Russia’s Saratov State University to Open Representation Office at Colorado State University on Wednesday

Note to Reporters: Reporters interested in attending the signing ceremony on Wednesday should contact Emily Wilmsen at (970) 491-2336.

Officials with the Russian Federation and Saratov State University are meeting with their Colorado State University partners this week, culminating in the opening of a formal Saratov State representation office at CSU on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

The office builds on a relationship for collaboration on scientific and research activities that the two universities formed in 2008.

“This is a highly strategic alliance aimed at expanding research opportunities for both partners,” said Lou Swanson, vice provost for Outreach and Strategic Partnerships. “The relationship with Saratov State University is rooted in the German-Russian settlements that landed on our Great Plains – a group that has become an important community for Colorado.”

The College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State is also part of the collaboration with Saratov State University, Swanson said.

“We see our unique partnership as a new step in the development of larger U.S.-Russian relations,” said Leonid Kossovich, rector of Saratov State University.

As a result of the partnership, Saratov State is in discussions with CSU regarding digitization of rare archival German-Russian documents. CSU already maintains the Sidney Heitman Germans from Russia collection, which contains original documents and oral histories from the hundreds of German-Russians who emigrated from Saratov and surrounding Russian provinces to become Colorado’s sugar beet and wheat farmers in the 1800s.

Saratov State University is ranked as one of the top 10 universities in Russia.

"The German-Russians have played a significant role in the development of Northern Colorado," said Jim Cooney, vice provost for International Affairs. "The links between our library and the leading archives in Russia about the German-Russian community will benefit the entire region."

In September 2008, the Colorado State University Faculty Council approved the creation of an International Center for German-Russian studies as a partner for the Saratov State University Center. The CSU center is directed by Alex Kuraev-Maxah and has an international board, including historians from both universities.

The Saratov delegates also have discussed possibilities for a virtual research park to promote collaborations between CSU and Saratov scientists working on similar issues, including clean energy and biofuels, software development, and biotechnology.

Among those visiting Colorado State this week:

• Alexey Gordienko – Head adviser, Section of Education Policy, Administration of President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia
• Pavel Grishin, Federal Inspector for Saratov Province, the Office of President Medvedev
• Leonid Kossovich – Rector, Saratov State University
• Boris Rakitin – Vice Provost for International Affairs, Saratov State University
• Alina Bolshakova – Administrative Director, International Center for German-Russian Studies, Saratov State office