Ideas for collaborative teaching and expanded relations came expeditiously during a recent meeting between faculty and administrators of the University of La Verne and Taiwan’s National Chung Cheng University.
Professor of Organizational Leadership Emeritus Dr. Larry Machi, who recently completed a Fulbright Specialist project at National Chung Cheng University, collaborated with co-teacher and Taiwanese colleague, Professor Kent Cheng about the possibility of creating an exchange program between the two universities.
Cheng, who worked alongside Machi in Taiwan, made the trek out to La Verne to meet with President Dr. Devorah Lieberman and Interim Dean of the College of Education & Organizational Leadership Dr. Barbara Poling to learn about one anothers’ institutions.
President Lieberman shared her enthusiasm and vision about setting up a mutually beneficial curriculum.
“We can learn so much from each other,” Lieberman said. “We can maximize educational opportunities for our students through video conferencing technology and minimal travel.”
Among some of the ideas shared was the thought of establishing a special leadership program, which President Lieberman could teach a course in during her annual visit to Asia in June.
“Let’s make this happen,” Lieberman said.
National Chung Cheng University, a highly respected national university with more than 12,000 students, is comparable to the University of California system. Known for its beauty as well as its high academic standards, it is a competitive university that Machi came to know during his stay in April and May.
Machi is one of more than 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who travelled abroad this year through the Fulbright Specialist Program. The program, which was created in 2000 to complement the traditional Fulbright Scholar Program, provides short-term academic opportunities, (two to six weeks) to prominent U.S. faculty and professionals to support curricular and faculty development and institutional planning at post secondary, academic institutions around the world.
Machi worked with the faculty of the Graduate Institute of Education during his time at Chung Cheng. He taught and developed curriculum in the areas of educational research, leadership, and organizational change. It is through this program that he met Cheng.
“I have to thank Kent; shortly after I arrived, he took me to lunch. He was a wonderful host, and the friendship was instant,” Machi shared. “I was a visiting professor, but they made me part of the team right away, and I was able to do a lot there very quickly, because the collaboration with students and faculty was amazing.”
“Dr. Lieberman has a real sense of where to go. She had already read everything about our program, and came in ready to make it work,” Cheng said. “I’ve never seen a university president say that they would volunteer to teach the first class next June. That’s leadership!”