For Immediate Release — Wednesday, April 5, 2006


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

SUNY Geneseo to sign historic agreement with Mexico's Universidad de las Americas

SUNY Chancellor John R. Ryan and President Christopher C. Dahl to sign agreement with Dr. Pedro Angel Palou, president of leading Mexican university

GENESEO, N.Y. — State University of New York Chancellor John R. Ryan and Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl will sign a historic agreement with the head of one of Mexico's leading private universities to establish a dual-diploma degree program in international relations. The signing will take place at 10:30 a.m. on April 13 in Milne Library on the Geneseo campus.

When Chancellor Ryan and President Dahl finalize this agreement with Dr. Pedro Angel Palou, president of Universidad de las Americas, Geneseo becomes the first SUNY school to establish a dual-diploma degree program with a university in Mexico. The university, based in Puebla, Mexico, has approximately 8,300 students and offers a number of academic programs through the doctoral level in a variety of disciplines. The dual-diploma degree program will allow Geneseo students to attend UDLA, and UDLA students to attend Geneseo.

The partnership with the Universidad de las Americas builds on what Geneseo has already established with other highly respected universities in its drive to expand the college's international offerings and ties. In January, Geneseo signed a dual-diploma degree program in economics with Hacettepe University in Turkey. The college is also developing a similar program in cross-cultural communication with Moscow State University in Russia.

In addition to the dual-diploma degree programs, Geneseo is partnering with universities in Spain, Korea, China and Jamaica, said Stephen Burwood, assistant provost for international affairs. And Geneseo is linking with the leading social science think tank in Latin America, the Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE). Geneseo faculty and students will participate in an international symposium and faculty will be involved in short-run faculty exchanges, said Burwood. Geneseo is the only undergraduate liberal arts college linked with the CIDE, he said.

"We are standing on the threshold of Geneseo making a significant and profound change in the way we approach the world, and encouraging students to embrace the world," said Burwood. "Not only are we bringing more diverse programs to Geneseo, but we are bringing the world to Geneseo."

The UDLA-Geneseo program is expected to start in the fall of 2007 with students from UDLA attending Geneseo. In the fall of 2008, the first group of Geneseo students will attend UDLA. Students would spend their first and third years of study at their home campus and their second and fourth year abroad. After four years, the participating students would receive diplomas and degrees from both colleges. The program also calls for the schools to exchange political science and international relations faculty. And the colleges also have agreed to one-year certificate programs in Mexican and American studies. The certificate program would allow Geneseo and UDLA students to pursue a variety of studies about the other country's culture including literature, history, politics, law and theater.

UDLA Rector, or President, Dr. Pedro Angel Palou, and Ambassador Jorge Alberto Lozoya, UDLA Vice Rector for Institutional Advancement, will represent the Mexican institution at the signing. Ambassador Robert Gosende, Associate Vice Chancellor for International Programs; Sally Crimmins-Villela, Director of Latin American Programs; and Claudia Hernandez, Program Officer for Latin America, all from the State University of New York system administration, will join the contingent.

Palou and Lozoya are accomplished members of the literary world and government, respectively. Palou is one of Mexico's leading novelists, and Lozoya served as a U.N. ambassador for Mexico and as general secretary of the Ibero-American Corporation. Their April 13 visit will provide them an opportunity to tour the Geneseo campus and meet with the college's faculty and members of the administration.

In April 2005, President Dahl and Assistant Provost Stephen Burwood traveled to Mexico. This followed a preliminary and highly successful visit to Geneseo in February 2005 by UDLA's chair of international relations, Jose Luis Garcia.