guests at reception
At a reception are (from left) Bob McKinley, associate vice
president for economic development, UTSA Institute for Economic
Development; Jose Morales Gonzalez, UAG general director of
corporate relations; Miguel Cervantes Diaz, director, UAG industrial
research park project; Antonio Leano Reyes, UAG president; Harriett
Romo, UTSA associate professor of sociology and director, UTSA
Mexico Center; and UTSA President Ricardo Romo.
(Photo by Mark McClendon)

UTSA visit by Mexican educators fosters collaboration

By Alison Beshur
Public Affairs Specialist

(June 5, 2006)--UTSA recently hosted a delegation of professors and administrators from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (UAG), one of Mexico's most distinguished universities.

The group of seven visitors toured UTSA's campuses and met with deans and administrators from the UTSA Institute of Economic Development and Small Business Development Center, UTSA's architecture, business, engineering and sciences colleges, and the UTSA Institute for the Protection of American Communities.

Visiting delegates included Antonio Leano Reyes, UAG president; Jose Morales Gonzalez, general director of corporate relations; Manuel Muro Martinez, dean of the business school; Ricardo Leon Borquez, dean of the health sciences school; Rafael Vazquez Torres, director of the corporate development fund; Terence Karran, director of online services and distance education; and Miguel Cervantes Diaz, director of the industrial research park project.

UTSA President Ricardo Romo said the visit would lead to additional collaboration between universities, including student and faculty exchanges, cross-border learning and cooperation on research projects

"As UTSA continues to grow, its collaboration and positive influence will continue to extend beyond the borders of the United States," Romo said. "Relationships established in one area of expertise will foster additional opportunities in a variety of disciplines for UTSA students, faculty and the community."

Bob McKinley, associate vice president of the UTSA Institute for Economic Development, said the university's relationship with UAG began to strengthen more than five years ago, when the two institutions partnered to develop a network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) throughout Mexico.

Under a recently completed three-year U.S. Agency for International Development contract, the two universities opened 42 SBDCs. "Presidents (George W.) Bush and (Vicente) Fox recognized the need to replicate such a new economic development infrastructure in Mexico, to create domestic jobs for Mexicans, help stem migration pressures and to grow international trade activity among our respective small business sectors to the benefit of both countries," said McKinley, who noted a long-term goal of opening 100 SBDCs in Mexico.

"Building upon this success, President Romo and an executive team visited the UAG campus in Guadalajara last year to open exploratory discussions to broaden areas of collaboration," McKinley added. "Potential joint activities of student and faculty exchanges, collaborative research, conferences, events and projects will be discussed during the UAG's reciprocal visit to UTSA."

Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara was founded in 1935 as a private institution to avoid a focus on socialist views, which was popular at public universities during that time. The highly respected, research institution has a long history of promoting individual thought, technological innovation, medical advances, social justice and community involvement.

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