Penn Visits China, 2010

March 8-12, 2010

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann visited China March 8-12, 2010, joined by Penn deans and faculty members from across the university to initiate and reaffirm Penn’s academic partnerships and agreements with universities in Beijing. Penn also hosted events for alumni, friends and parents in Beijing and Shanghai, including an event at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, hosted by U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr. (C '87).

On March 9, President Gutmann and Tsinghua University EVP Chen Jining reaffirmed a shared commitment to sustainability, and signed an agreement 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 and Eric Orts of Wharton and Tsinghua colleagues. Dean of the Law School Michael Fitts gave the day’s keynote address: “Action on the Environment: The Role of Law in the U.S. Experience.” In addition to the morning events, Law professor Jacques deLisle joined Penn and Tsinghua colleagues in a panel on law, business and sustainability in the afternoon which was moderated by Dean Fitts.

On March 10, Peking University hosted the University of Pennsylvania for "Penn Day" on campus, where President Gutmann and Peking President Zhou Qifeng signed a memorandum of understanding to expand the partnership between the two universities. Penn and Peking also reaffirmed existing partnerships between their Wharton and Guanghua business schools, joined by Wharton Dean Thomas Robertson and faculty members Raphael Amit, Eric Bradlow, Peter Fader, Mauro Guillen, Marshall Meyer, Harbir Singh, and Susan Wachter. Dental Dean Denis Kinane signed a memorandum of understanding to build on the work of Penn’s School of Dental Medicine and Peking’s School of Stomatology, and was joined by Penn Trustee Bill Cheung and Syngcuk Kim of the Dental School, who led a symposium on oral health.

President Gutmann also 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 her 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.”

Faculty members from Penn and Peking also convened academic panels on global entrepreneurship and globalization of Chinese and American enterprises with Wharton faculty members, and Political Science Professor Avery Goldstein participated with Jacques deLisle and leading Peking experts in a panel on U.S.-China relations.

In addition, Ambassador Huntsman welcomed more than 250 Penn alumni, friends and parents for a reception at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Huntsman delivered Penn’s 2010 Commencement address in May.

In Shanghai, Penn welcomed alumni to “Engaging Minds” with Eric Orts and Jacques DeLisle, and hosted a lunch for Penn parents.

View more photos from this event on Flickr