael A. Fitts gave the keynote address.
On March 10, Peking University hosted Penn Day on campus. President Gutmann delivered a keynote speech titled “From Co-Existence to Collaboration: Integrating Liberal Arts and Professional Education” to an audience of about 400 Peking students and faculty. In the speech President Gutmann said: “Great Chinese and American universities are building a bridge of knowledge spanning the globe. There is every reason to think that those universities that join together to embrace this historically unprecedented kind of integration across liberal arts and professional education will be the most powerful forces for progress in our societies and the world.”
Peking University President Zhou Qifeng and President Gutmann signed a memorandum of understanding to expand the partnership between the two universities. Penn and Peking also reaffirmed the existing partnership between the Wharton and Guanghua business schools, and signed a memorandum of understanding to build on collaborative work between Penn’s School of Dental Medicine and Peking’s School of Stomatology. Penn Dental Dean Denis Kinane, Penn Dental professor Syngcuk Kim and Penn Trustee William Cheung led a symposium on oral health.
Also during the visit, faculty members from Penn and Peking convened academic panels on U.S.-China relations, public health, entrepreneurship and emerging market multinationals. Additionally, U.S. Ambassador to China Jon M. Huntsman (C’87) welcomed more than 400 Penn alumni, friends and parents to a reception at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
Originally published on March 10, 2010