U of A Inks Agreement with Shoolini University

Shoolini University administrators and faculty gather for the agreement signing ceremony.
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Shoolini University administrators and faculty gather for the agreement signing ceremony.

The University of Arkansas and Shoolini University in Himachal Pradesh, India, have established a formal agreement of cooperation that is intended to further the academic objectives of each institution.

Under the agreement, the universities will work to create programs for exchanging academic, research or other educational materials. It also encourages faculty members and students from each university to visit the other institution for the purpose of lecturing, conducting research or developing academic or administrative skills.

"We look forward to collaboration and exchange of students and faculty and hope that this agreement will open up several avenues for research and academic exchange," said Neeraj Mahindroo, dean of Research and Innovation at Shoolini University.

The agreement was initiated by Steve Stephenson, research professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. Stephenson first visited Himachal Pradesh as a Fulbright Scholar in 1987. Since that time, he has made two other visits to India, and he continues to collaborate with a number of scientists in the region.

Most of the research in which he has been involved has centered on studies of mushrooms and other fungi of the forests of northern India.

"The fungi of this region of the world are seriously understudied, although these organisms are exceedingly important to the overall ecology of the forest ecosystems in which they occur," Stephenson said.

Research efforts at Shoolini University are currently focused on Himalayan biodiversity and its sustainable utilization. The university has recently developed a Center of Research on Himalayan Sustainability and Development. Researchers at the University of Arkansas have been invited to partner with their counterparts at the Indian university to study the unique biodiversity of northern India.

Shoolini University was founded in 2009 and has grown to an enrollment of 3,000 students.

Contacts

Steve Stephenson, research professor
Department of Biological Sciences
479-575-2869, slsteph@uark.edu

Amanda Cantu, director of communications
Graduate School and International Education
479-575-5809, amandcan@uark.edu

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