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12-30-2009

Clarkson University President Tony Collins Named Honorary Senator of Slovenia's University of Ljubljana

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/ljubljana.jpg ]

Strengthening another international partnership, Clarkson University President Tony Collins was recently named an honorary senator of the University of Ljubljana (pronounced loob-YA-na) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, during the institution’s 90th anniversary celebration.

An honorary senator is the equivalent of an honorary trustee at an American university. Past recipients of this accolade include the Dalai Lama and former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel.

Collins was recognized for his work in educating University of Ljubljana administrators, faculty and students about how to develop the kinds of support networks that American universities have, especially alumni and corporate connections.President Collins in Slovenia

"During my previous visits, I gave lectures and talks, and met with faculty, staff and students to help them develop that kind of strategy -- mostly in the Faculty of Chemistry, one of the most commercially-connected faculties," says Collins.

Slovenia, a member of the European Economic Union, is transitioning into a Western-style economy, developing research and then growing companies from that activity to become part of the knowledge economy.

"Ljubljana has 63,000 students and educates about 80 percent of the students in the country," says Collins. "It is a very large university in a small nation, so what they do is very influential on anything, including the economy.

The University of Ljubljana is ranked very highly at 201st in the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, which lists more than 17,000 institutions.

Egon Matijevic, Victor K. LaMer Professor of Colloid and Surface Science, initiated and has nurtured Clarkson University’s relationship with the University of Ljubljana. A native of the former Yugoslavia, Matijevic is an alumnus and honorary degree recipient of the University of Zagreb, where he was an associate professor before coming to Clarkson in 1957. Over the years he has hired many associates from both Zagreb and Ljubljana, traveling to Slovenia and Croatia regularly.

Collins first traveled to Ljubljana with Matijevic in 2004, when Tony Collins signed memorandums of understanding with both the University of Ljubljana and the Jozef Stefan International Postgraduate School in Ljubljana, and with the University of Zagreb.

Tony Collins and Matijevic returned to the University of Ljubljana in 2006 to participate in a symposium on industry-academia collaboration.

Clarkson is also working to partner with Ljubljana’s Faculty of Economics. School of Business Instructor Gasper Sekelj traveled this year with students to Slovenia and will return in 2010.

While in Slovenia, Collins also met with President of the Republic of Slovenia Danilo Turk and was hosted at a reception with Mayor of the City of Ljubljana Zoran Jankovic.

The University of Ljubljana was founded in 1919, remaining the only Slovenian university for half a century. Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a relatively large Central- European city with more than 300,000 inhabitants. The University’s 63,000 students account for a large part of the population, giving the city a youthful and lively character.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University President Tony Collins has been named an honorary senator of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Left to right: Collins, Karen Collins, University of Ljubljana Chancellor Radovan Stanislav Pejovnik, and Egon Matijevic, Clarkson Victor K. LaMer Professor of Colloid and Surface Science.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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