Welcome Remarks on Behalf of Foreign Partners
Inner Mongolia Normal University - 60th Anniversary Celebration
I have the distinct honor of offering welcoming remarks on behalf of the Foreign Partners of Inner Mongolia Normal University. As partners we are separated by geographical boundaries, by cultural backgrounds and language, by historical timelines, by religion, by political ideologies, and by the mission and vision of our respective educational institutions. Despite our differences we share something in common: our relationship with Inner Mongolia University is rooted in our mutual respect for the quality and excellence of this magnificent educational institution.
We have the opportunity to serve as the global model for other countries as they seek to replicate what we have done and will continue to do. What are the benefits to Foreign Partners who align with programs at Inner Mongolia Normal University? Our reciprocal relationship allows for student and faculty exchanges. We are able to share ideas that further our applied and basic research agendas. We are able to enhance our cultural competencies and global perspectives. This partnership expands the intellectual and social capital of our educational communities.
Because each of our institutions and organizations is diverse we must be joined together through harmony. This belief is captured in the Chinese concept of "He" (harmony). "He", the ancient human wisdom, is both means and ends for organizations as well as civilized society. This human wisdom, shared in both East and West of the world, indicates a dialectically mutual
compliment of Yin and Yang, a harmonious relationship of man and nature, a psychological state of tranquility and peace, a prosperous society with happy citizens, or a collaborative organizational culture. Associated with "He" is the notion that in order to lead one must be able to tolerate and embrace differences (yourong nai da).
Inner Mongolia Normal University emphasizes mutually beneficial foreign partnerships that nourish educational excellence and societal development. Another concept in the "He" suggests that as leaders we must always be strong and subdue the desire to only emphasize our personal interests (wuyu ze gang). The great Mongolian leader, Genghis Khan, states this more subtly when he says: "If you understand the importance of determined educated scholars (and administrators), then the development of the organization will continue for centuries".
My institution, Fayetteville State University, shares a bond with Inner Mongolia University that is far more than academic. It is rooted in the value that we each place upon maintaining a strong ethnic identity that is complemented by sharing our values, our culture, our history, and our cosmology or world view. On a personal note, after practicing and teaching Tai Chi for 35 years I have finally begun to understand the basic beliefs associated with Taoism and Ying Yang theory.
Because of this partnership we will become stronger and more competitive. Each of our institutions will find its place across the global educational landscape. I reiterate something I said earlier: let this partnership be driven by our mutual respect and faith in one another. Once again, Genghis Khan captures this sentiment in his own words:
Though parted by mountains
Be united by minds
Though separated by rivers
Be united by the same minds
Under the force of Eternal Heaven
Our power be increased forever
Shee Shee (thank you)