August 18, 2016
At the beginning of August, WCU Interim President Chris Fiorentino and WCU Provost Laurie Bernotsky signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Lomonosov Moscow State University (Faculty of Global Studies). The MOA was previously signed in July at Moscow State University (MSU) in Russia by MSU professor Ilya Ilin, Dean, Faculty of Global Studies.
The agreement opens opportunities for teaching and research collaborations between WCU and MSU, including possibilities for virtual lectures by both institutions' faculty, short courses, and, eventually, faculty and student exchanges. "There are many potential avenues of cooperation and partnership" with this MOA, confirmed Peter Loedel, head of WCU’s Center for International Programs, including plans for West Chester to participate in MSU's international conference in the fall of 2017.
Fiorentino noted that the Honorable W. Curtis Weldon '69 (B.A. Russian studies) was instrumental in bringing the two institutions together. Weldon forged friendships and professional relationships with world leaders during his 20 years in Congress (PA-7, 1987 – 2007). Last December, he donated his vast archive of Congressional materials and memorabilia to West Chester.
"We are most grateful for this opportunity to partner with one of the world's foremost centers of higher learning," Fiorentino stated. "Thanks to Congressman Weldon’s long-time engagement with Russia, West Chester will be able to provide faculty and students with outstanding educational opportunities while encouraging dialogue between Russians and Americans."