Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- June 29, 2000


Cal Poly President's Trip Forges Bonds With Institutions in Taiwan

Cal Poly President Warren Baker strengthened the university's ties with a leading university of technology in Taiwan and met with the new president of Taiwan on a recent five-day visit to the island.

At the invitation of Chaoyang University of Technology (CYUT) and the Taiwan Ministry of Education, Baker delivered a commencement address at CYUT, discussed academic partnerships, and met in Taipei with President Chen Shui-bian.

During a June 16 meeting, the presidents discussed academic exchanges and the potential for other joint activities between Taiwan's leading academic and research institutions, Cal Poly and other California entities.

"Our meeting considerably bolstered my hope," Baker said, "that the exchanges we have begun between Cal Poly and CYUT will produce significant, tangible benefits for our students and faculty as well as CYUT's students and faculty. If we can develop these academic exchanges, and broaden this cooperation into other fields and other institutions, I believe we can make a valuable contribution to the ties that are increasingly bringing Pacific Rim universities, businesses and peoples closer together.

"I greatly appreciate the hospitality and interest shown by President Chen and every other government official I had the pleasure of meeting," Baker said. "Their interest in Cal Poly and in building partnerships is immensely encouraging."

Baker's meeting with Chen was arranged and attended by CYUT President Tang-Kuang Tseng. The meeting also included other CYUT officials as well as the administrative vice minister of education and the director general of the Bureau of International Cultural and Educational Relations of the Ministry of Education. It was covered by Taiwan's news media.

Chen praised Baker's and Cal Poly's leadership in undergraduate polytechnic education. He said he hopes Taiwan, an important player in the global computer and technology revolution, will become a "Green Silicon Island where high tech and humanity meet and prosper together."

On June 17 Baker spoke on the topic of "The Promise and Perils of Technological Change in the New Century: Reflections on the Special Leadership Role and Responsibility of the Polytechnic University and its Graduates" to the 2,000 graduates attending CYUT's fifth commencement.

The same day, Baker gave the keynote address for a CYUT symposium on trends in polytechnic education. He highlighted the important characteristics of a polytechnic university and the role of industry and the faculty in developing a curriculum responsive to the needs of a rapidly expanding technology-driven economy. The audience included presidents, deans and faculty members from several technical universities in central Taiwan.

Earlier Baker visited Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park and the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) to discuss joint ventures. He noted that the high-tech development occurring around the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park is similar to Silicon Valley and that the Industrial Technology Research Institute is a good model for Cal Poly to use in developing research activity on California's Central Coast.

Cal Poly and CYUT signed a student exchange agreement in January 1999. The first two Taiwanese students to come to San Luis Obispo under the program just completed a year of industrial engineering studies. Two more students from Taiwan will attend Cal Poly in the fall, and two from Cal Poly will study at CYUT.

The two universities jointly sponsored a January 1999 conference on Re-engineering of Polytechnic Education for the 21st Century, held at the Chaoyang campus. The dean of Cal Poly's College of Engineering delivered the keynote address at the conference, where five Cal Poly professors presented papers.

CYUT is a private polytechnic university with 20 departments in four colleges. It is located in Taichung, a three-hour drive south of Taipei.



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