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Release: Immediate

UI to establish exchange agreement with Ukrainian university

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa is establishing ties with a Ukrainian university for the first time as part of its effort to promote international scholarly exchanges and to expand opportunities for students to study abroad. During the week of April 6-10 Victor Skopenko, the president of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, will meet with UI President Mary Sue Coleman as well as other UI administrators and faculty to formalize the exchange agreement and to discuss plans for collaborative projects.

Skopenko was invited to the UI by history professor Steve Hoch on behalf of the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREEES). Hoch, the director of the center, traveled to Ukraine in March and met with faculty and administrators there during a week-long visit.

"Collaboration between the University of Iowa and Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv not only allows us the opportunity to enhance the educational opportunities of our students, but also makes it possible for the University of Iowa to be an active participant in the establishment of a more open intellectual environment in this part of the world," Hoch said. "Potential areas of cooperation--journalism, law, political science, economics, and business--were highly politicized disciplines in the former Soviet Union, and they suffered heavily during the 75 years of Soviet power."

Skopenko, who will be accompanied by Petro Bekh, director of the University of Kyiv's Office for International Relations, will discuss educational and research cooperation with faculty members from a variety of UI colleges and departments including the College of Business Administration, the College of Education, the College of Law, the School of Journalism, and departments of chemistry, political science, and Russian. Top UI administrators who will meet with the Ukrainian delegation include Provost Jon Whitmore, Vice President for Research David Skorton, UI Foundation Vice President Michael New, Dean Gary Fethke, Dean William Hines, Dean Linda Maxson, Dean Michael McNulty, and Dean Leslie Sims.

McNulty, UI associate provost and dean of International Programs, noted that this new agreement adds to a wide array of collaborative relationships the UI already has established with institutions in the countries of the former Soviet Union and the countries of eastern and central Europe.

"This development reflects UI efforts to focus and intensify linkages and develop global partnerships with institutions in areas of strategic significance to our research and teaching programs," McNulty said. "By continuing to seek out opportunities to cooperate with our international colleagues, we are moving steadily toward our goals of providing our students with a global education and giving our faculty the opportunity to collaborate with top researchers all over the world."

For more information about the visit or about the new exchange agreement, contact David Whipple at CREEES, (319) 335-1439.

CREEES is part of International Programs, which consist of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.