SAN MARCOS — The culmination of several years of planning, Southwest Texas State University and the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León will sign a student-faculty exchange agreement on June 30.
The agreement between the two universities will be signed 4 p.m. Monday in the office of SWT President Denise Trauth.
Four years ago, SWT faculty visited UANL, discussing programs and faculty opportunities on the San Marcos campus. Since then, UANL, based in Monterrey, Mexico, has sent a number of faculty members to SWT to conduct research. This formal agreement expands the pilot program to students and will encourage more SWT faculty to visit the UANL campus, explained Walter Rudzinski, a chemistry professor who will oversee the program at SWT.
“At this time, both institutions are willing to sign an agreement of cooperation,” Rudzinski said. “The first objective of the agreement is to increase academic and cultural cooperation. Second is to promote the exchange of students and faculty.
“At the moment, we’re trying to get some of their students to come to SWT,” he said. “I know of two students from there that are ready to come here. We haven’t publicized it here yet, so our next step is to recruit some students and faculty who’d be interested in going there.”
Rudzinski envisions the agreement propelling the two universities to the forefront of border issues, be they environmental research in the Rio Grande Valley or socio-economic concerns arising from NAFTA. Any issue which requires U.S.-Mexico cooperation will be up for study, he said.
While all the logistics of the program haven’t been finalized yet, Rudzinski said he expected any questions to be resolved in short order. In the future, he hoped to see the program expand to offer scholarships to students participating, as well as improved remuneration for faculty members on both sides of the exchange.