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U of M Launches First-of-its-Kind Exchange Program with China
For release: September 20, 2007
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The University of Memphis is pleased to announce its latest formal exchange program with China – an initiative that will benefit student athletes and coaches in both countries for years to come.

From September 19 - 23, University of Memphis Provost Dr. Ralph Faudree and Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Calipari will visit Beijing, China, to formalize a five-year agreement with the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) whereby 15 coaches from the CBA, two of whom are women, will visit Memphis and participate in a week of workshops with men’s basketball coaches and the team. The workshops will cover all aspects of college coaching, including academics, practice, weight training, film analysis, and game preparation.

The CBA coaches will arrive in Memphis on October 9. After the weeklong exchange is complete, one of the 15 Chinese coaches will remain in Memphis for the entire basketball season to learn even more about one of this country’s most successful programs. (The University of Memphis men’s basketball team is ranked number one in several 2007-2008 preseason polls.)

As part of the exchange program, the CBA will send its top coaches to Memphis through 2012 to continue to learn more about the training methods of Coach John Calipari and the University’s men’s basketball program.

In addition, at the end of the 2007-2008 season, Coach Calipari and his Tiger team will travel to China to compete in exhibition games against several of the country’s leading CBA teams. This basketball tour will provide international exposure for the University’s team, as it will occur just before the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Then, from 2009 to 2012, Coach Calipari will travel to China each preseason to lead a team of Conference USA all-stars against the best teams in China. 

While basketball is the focus of this latest exchange program with China, it is also an opportunity for the University to extend its productive relationships with various businesses, universities, and cultural entities throughout the country, as well as to attract some of China’s best-and-brightest students to Memphis. (See information below related to current exchange programs between the University and China.)

During the current trip to China, Dr. Ralph Faudree, Euler Award-winning scholar in mathematics, will continue working with Chinese officials to prepare exchange students for the requirements for enrollment at the University. Dr. Faudree has traveled to China on numerous prior occasions to promote the University as one of the leading metropolitan research universities in the United States. The majority of Dr. Faudree’s previous trips involved interaction with individual, regionally-based universities. Due to the growing popularity of basketball in China, this latest exchange program will create a much broader awareness for the University of Memphis throughout the China.

CURRENT CHINA-RELATED PROGRAMS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS

Confucius Institute

In August 2007, the University of Memphis announced a partnership with China’s Hubei University that led to the creation of a Confucius Institute at the U of M. Scheduled to open in November 2007, the Confucius Institute at the University will be the 24th such institute in the United States and one of just more than 100 created since the initiative began in 2004 with an institute in Seoul, Korea. The University of Memphis was chosen after a highly competitive selection process among several universities. The Institute is being established with funds provided by the Beijing-based Office of Chinese Language Council International.

The Memphis Institute, which is led by Dr. Hsiang-te Kung, a 75th-generation descendant of Confucius, will be instrumental in fostering closer ties in a number of ways between Mainland China and the United States.  Its specific goals will be to promote the understanding of the Chinese language and culture among Americans, to assist in developing friendly relations between the United States and Mainland China, to accelerate the expansion of multiculturalism, and to provide opportunities for students to study the Chinese language.

In announcing the creation of the Institute, U of M President Shirley Raines said, “It is an honor and a wonderful opportunity for the University of Memphis to house one of the world's Confucius Institutes. The Institute will enhance the University's relationship with our sister institution in China, Hubei University. Housing the Confucius Institute on our campus will make the University of Memphis a key player in the bilateral efforts to improve relations between the Chinese and United States governments, and relations between the Chinese and American people.”

For more information about the Confucius Institute at the University of Memphis please visit www.cium.memphis.edu.

Asian Studies and International Trade Program

The Confucius Institute will work closely with the University’s new Asian Studies and International Trade program. That program is designed to provide students with the critical skills that more and more international companies are seeking in their employees, such as foreign language proficiency, cultural sensitivity, experience abroad, and knowledge of international business. The Asian studies program was funded by a gift of $1 million from an anonymous donor.

For more information on the Asian Studies and International Trade Program, please visit www.uc.memphis.edu/undergrad-asian-studies.php.

DR. RALPH FAUDREE  BIO

Dr. Ralph Faudree, Euler Award-winning scholar in mathematics, was appointed provost of the University of Memphis by the Tennessee Board of Regents in 2001. Preceding his appointment as provost, Dr. Faudree served as the University’s interim president. Prior to that, he was the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Throughout his administrative career, Dr. Faudree has focused his efforts on:

•  Aggressive recruitment and retention of high-quality faculty

•  Introduction of interdisciplinary programs

•  Development and implementation of rigorous research standards

•  Development of a comprehensive and demanding tenure and promotion methodology

•  Administration of a meaningful chair and faculty evaluation process

He also fostered a number of special initiatives, including: Establishment of the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, the Department of Earth Sciences, the Interdisciplinary Studies Center (consisting of Women's Studies, the Center for Research on Women, African/African-American Studies, and International Studies), the Undergraduate Student Services Center, and the Benjamin Hooks Institute.

Throughout his academic career, Dr. Faudree has maintained an active research schedule in the areas of graphical Ramsey Theory and Hamiltonian Theory of graphs. As a part of his research effort, Dr. Faudree has served as a visiting professor at the Netherlands' University of Twente, the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, the University of Paris, the University of Singapore, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. It is at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences that Dr. Faudree cemented his relationship with Paul Erdös, one of the 20th century's most prolific and respected mathematicians. Their collaboration led to more than 45 articles in graph theory. Since Dr. Erdös’ death, Dr. Faudree has continued the work they began together, collaborating with mathematicians in both Hungary and the United States. He has also helped to perpetuate Dr. Erdös’ work by co-sponsoring the Erdös Lecture Series at the University of Memphis.

In 2005, Dr. Faudree was awarded the prestigious Euler Medal from the Institute of Combinatorics and Its Applications. The Euler Medal is an annual award given to active mathematics researchers with prominent lifetime contributions to combinatorial theory.

Dr. Faudree attended Purdue University, receiving his master’s degree and Ph.D. degree in mathematics there in 1963 and 1964, respectively. Before coming to the University of Memphis, Dr. Faudree taught at the University of California, Berkeley and at the University of Illinois. He arrived at the University of Memphis in 1971 and served as the Mathematics Department’s graduate coordinator before becoming its chair in 1983. He was a co-recipient of the University Distinguished Research Award in 1978; the Superior Performance in Research Award in 1986, 1988-90 and 1992-93; the College of Arts and Sciences Meritorious Faculty Award in 1991; and the Board of Visitors’ Eminent Faculty Award in 1994.

For more information about Dr. Ralph Faudree, please visit www.academics.memphis.edu/provost/menu_meetprovost.html.


COACH JOHN CALIPARI  BIO

•  Eighth Season as Men’s Basketball Head Coach at the University of Memphis

•  181-63 record at Memphis (7 years)

•  374-134 record overall (15 years)

•  3rd Most Wins In NCAA History through 15 Seasons

•  14 Postseason Tournaments

•  9 NCAA Tournament • 1 Final Four • 4 Elite 8s • 5 Sweet 16s

•  5 NIT • 4 Final Fours

•  2002 NIT Title

•  8 League Championships

While Coach Cal has won more than 74 percent of his games during his tenure as the basketball head coach at the University of Memphis, he has an even higher winning percentage in another area of collegiate athletics – graduating student-athletes.

When he was hired to return the Memphis basketball program back to national prominence in the spring of 2000, Coach Cal did not talk in terms of wins only. He talked about improving all the areas – academics, facilities, community involvement – so the program would have a solid foundation and build from there.

Since he arrived, Calipari has not only revitalized the Memphis program itself, but also re-energized a city's love affair with Tiger basketball -- a relationship that is the very fabric of the Memphis community. The Tigers have captured the hearts of fans with intense and competitive play under Calipari's tutelage. In his seven years as coach, Memphis has won 181 games, posted seven-straight 20-win seasons and earned seven postseason bids.

But, a walk down the basketball office hallway toward Coach Cal’s office may be his greatest source of pride. Fourteen players – those who played under Calipari and former Tigers – have their graduation photos on the wall. Since he became head coach in 2000, 12 of 15 of his players have earned their degrees, and two others, Anfernee Hardaway and Marcus Moody, came back to graduate during Coach Cal’s tenure. Prior to his arrival at Memphis, the basketball graduation rate was zero.

On the court, each year under Coach Calipari has been a step in the right direction. The 2005-2006 campaign, though, brought the Memphis program back to the national forefront, giving Tiger Nation a reason to cheer all the way into late March. In his sixth year, Calipari, the 2005-2006 Conference USA Coach of the Year, took Memphis fans on a ride they won't soon forget.

In 2006-2007, the Tigers tied the school record for most wins in a season, with 33 victories (33-4 record), made a second-straight NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance, and captured second-consecutive Conference USA regular season and tournament titles. The consecutive Elite Eight appearances (2006, 2007) were a first in school history. The back-to-back regular season crowns were a first for the program.

For more information on Coach John Calipari, please visit www.gotigersgo.cstv.com/sports/mbaskbl/mtt/calipari_john00.html.


ABOUT THE CHINESE BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), the premier basketball league in China, was established in 1956. The organization is in charge of basketball at the national level. The China Basketball Administration Center, a sub-division of the CBA, takes responsibility for promoting the sport in China. After the introduction of some reforms in 1994, the first CBA league was launched the following year, with 12 teams participating.

By 2000, there were 43 men’s and 42 women's teams registered, and the total number of players had reached 998. The advent of the CBA league represented a giant step forward in the development of basketball in China.

A few CBA players, such as Yao Ming, Wang Zhizhi, Yi Jianlian, Sun Yue and Mengke Bateer, have reached the NBA. Conversely, a limited number of foreign players are allowed for each CBA team.

For more information about the Chinese Basketball Association, please visit www.china.org.cn/english/features/2004-2005cba/118959.htm.

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