Yale Bulletin and Calendar

September 29, 2006|Volume 35, Number 4















During a recent visit to campus, Maurice R. ("Hank") Greenberg met and talked with undergraduates at the International Center for Yale Students and Scholars.

Greenberg: 'Flexibility' will
be key Yale asset in China

Maurice R. ("Hank") Greenberg, through his family foundation, has joined with The Starr Foundation to present $50 million to Yale to support its initiatives in China and around the world. (See related story.)

During a recent visit to campus, Greenberg spoke about Yale-China relations with Helaine Klasky, director of the Office of Public Affairs and special assistant to the Yale president. The following is an edited transcript of their discussion.

Regarding Yale and China, what are your thoughts generally as well as on the specific programs Yale is pursuing? And would you offer some ideas about what else Yale should be doing?

Yale's role in China goes back many, many years, and I think the multiplicity of things that Yale is doing -- focusing on issues that China is concerned about, from scientific research to the Law School -- are important. I think it is the confidence and trust China has with Yale that obviously is critical. Yale has earned that respect and that confidence.

What more can Yale do? There is always a need to be flexible because China is an evolving country economically and politically. There will be new things coming up all the time. Being capable of putting something together quickly to help meet those needs will be very valuable to China and to Yale. I think that each generation of leaders in China views things through different lenses. It is very important that [Chinese President] Hu Jintao came here. I think it signals their continued respect for Yale and what it is doing and has done, and that they can look to Yale in the future for new collaborations that are needed.

Based on your experience, what guidance would you offer to Yale and President Levin regarding China?

I think that Rick Levin has done a great job in this area. He obviously had the wisdom to promote these various programs with China. Rather than focusing on one school in China, having Yale undertake a multiplicity of relationships in China was very wise. I think it is very important for Yale to be doing more of the same, as it recognizes the needs that China will have as it evolves.

Of course, other very good schools are working with China as well.

Yes, there is MIT and Harvard with a joint venture at Xinhua University. I serve on that advisory board. But that is very narrow; they are just teaching graduate students about business. I think that what Yale is doing, the breadth of what it is doing, is much better. It will benefit the University.

China is going to focus more on a new five-year plan on education. Everybody is not going to go to Xinhua University or Beijing University or Fudan; there will be more students trying to come here. By educating more Chinese students at Yale, who then go back to China, we are planting a lot of great seeds from what they are learning from us. We are not going to change China by preaching from outside. It can only change from within. Many of these young people will go into government, some will go into business, some will go into science -- whatever -- but it will be a growing influence.

Do you think that most Chinese students who are coming here for undergraduate or graduate school education are going back to their own country?

Yes. I think some will stay here for two or three or four years and then go back. The opportunities in China are just so tremendous.

Yale is obviously focusing on institutions in Beijing and Shanghai, and some have said: "Why aren't you doing more in Hong Kong or other areas of China?" What do you think of this?

You can't do everything; you have to be selective.

Still others have criticized that Yale is putting all of its eggs into one basket -- that while we speak about being a global university, we are really most focused on China and are dabbling in a few other places. In particular, people think we should be focusing more on India.

Well, maybe not more, but you have to have a presence in India. There is no question that India is making great strides. India's economy is doing much better. They have got some very good technical schools in India that would challenge MIT. You have to have your foot in the camp, but how many things can you do? You know, you've got the question of something called money.


University launches 'Yale Tomorrow' campaign

Gift of $50 million to create Greenberg Yale-China Initiative

Greenberg: 'Flexibility' will be key Yale asset in China

Program will educate corporate leaders about . . . climate change

V.P. and union president co-chairing Yale-United Way Campaign

This year's 'Science Saturdays' for children celebrates women scientists

Alumnus Robert Burger is named an assistant provost


More Yale-related MacArthur Fellows

Yale's Endowment earns 22.9% in the past fiscal year

Erin Lavik and Tarek Fahmy win biomedical engineering awards

Are we alone? 'Alien Earths' explores scientists' quest to find out

Exhibit explores connections between art and music in different period

Yale novelists, poets and playwrights will read from their works

Works by photojournalists in Iraq on view at ISM

Study finds affirmation exercise boosts minority . . .

Conference to explore ways to increase diversity in higher education

Traveling Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival comes to campus

Ancient coins will be showcased in 'The Romans in Asia' symposium

Two noted scientists serving as visiting scholars . . .

Five alumni to be honored with Wilbur Lucius Cross Medals

Five junior faculty members are honored by The MacMillan Center . . .

Memorial service for Jaroslav Pelikan

University of Michigan professor wins Yale's Douglass Prize

Campus Notes

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