UC Santa Cruz engineering school establishes program with Korean telecommunications firm

Representatives of a major Korean telecommunications company, Korea Telecom, visited the University of California, Santa Cruz, in December to establish a cooperative program that will bring company managers to the UCSC campus to study English, engineering, and economics. The program is sponsored by UCSC's Baskin School of Engineering in conjunction with UCSC Extension and the Division of Social Sciences.

Steve Kang, dean of the School of Engineering, and Kyun-Chol Park, executive vice president of Korea Telecom, signed a letter of understanding at the meeting in December.

The first group of about seven to 10 of the company's mid-level and senior-level managers will come to UCSC in August to participate in the one-year program. The program will include intensive business English, courses in engineering and economics, specialized seminars, focused research projects, and field trips. The opportunity to get to know the United States and California is also an important aspect of the program, said Sam Hedgpeth, assistant dean of the School of Engineering.

"This is the first program of this kind that we have established, and we hope to have many others like it in the future," Hedgpeth said.

The agreement with Korea Telecom is part of a broad initiative by dean of engineering Kang to establish ties between the School of Engineering and companies and institutions in Pacific Rim countries. Kang, who was born in Korea and is a foreign member of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea, has many contacts in Korea and other Pacific Rim countries. Earlier this year, UCSC established formal ties with the Hokkaido Information University in Tokyo, Japan.

"Working with our faculty, Dean Kang is intent on developing relationships with companies and institutions all around the Pacific Rim," Hedgpeth said.