College president attends Mexican summit

National delegation wants to expand partnerships

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – March 27, 2017) California Lutheran University President Chris Kimball this week will attend the first Higher Education Summit of the United States and Mexico designed to explore new partnership opportunities for independent universities in the two countries.

Twenty-four presidents and five senior administrators from private U.S. universities and the president of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) will meet with their Mexican counterparts March 29 through 31 in Guadalajara at the summit organized by CIC and the Mexican Federation of Private Higher Education Institutions.

At a time when the U.S. presidential administration is focused on “America First,” the summit will emphasize the importance of international exchange. Participants hope to enhance exchange programs for students and faculty members, increase access to internships, and allow faculty and students to collaborate on research projects and development programs. They will discuss visa issues, undocumented students, articulation agreements and global leadership.

Participants will visit three higher education institutions: Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Universidad Panamericana, and Universidad del Valle de Atemajac. They will also meet with the U.S. consul general in Guadalajara and other local, state and national officials.

“My hope is that Cal Lutheran can develop partnerships that would result in more study abroad opportunities, articulation agreements, and student and faculty exchanges,” Kimball said.

Cal Lutheran currently offers one Mexican study abroad program, which takes place in Guanajuato every fall. Articulation agreements like the one in place for the Guanajuato program make the process much easier for students and staff. Cal Lutheran isn’t currently involved in faculty or student exchanges. About 75 Mexican citizens currently attend the university. As a Hispanic-serving institution designated by the U.S. Department of Education, Cal Lutheran is interested in expanding its connections to Latin American nations.

For the last three years, leaders from U.S. and Mexican private universities have met briefly during the CIC Presidents Institute, the largest annual gathering of college presidents in the U.S. Kimball co-chaired the first gathering in 2015 when he was the chair of the CIC Board of Directors.

Santander Universidades and Universia is generously supporting the summit.

Cal Lutheran is a selective university based in Thousand Oaks, California, with additional locations in Woodland Hills, Westlake Village, Oxnard and Berkeley.