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University Administrators from Xi'an Study UCLA's Management System

University Administrators from Xi'an Study UCLA's Management System

Delegation from Northwestern Polytechnical University Meets with UCLA Assistant Chancellor.

Harout Semerdjian Email HaroutSemerdjian

Four visitors from the Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, Peoples Republic of China, visited UCLA on August 7, in order to gain a better understanding of the United States' higher education system and to learn more about managing a major research university.

Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) is situated at the ancient municipality Xi'an, and occupies an area of more than 75 hectares. NPU was founded with the joining of the Northwestern Engineering Institute and Xi'an Aeronautical Institute in 1957 and was later merged with the Aeronautical Department of the Harbin Engineering Institute in1970. The university has nearly 10,000 students, including more than 1,400 doctoral and master candidates, and about 1,600 faculty. NPU has 7 colleges and a total 15 departments with 42 undergraduate specialties, 54 master's disciplines, 19 doctoral disciplines, 5 postdoctoral training programs, and 8 national laboratories. The university contains 28 research institutes, 18 research centers, and 35 research sections. Since 1978, NPU's scientific research achievements have won more than 1,000 awards.

In the span of nearly 40 years since its founding, NPU has graduated 45,000 undergraduates and postgraduates including the first doctors in six disciplines such as aeronautical manufacture engineering. NPU puts much effort into promoting international collegiate activities, as is evidenced in 80 foreign universities and research institutions having signed agreements with NPU in a wide scope of international academic exchange and cooperation in science and technology.

The Chinese visitors met with Antoinette G. Mongelli, Assistant Chancellor, UCLA Office of the Chancellor, who gave an overview of UCLA and the UC system. She provided details on application and enrollment statistics, the cost of running the university and its funding streams. Among other details, she told the delegation that UCLA is one of the most popular universities in the country and does well with federal grants because of the caliber of the faculty here. UCLA is about a $3 billion a year operation, half of which goes to running the medical sciences.

The Chinese visitors were interested in learning more about who makes decisions regarding department budgets and policies across the variety of fields of study and the libraries, and were told that it is the chancellor along with key faculty who ultimately make the final decisions.

Mongelli also shared with the delegation that the university is entering difficult times, and how the university is trying to best utilize its existing resources. Libraries, especially, are important assets to maintain, she said, but lack resources.

The visitors also wanted to know why the UC system is opening a 10th campus, considering its present financial difficulties. They were told that it is due to the significant population growth in the state and the subsequent need to accommodate more students.

After this meeting, Professor Chih-Ming Ho of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, who is also Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, hosted the visitors for lunch at the faculty center. Dr. Dave Wong, director of the Dental Research Institute, School of Dentistry, also jointed the group along with three professors from UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.

This visit was hosted by the UCLA International Visitors Bureau.

The visitors from NPU were Professor Ye Jinfu, chairman of the Board of Trustees; Professor Tang Hong, director, Office of International Cooperation; Associate Professor Yi Zhigao, deputy director, Office of Development and Planning; and Mr. Wei Tie, lecturer, who is secretary to Ye Jinfu.

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