Yale President Richard Levin, whose tenure has been marked by an emphasis on making Yale a global university, will travel to China with other faculty members the second week in November.
Levin will be honored by three major Chinese universities he visited in 2001 — Fudan in Shanghai, as well as Peking and Tsinghua Universities in Beijing — University Secretary Linda Lorimer said. Levin will receive an honorary degree at Peking University, and he will deliver the keynote speech at a Shanghai conference commemorating the anniversary of the announcement of China’s “Open Door” policy. Lorimer said Levin will have a number of briefing sessions with senior Chinese officials and leading scholars during his trip.
“Understanding China and developing relationships with its people and institutions are of great importance to us,” Levin said during a speech in Peking two years ago. “I say this not only because of the size of your population, your significant role in world politics, and the immense potential of your rapidly growing economy. For a university such as Yale, which aspires to be among the greatest in the world, China is also important for the achievements of its ancient and continuous civilization, which is an unending source of learning and enlightenment for scholars who seek comprehensive understanding of the human condition.”
Traveling with Levin will be Chinese historian and Yale professor Jonathan Spence, who will lecture at Peking University. Law School professor Paul Gewirtz, who is director of the China Law Center, will also be part of the delegation, as will several other professors.
Stressing the importance of Yale’s global presence, Levin has chosen to home in on China by seeking expert counsel on the country. John Thornton, former Goldman Sachs president and co-chief operating officer, stepped down from his post in July to serve as Levin’s special adviser on China. Thornton became a professor at Tsinghua University, where he now serves as director for the school’s Global Leadership Program, and he will host Levin when he travels to China.
There are currently more than 50 ongoing academic collaborations between Yale faculty and scholars or agencies in China, Lorimer said.
In 2001, Yale’s Office of Public Affairs added an official position for an international press agent to promote Yale around the world. The University also created a “Yale in the World” Web site last year, which provides information about Yale and facilitates the creation of international partnerships and projects.
Levin has taken several international trips to speak to potential students and professors and to create international partnerships.
In August, Levin went to South Korea, where he presented the opening remarks at the Third Asian Corporate Governance Conference, which was organized in conjunction with Yale’s International Institute of Corporate Governance.
And in May 2002, Levin visited Mexico to speak with leaders of educational institutions and announce a joint scholarship program for Mexican doctoral students. Former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo GRD ’81, director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, accompanied Levin on his trips.