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October 14, 2009

ULM signs Memorandum of Understanding with Thailand officials

University of Louisiana at Monroe President James E. Cofer and Dean of Faculty Wariya Chinwanno of Mahidol University in Thailand signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities on Tuesday.

The agreement was reached following consultations with Dr. Robert Hanser, head of ULM's Criminal Justice Department and Dr. Jeffrey Cass, dean of ULM College of Arts and Sciences, concerning the development of reciprocal programs to promote international exchange and cooperation between the two institutions.

“Dr. Attapol Kuanliang, a professor in our department who is from Thailand, was also instrumental in securing the relations between our two universities,” said Hanser.

Cass said Tuesday's agreement stems from conversations with Thai officials during last year's International Criminal Justice Association meeting in Lafayette, which led to a tentative agreement between the two universities, resulting in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The agreement enables doctoral students from Thailand to earn graduate hours toward a second master's degree or completion of a graduate certificate in criminal justice. Mahidol University students bear financial responsibility while enrolled as a student at ULM. In exchange, ULM will benefit from the exchange of faculty and student scholars, information and research.

"Globalization is impacting all disciplines, including criminal justice," said Hanser. "It is important for us to produce practitioners and scholars equipped to engage in the global crime-fighting effort. Partnerships such as this one facilitate this effort."

"Deborah and I are honored to host you here, and we're proud of our criminal justice faculty who have developed this type of collaboration across borders," said Cofer, acknowledging the Thailand delegation who visited Bon Aire, the ULM presidential home, on Tuesday.

"We have many similar programs where we can cooperate," said Chinwanno, "And our students are expected to complete their dissertation in English, so they will be expected to come to ULM in summer for English."

Director Srisombat Chokprajakchat, Chanabodi Chinwanno and Surat Chokprajakchat of Thailand joined ULM officials in Tuesday's signing.

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