Sustaining Partnerships at Scale: A US-China Case Study


Sustaining complex partnerships over the long term is a challenge for all institutions, especially when these partnerships are broad in scope and large in scale.  This case study explores the sustainability of a China-US partnership over the past 20 years.  Leaders from the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute will discuss lessons learned about a model of collaboration that is now being replicated in several locations.  The U-M-SJTU partnership encompasses faculty research, undergraduate and graduate level degree programs, large-scale student mobility (nearly 2,000 students to date), dual degrees, a unique faculty tenure system and shared governance model.   Looking back over two decades and significant leadership transitions, panelists will discuss what worked, what surprised them, and where they diverged from their original plans in order to adapt to changing conditions.  As more institutions explore the joint institute model, this timely reflection on the original model can help inform new partnerships and advance our collective work in global engagement and student mobility.