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University of Nizwa Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Abdulaziz bin Yahya Al Kindi (second from left) and Chancellor Ahmed Khalfan Al-Rawahi tour the Sage Hall construction site on July 11.

To further strengthen the relationship with the University of Nizwa, administrative officials from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will travel half way across the globe to Oman in December to discuss additional opportunities for expanded cooperation and exchange between the two institutions.

The visit comes after a successful summer program in which 15 Omani students studied and experienced local culture in Oshkosh. Those attending the December trip will discuss the possibility of more Omani students visiting Oshkosh next summer.

Tom Grogan from UW Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells’ office is coordinating the trip, which will also include Tom Sonnleitner, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, Bill Tallon, Dean of the College of Business, and Steve Arndt, Director of Facilities Management. This will be the first trip to Oman for everyone except Grogan, who has visited the country six times during his involvement with Nizwa’s development.

Chancellor Emeritus John Kerrigan, with whom Grogan has worked closely, has been a key player in the process of establishing the relationship with Nizwa’s new university and getting UW Oshkosh involved with the early development.

The University of Nizwa has been using a temporary site to hold its classes during its 7-year existence, but it is now in the process of constructing a much larger campus about five miles outside the city of Nizwa. Discussion of administrative and organizational issues related to the development of this new campus is one of the main objectives for this trip.

“This (discussion) will include the exploration of the ways that the two universities can cooperate and mutually benefit from shared efforts relating to the new physical plan for the 7,000-students presently enrolled in the University of Nizwa,” Grogan said.

Academic programs and curricular issues are other key subjects the group will be concerned with during its time in Oman.

“In this area, Dean Tallon will help identify opportunities for faculty and academic support to help program development between the two institutions,” Grogan said.

A number of faculty from UW Oshkosh have also traveled to Oman to help with the development of academic programs. Another consultative trip is planned for March 2011.

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