Professor Stuart Malawer (left) and Visiting Scholar Dr. Li Fenning, Wuhan University of Technology (right), with Jim Cheng, Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Commonwealth of Virginia, discussing trade and investment strategies for increasing China – Virginia commercial relations. At George Mason University (School of Public Policy) (November 2012).
State universities are beginning to acknowledge that economic development should be a critical part of their mission. Historically, land grant colleges recognized this but in reality this has not been a top priority for a long time. States are beginning to demand that public universities become more proactive in fostering economic development and job creation. Governors of many states are demanding greater accountability of public universities while searching for greater investment and business contacts worldwide.
I was glad to be able to arrange a meeting recently between a Visiting Scholar of international economic law from China here at George Mason University (School of Public Policy) and Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade. They discussed strategies to increase Chinese investment in Virginia in order to promote greater economic development and job creation. Leveraging international aspects of state universities to help foster state economic development is long overdue.