CMU faculty, students serve as university delegates across Indian schools, businesses

A small group of graduate students and faculty members spent their first two weeks of winter break on the other side of the world.

Four professors and four business administration graduate students represented Central Michigan University in a delegation that visited three universities and three businesses in India from Dec. 10 to Dec. 22.

The purpose of the trip was to strengthen relationships with CMU-connected universities in India, said Anil Kumar, associate professor of business information systems. Kumar attended the trip, which was the first of its kind at CMU.

“As an institution, we wanted to expand our global footprint,” Kumar said.

Plans for the trip began to take shape in late September when the Indian universities expressed a strong interest in improving relations.

“It’s part of an ongoing process,” said trip-organizer Debasish Chakraborty, professor of economics. “We’ll be going in the summer again with different faculty members so we’ll have a better understanding of them and they’ll have a better understanding of us.”

The group held open sessions in which Indian students could communicate with and ask questions of the CMU delegation.

“It was a wonderful networking opportunity,” said Vietnam graduate assistant Hang Le.

The trip was a great opportunity to get to know the professors better and to meet faculty and students at foreign universities, Le said.

CMU gets a number of exchange students from India, and the teaching styles in India are a little different from those in the U.S., said Randall Hayes, professor of accounting.

“We needed to find out what students from India are used to so we can make our relationship work better,” Hayes said.

Students on the trip mingled with others and helped them understand the admissions process, classes and the general overview of U.S. university life.

“It started out as a nice opportunity for the students, but having them along opened doors and really made the occasion special,” Hayes said.

Since the trip, there have been tentative plans for a faculty exchange program.

“We came away with very much improved relations with all of those schools,” Hayes said.


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