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ASU signs Memorandum of Understanding with Inner Mongolia University

October 17, 2007
Arizona State University recently entered into an agreement with Inner Mongolia University (IMU) located in Hohhot, the capital city of Inner Mongolia, China. The principal aim of this new joint initiative is to promote scholarly exchanges and research collaboration, particularly with respect to sustainability science and practice.

ASU’s Anthony (Bud) Rock, Vice President for Global Engagement and Lian Ji, IMU president and Vice Chairman of the People’s Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region signed the Memorandum of Understanding on September 7, 2007. ASU’s Jianguo Wu, Professor of Ecology and lead ASU researcher in Mongolia also attended the signing.

“We introduced the concept of the New American University to IMU in order to share our experiences in university design that is oriented to meeting the needs of students and of communities in the 21st century – a model we believe to be of value as well in China today,” Rock says. “We also worked to strengthen our collaboration with IMU in key program areas such as sustainability, to address the challenges of rapidly growing communities worldwide.”

Representatives of the two institutions will explore ways to expand cooperation on topics that may include:

- Grassland ecology and animal husbandry
- Bioenergy research and development
- Utilization and conservation of natural resources
- Spatial distribution and optimization of energy resources in Inner Mongolia
- Socioeconomic development and policy-making in Inner Mongolia

The two institutions will consider the potential of establishing a Sino-US Center for Conservation, Energy and Sustainability Science in Inner Mongolia. IMU also intends to select four qualified scholars from its university to send to ASU for six months for advanced studies in the fields of resource economics, energy strategy and ecology.

“This agreement signifies the beginning of a new era for scientific collaborations between the two institutions, elevating them from individually based connections to university-level interactions,” Wu says. “A joint research center for sustainability will take advantage of ASU’s leadership in sustainability science and the enormous research opportunities in Inner Mongolia.”

In order to exchange information and improve mutual understanding of the new university concept, IMU will set up a special portal for ASU on the IMU website ( introducing ASU’s university design principles and pragmatic steps taken to make this design concept a reality.

Inner Mongolia University was founded in 1957, and was the first comprehensive university established in a minority nationality region in China. It now boasts four campuses and 15 colleges, under which there are 34 departments and one independent department for general education.

The Office of the Vice President for Global Engagement leads ASU in advancing globally by establishing and maintaining strong relationships, supporting globally-focused programs of study, research and student mobility, and creating international strategic partnerships with key institutions around the world. For more information, visit