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Russian Academy Faculty sign agreement with WIU (see photo caption/ID below)
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Western Agriculture Enters Into Exchange with Russian Ag Academy

November 8, 2004

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University’s agriculture department is expanding global opportunities for their faculty and students, and their counterparts in Ryazan, Russia, through a recently signed exchange agreement.

WIU agriculture professor John Carlson has worked with Ryazan and other Russian agencies throughout the years and decided that an exchange program between Western and the Ryazan institute could benefit both countries. Carlson became involved with volunteer opportunities in Russia in 1994 and has traveled to the former Soviet Union at least one to three times a year since. He works with Russian farmers and agricultural institutions in the areas of swine and sheep production, livestock and products marketing and curriculum development.

Carlson, in cooperation with College of Business and Technology (CBT) Associate Dean Larry Wall, Carol Fimmen of the CBTÂ’s Office of Global Education, and Dale Schofield, director of WesternÂ’s Center for Management and Professional Development, received a $300,000 Global Business and Learning Partnership Grant through the U.S. Department of State to establish this partnership program with Ryazan. Carlson said WesternÂ’s newly established Center for International Studies has also been instrumental in the creation of this new exchange program.

A signing ceremony to celebrate the exchange agreement was held between Ryazan and Western officials on the WIU-Macomb campus Thursday, Nov. 4. Carlson hopes the exchange program will help Ryazan faculty improve their effectiveness in the agribusiness field, which has been left behind in the Russian educational reform. Western professors will travel to Russia to present seminars and workshops, and will be available as consultants.

“We also plan to incorporate online business education training into the program using the World Wide Web,” Carlson explained. “But the unique aspect of this online education will be our students here at Western will be participating in this training and online interaction with their Russian counterparts. This gives everyone involved a truly global perspective.”

While four faculty members of the Ryazan academy are currently at WIU, four more faculty members and two graduate students from Ryazan will also be selected to come to Western for one semester in the future. A portion of the groupÂ’s time at WIU will include an internship in WesternÂ’s Center for Management and Professional Development and local agri-businesses, and the visiting faculty will co-teach with Western faculty, Carlson added. Along those same lines, selected faculty from Western will travel to Ryazan for one month. Two Western Illinois business graduate students are set to spend the Spring 2005 semester at Ryazan.

“In addition to the classroom experiences, one of the most exciting aspects of this partnership is the establishment of a Global Business Learning Center at Ryazan, based on Western’s Center for Management and Professional Development,” Carlson explained. “This learning center will improve interaction between faculty, students and agri-business representatives; involve students in entrepreneurial activities; and deliver business-related training.

“This partnership is a marvelous experience for our faculty and students,” he added. “This is just one of the numerous international projects being established as part of Western’s growing global initiatives.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Ryazan Academy Faculty (l-r) Liudmila Cherkashina, Nataliya Pashkang, Olga Krylova and Lilit Dokhikian watch as President Al Goldfarb signs an exchange agreement between Western and Ryazan. Watching are, l-r, John Carlson, Dale Schofield, Larry Wall, Tom Tomlinson, CBT Dean Fred Ebeid, and Provost Joe Rallo.

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