Mutual benefits

Only a few months after breaking ground on its Lafayette plant, the Nanshan Group further expanded its commitment to the community with an agreement to provide Purdue with $2 million a year for each of the next five years.

The funds will support a variety of programming and activities through Purdue's Office of International Programs and its China Center; research, training and consulting opportunities for faculty in the School of Materials Engineering, the Krannert School of Management, and the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management; and scholarships for students who have graduated from Chinese high schools or are enrolled in Chinese institutions of higher learning.

The faculty research, consulting and training opportunities will be available through Nanshan Group and its Yantai Nanshan University. Established in 1991, the university offers vocational and undergraduate degrees to nearly 20,000 students. Its academic focus includes engineering, management and tourism and features mechanical engineering and electronic engineering training centers and training hotels.

Nanshan

A local delegation visited Nanshan's facilities in Shanghai, China, during a visit in 2011. From left are Joe Seaman of Greater Lafayette Progress and Purdue's Vic Lechtenberg, Kevin Trumble and Chuck Johnson. (Photo provided)

"The consulting opportunities will be a real benefit for Purdue faculty and also could help them as they adapt their research for commercialization," says Michael Brzezinski, dean of international programs.

Purdue also will have access to international research data, material for business issues case studies and educational development that will serve as a living laboratory for scholars, says Chuck Johnson, director of Krannert’s Weekend MBA and Master of Science in Finance programs.

Johnson, Brzezinski, Lechtenberg and Liping Cai, associate dean of international programs and diversity in the College of Health and Human Sciences, were part of a team of Purdue and Lafayette officials who traveled to Shanghai last summer to forge the agreement.

"This is a company with great vision, and Krannert looks forward to engaging our management and manufacturing expertise," Johnson says. "Faculty will address issues facing a global corporation as Nanshan expands its outreach, and students will benefit by learning about its strategy and business challenges. There also will be potential student teams and projects with faculty members who are consulting."

Purdue faculty from management, materials engineering and HTM also will be leading training programs for Nanshan employees and officials, as well as curriculum development for materials engineering and a new international business school at Yantai Nanshan University.

In addition, some of the funds from Nanshan will be designated for scholarships for students from China to study materials engineering or management at Purdue.

"International students do not receive institutional financial aid like American students do, and it's not often that these students have an opportunity for such financial support," Brzezinski says. "This reinforces Purdue's goal to keep our campus diverse so we can offer a global experience for our domestic students."

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