SUNY New Paltz Delegation Visits Cuba

NEW PALTZ — The United States Department of the Treasury has granted State University of New York at New Paltz a permit which will allow the state university campus to negotiate with officials at the University of Havana about possible student and faculty exchanges.

A New Paltz delegation traveled to Cuba this week to investigate the current status of higher education in the island nation and determine if it would be desirable to establish a study abroad program there for New Paltz students who are learning Spanish or majoring in Latin American Studies. Under such a program, students from New Paltz could spend a semester studying in Havana and students from Havana would be afforded a similar opportunity here. There could also be an exchange of faculty members between the two universities for varying periods of time.

According to Bruce Sillner, New Paltz Director of International Programs, “SUNY New Paltz has long been a leader in international educational exchange. This tradition began at the turn of the century, when New Paltz hosted a large group of Cuban teachers. We are in the process of developing our portfolio of overseas programs, so that all of our students will have an opportunity to study abroad before graduation.”

The New Paltz delegation includes Sillner, New Paltz President Roger W. Bowen, Mrs. Barbara Bowen, Professor Elisa Davila, Professor David Krikun and Mr. Karl Rodman.

The New Paltz campus prides itself on a reputation for international study and administers 30 academic programs overseas including those in Seville and Oviedo, Spain; Urbino, Italy; London; Besancon, France; Limerick, Ireland; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Prague, Czech Republic; and Athens, Greece. Recently, New Paltz developed an educational partnership program with Tashkent State Economic University in the Republic of Uzbekistan with financial support from the United States Information Agency.

In 1999, 350 students studied abroad through the SUNY New Paltz Center for International Programs; and nearly 500 foreign students were in residence at New Paltz.