Addendum #2


President’s Report

Board of Trustees Meeting

December 15, 2006



      China offers NMU opportunities hard to ignore.  Relationships in China are influenced by who you know and how these connections lead to decision makers.  We have been able to utilize contacts established by faculty and USOEC staff to explore educational partnerships that may lead to exchanges of students, faculty, coursework and intellectual endeavors. 


     NMU has also favored international relationships facilitated by corporate entities. 
Well-regarded companies motivate educational partners on both sides since the prospect of investment, the development of intellectual property via joint research efforts and access to governmental agencies is certainly enhanced.  A major component of our China trip was to bring our laptop supplier, Lenovo, into closer proximity to University interests above and beyond a supplier-buyer bond.  This model of corporate facilitation also allows a mid-size university like NMU to approach scale with larger international universities.  We don’t have name brand cachet like Berkeley, MIT or UCLA to stand on our own.  But we must be doing something important if Lenovo is supporting our contact with major Chinese universities.  Corporate facilitation is proving an effective model in our exploratory talks with Sweden, Mexico and other European arenas.


     NMU’s China experience has set in motion what I believe will be some excellent opportunities.  As you will see from the bullets below, the activity is already moving forward quickly and deliberately.  The Board should know we have asked Dykema’s international law group to review partnership proposals with Chinese universities and schools. We hope to email these proposals to our prospective partners early next year. 


University Relationships






     We are examining our infrastructure to ascertain our needs to service Chinese students in Marquette.  Our activity in Zhuhai, assisted by our presence on Zhuhai TV, has resulted in a large number of queries to our website regarding admissions.  We have no organized plan, yet, to handle queries and applications from China.  The opening up of the visa process for Chinese students to study in America is vastly improved.  Our location is considered safe for the Chinese and our tuition structure, while expensive to them, is not insurmountable.  They represent an interesting enrollment opportunity and challenge for NMU.   The Chinese are clearly at capacity in their higher education system and are building at a ferocious pace.  Building a world-class university system based on the American model is an unmistakable motive.  We are positioned to choose from a number of attractive options. 




     This corporate visit will result in great returns and alone was worth the trip.  Lenovo’s worldwide presence and growing market share in the PC business makes them a formidable competitor in that industry.  Partnering with NMU and other international campuses offers them a branding vision going far beyond that of “Chinese computer maker.”  As their largest laptop client in North America, we are uniquely placed to examine a number of ideas quite beneficial to NMU.







     Seeing first hand a red hot economy and the optimism so pervasive throughout the culture was incredible.  China’s investments in higher education are enormous.  For them, English = money was a refrain heard everywhere we went.  They have problems, no doubt.  But they also are putting their money where their mouth is:  in education.  Such a value is traditionally Chinese and serves their world view well.  Their K-12 system is already strong especially in the sciences and mathematics.  English is required from middle school throughout college.  There is not enough English instruction to satisfy the demand arising from all corners of their country and their economy.