【Wenzhou Daily】Building a Bridge of Friendly Exchange between China and the U.S.: Interview with Dr. Cary Anderson, Executive Vice Chancellor of Wenzhou-Kean University

Shortly after the Spring Festival, Wenzhou-Kean University welcomed a new member from the U.S., and he is the newly-arrived WKU Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Cary Anderson.

He and his wife adopted a girl from China 22 years ago and has established a deep connection with China since then. He loves Chinese culture and visits China many times on tourism and academic purposes. Dr. Anderson has a lot of experience working in higher education institutions, especially in international education and exchange programs between China and the U.S.

Now, he joins Wenzhou-Kean University with 30 years of higher education teaching and administrative experience. Recently, Wenzhou Daily interviewed Dr. Cary Anderson.

Dr. Cary Anderson, Executive Vice Chancellor of Wenzhou-Kean University

“This is my dream job.”

The first impression that Dr. Anderson gives to the journalist is gentle and amiable. In front of the camera, he talks about how he becomes connected to China and WKU.

“I have been to China many times for business and on holiday and most importantly to make sure that my daughter, whom my wife and I adopted from China 22 years ago, maintained a connection to her culture. China is very dear to me,” he said.

Dr. Anderson has over 30 years of higher education administrative and teaching experience. Prior to WKU, he was the Vice President for Student Life and Associate Provost at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

“I spent the majority of my career in student affairs, academic affairs and international education. My work in international education, especially in China, focused on recruiting international students to the U.S., developing partnerships with other universities and encouraging U.S. students to study abroad.”

He wishes to get rooted in China since he has the exciting opportunity for working at WKU. “This position as EVC at Wenzhou Kean University provided me the opportunity to live in China and continue my work in University administration and international education. It was my dream job,” said Dr. Anderson.

“Start Here, Go Anywhere”

Although he has been here for only a month, Dr. Anderson says frankly that he has been profoundly impressed by WKU students — intelligent, motivated, creative, welcoming, and delightful to be around. “I’ve had the pleasure to meet both current students and alumni,” he said.

He is also attracted by WKU’s idea of “finding different directions of development for different students”. WKU’s slogan is start here, go anywhere and Dr. Anderson strongly agrees with it. “My role as EVC is to ensure the high-quality delivery of our American style-education which is foundational to the success of our students. A large part of this is recruiting highly talented faculty. I also serve as a liaison with Kean University in New Jersey in order to enhance the partnership of our Sino-Foreign cooperative university.”

Dr. Anderson tells the reporter, in his career working in American higher education, he has devoted his unwavering passion to student success. He is active in numerous conference presentations, workshops and a variety of professional organizations. As Vice President for Student Life at Saint Joseph’s University, he led the creation of a learning environment that enhanced student development and the overall student experience.

“The test of student success is the accomplishments of our graduates, whether that is attending a prestigious University for graduate school (which many of our students do), working for a top company or working for the government,” Dr. Anderson noted. He hopes that the students would see WKU as a new starting point in their academic lives. Through small-class, English-only, inquiry-based and cooperative learning, they will become international talents with innovative and independent thinking abilities, knowledge of international rules and affairs, as well as global vision and competitiveness.

To be the advocate of China-US education cooperation and exchange

Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU) is a province-state friendship project between Zhejiang Province and New Jersey. On November 16th, 2011, the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (MOE) approved the application of preparation on establishing Wenzhou-Kean University which was cooperatively run by Wenzhou University and Kean University. On March 31st, 2014, the MOE announced the approval of the establishment of Wenzhou-Kean University. Over the past 12 years, WKU has grown from scratch and witnessed leap development, deepening education exchange and cooperation between the two countries.

Even during the three-year onset of the pandemic, exchanges between Wenzhou-Kean University and Kean University in New Jersey have never stopped. The two universities have sent each other medical supplies, co-created online courses and launched online internship programs for students from both universities. All of these have promoted China-U.S. education and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation multi-dimensionally. In November 2022, Ping Huang, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in New York, paid a visit to Kean University. Dr. Cary Anderson was also one of the leadership members receiving and meeting with Mr. Huang’s delegation.

He thinks that education and people-to-people exchanges are important for the young generation of two countries to enhance understanding and build friendship. He will act as a role model to help foster good relationships between the two universities and contribute to the people-to-people exchange between the two countries.

In fact, after the pandemic, the two universities have a broader platform for cooperation and exchange. Dr. Lamont Repollet, President of Kean University, and his delegation will also visit WKU in the middle of March.

“I recently visited the Wenzhou Science and Technology Innovation Park in Shanghai. There may be an opportunity for collaboration to advance Wenzhou’s business and industries. I want to encourage research that benefits the local community to the extent possible. I will contribute by hiring top talents and experts to conduct high-caliber research. Meanwhile, we want to expand our research capabilities and attract top faculty and we want to serve as a role model for Sino-Foreign cooperation.”

Writer: Wenwei XIANG

Proofreader: Kai XU