Friday, March 09, 2007

MnOnline and Vietnam MOU

On Friday, March 9, 2007 at 2:00 PM Vietnam time, Minnesota Online and the Vietnam Association of Community Colleges signed a memorandum of understanding related to the delivery of online educational opportunities in Vietnam.

In addition, I accepted on the behalf of Minnesota online, a framed certificate of associate membership in the Vietnam Association of Community Colleges. Minnesota Online is the first and so far only associate member of the newly-formed VACC. As the preamble of the MOU states: “Building on the cooperation between the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Vietnam Association of Community Colleges (VACC), Minnesota Online and VACC will promote further cooperation within the framework of self-funded partnerships with the aim of improving the learning environments at our respective institutions.”

The MOU lists seven areas of future cooperation:

  1. Online and Distance Training Delivery
  2. Customization of Minnesota Online Programs for the Vietnamese Context
  3. International Students (study abroad in Minnesota)
  4. In-class Delivery of Programs of the Colleges and Universities of MnSCU in Vietnam
  5. Development of 2+2 Programs and other Programs and Courses
  6. Enhancing College Administration and Professional Development especially in Online and Distance Education
  7. Other Cooperation
As is the tradition in the countries of Southeast Asia, the ceremony was marked by a fair amount of formality, with a bit of pomp and circumstance thrown in for good measure. President Khanh spoke for a few minutes about our collaborative efforts and then I spoke for about 8 minutes with the able translation of Mr. Hoang Le Huy, assistant to the Rector Board and Dean of Economics. I brought greeetings from Chancellor McCormick, Senior Vice Chancellor Baer, Minnesota Online COO Gary Langer, and from LSC President Kathleen Nelson. I told the group of about 25 guests about Minnesota Online and MnSCU. And I finished with an expression of my sincere gratitude for the kind hosts that they have been during my stay in Tra Vinh.

Next I was presented with the certificate of membership in the VACC and then we signed the MOUs. We exchanged gifts, we toasted our agreement with sparkling grape juice, and we took lots of pictures. It was all great fun and an honor to be a part of.

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