Wisconsin Worldview — December 2, 2010
“Why China?” by Masarah Van Eyck
UW-Madison’s chancellor has launched an intensive series of activities in and around China. Why there, and why now?
Last spring, when Chancellor Biddy Martin announced her plans to visit China, it wasn’t particularly surprising. After all, other UW-Madison chancellors have visited with university partners and alumni in that country.
What seemed different about Martin’s trip, however, which took her delegation to the mainland cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Hangzhou and Shanghai, was her insistence that this was the beginning of something bigger — and bolder. Something that she expects the entire university community, in some form, to embrace.
“The economic, social and cultural changes in China … make it imperative that all of us learn more about China, spend time there and engage with the Chinese people,” Martin wrote last April after returning from the 13-day visit. “It’s an exciting place to be and an important place to understand.”