UF officials in Saudi Arabia in hopes of establishing ties

Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 7:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 7:01 p.m.

Eight time zones away, in Saudi Arabia, University of Florida administrators are networking with their Saudi Arabian counterparts at an international higher education conference.

UF, one of about 300 attending institutions, sent an eight-member delegation, including Provost Joe Glover and Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin.

The cost of the trip is being split between the UF Foundation and the Saudi government, said UF spokesman Steve Orlando. UF's portion of the costs wasn't available Tuesday.

Glover said in an e-mail that the group is busy exploring the possibility of exchanging students and collaborating on research efforts with Saudi Arabian universities as well as connecting with leaders from other U.S. institutions.

In addition to talking with students, faculty, administrators and government officials, he said UF's delegation was officially recognized by the Saudi equivalent of the U.S. Senate and was welcomed for dinner at the U.S. embassy.

The conference, dubbed the International Exhibition for Higher Education, started Tuesday and wraps up on Friday.

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