agreement signing
UTSA President Ricardo Romo (left) and Rector Raúl Arias
Lovillo of the Universidad Veracruzana sign a memorandum
of agreement at UTSA as Robert McKinley, UTSA associate
vice president of the Institute for Economic Development,
looks on.

Universidad Veracruzana, UTSA to collaborate

By Tim Brownlee
Assistant Director of Public Affairs

(Nov. 19, 2008)--Reciprocating a visit by UTSA President Ricardo Romo and a delegation of UTSA officials last summer, the Universidad Veracruzana sent a delegation to San Antonio, Monday, Nov. 17.

UTSA's relationship with the Universidad Veracruzana began with a joint contract from USAID and the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza, to lead the establishment of the national Mexican Network of Small Business Development Centers across Mexico, based on UTSA's model.

With the university expanding its efforts to offer global experiences to its students, UTSA expressed an interest in expanding this relationship to incorporate academics. During the June visit, UTSA and UV signed a memorandum of understanding, stating mutual intentions to enter into a partnership. Proposals include faculty and student exchanges and research collaboration.

The Veracruz delegation will tour the 1604 Campus for an overview on UTSA's research capabilities. Individual meetings will follow, introducing faculty members to their counterparts in the fields of immigration, nanotechnology, water resources, business and economic development. The meetings will help determine specific areas where the universities might collaborate.

"The University of Veracruz offers a multitude of opportunities for UTSA and is an important strategic ally for our UTSA initiatives with Mexico," said Romo.

During the visit, Romo and Rector Raúl Arias Lovillo of the Universidad Veracruzana both stressed the importance of higher education in economic development. Mexico has established 54 small business development centers, primarily headquartered on university campuses. Some campuses have developed certificate programs for small business counselors and 750 individuals have received certification as small business developers. The collaboration with UTSA proposes the establishment of an Institute for Economic Development to study applied economics and international trade.

Other proposed areas of collaboration include immigration and nanotechnology. Pedro Javier García Ramírez, UV professor of micro and nanotechnology, has expressed an interest in working with UTSA's Miguel Jose Yacaman, an authority on nanotechnology, to reduce automobile emissions.

Harriett Romo, director of the UTSA Mexico Center and professor of sociology, expressed interest in working with Carlos Garrido de la Calleja, UV professor of migration. The Mexico Center recently received grants to study the migration of children and families in the border region, small business and border culture, citizenship and small business, and security and small business. The Mexico Center proposes faculty and student exchanges with the Universidad Veracruzana.

Other members of the Veracruz delegation are Vice President for Community Services Francisco Fernández Rodriguez; Director General Rosario Valencia of the Mexican Association of SBDCs; Héctor Julián Vargas Rubín of the College of Business; Eric Pascal Houbron, professor of water resources; Enrique Avila of the Mexican Association of SBDCs; and Marco Miguel Muñoz, assessor for Universidad Veracruzana.

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