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November 14, 2005

UCSC, Japanese university renew ties

By Louise Donahue

A delegation from Hokkaido Information University officially renewed its association with UCSC on November 7 at a formal signing ceremony at University House.

Photot of Micah Perks

Chancellor Denton displays a colorful gift from Hokkaido Information University, presented by Satoru Ino, president of the university.
Photo: Louise Donahue

Satoru Ino, president of the Hokkaido Information University, and UCSC Chancellor Denice D. Denton signed a memorandum of understanding renewing for another five years the cooperative agreement that has been in effect since 2002.

“On behalf of HIU I am pleased that I have carried out my responsibility and also appreciate the precious opportunity you have offered to us,” said Ino following the signing. “You have kindly accepted our exchange students and offered intensive language and culture courses to our students for the past few years,” he added.

“This is the first memorandum of understanding I've signed since I've been chancellor,” said Chancellor Denton. “I'm very happy the memorandum of understanding is with Hokkaido Information University.”

The timing of the Japanese delegation's visit allowed the visitors to witness Chancellor Denton's investiture ceremony and participate in the Scholarships Benefit Dinner on November 5. The group was also able to visit the surrounding area, including Monterey and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Ino, a structural engineer, was especially interested in seeing the bridge.

Under the agreement between Hokkaido and UCSC, dozens of students from Japan have taken part in summer programs that combine English language, cultural, and technical instruction.

Last month, UCSC engineering dean Steve Kang and UCSC professor Ira Pohl took part in an international forum at Hokkaido Information University on the development of information technology specialists at the university level. Kang joined Chancellor Denton in greeting the visitors at University House.

While the signing ceremony was formal, there were some lighter moments afterward, such as when Chancellor Denton displayed a hand-blown glass banana slug, and inquired about the Japanese term for banana slug: namekuji.

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