Friday, August 22, 2014

Arkansas State delays opening Mexican campus

Posted By on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 10:42 AM

click to enlarge asucampus.png
Problems with water and power delivery have delayed the opening of a Mexican campus of Arkansas State University until 2016, ASU said in a news release.

The campus is to be in Queretaro and ASU remains committed. Groundbreaking of the $50 million campus took place in February. It is said to be the first comprehensive U.S. public university built in Mexico.

The ASU release:

Unanticipated challenges with providing sufficient infrastructure such as water and power to the proposed Queretaro campus site have led Arkansas State University’s Mexico partners to request a new target opening of 2016, Chancellor Tim Hudson said today.

“We and our partners in Mexico remain 100 percent committed to this campus,” Hudson said. “Everyone knew the initial timeline for construction was aggressive.”

Hudson said A-State’s work on the project related to curriculum and student services was on schedule but that the university leadership team is fully supportive of and appreciates the additional “breathing room” to prepare.

“This is a large and complex undertaking,” Hudson said. “We completely understand the situation and remain excited about the opportunities ahead.”

Dr. Yvonne Unnold, project director for the Mexico project, will continue to work on the project as needed while also handling her role as chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Officials with Arkansas State University CQ (ASUCQ), a private business foundation in Mexico, and A-State broke ground for the $50 million, privately funded campus on Feb. 20. The campus will be the first comprehensive U.S. public university built in Mexico.

The Queretaro campus will incorporate the A-State brand and logo and the university’s curriculum. Courses will be taught in English by credentialed faculty approved by Arkansas State. The campus is being designed to accommodate up to 5,000 students with a goal of 1,000 students in the first year.

A-State is using funds generated from private gifts for startup costs, and ASUCQ will underwrite any operating deficits for up to three years after course offerings begin. A-State ultimately will receive a percentage of the revenues.

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