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Three-Year Grant for CSUF-Yerevan State Business Project

Staff Report

The Faculty Development Program in Business and Economics between CSUF and Yerevan State University will continue with a three-year grant of nearly $300,000 awarded to Fresno State under the Newly Independent States (NIS) College and University Partnership Program.

Eliz ShieldsAs part of the project, Fresno State faculty will collaborate with Yerevan State University faculty to develop curricula in the area of business and economics, to conduct joint research, and to hold seminars/workshops.

In August of 1999, Fresno State was awarded a similar one-year grant of just over $100,000. Last year’s project provided the YSU School of Business with a ten-computer laboratory for use by graduate students in the program. In addition, for the first time, students and faculty were able to access the Internet and the World Wide Web from the recently renovated Business Building.

Project director for Fresno State, Barlow Der Mugrdechian of the Armenian Studies Program, authored the grant. Associate Project Director is Elizabeth Shields of the Department of Finance of the Craig School of Business. Project co-director from Yerevan State University (YSU) is Rafael Matevossian, Pro-Rector (Vice President) for International Relations. Dr. Hayg Sargsyan, Dean of the School of Business at YSU will coordinate the academic aspects of the program.

Elizabeth Shields, Don Leet (Economics), Harold Haak (Emeritus President, Fresno State), Sasan Rahmatian (Information Systems) and Bill Rice (Marketing) are among the faculty and administrators from Fresno State who have visited Armenia during the past year on the project. They have reported that enthusiasm for the project is building among those involved. The Fresno State faculty has gained experience and knowledge about the economic situation in Armenia, which can be utilized in classrooms here. Gerald Bryan (Marketing) and Mark Keppler (Graduate Programs) will be in Yerevan in the month of November.

leetFaculty in Armenia are please and excited to build bridges with colleagues in the United States, and in particular with Fresno State and the Fresno community. They look forward to continue to develop a long-term relationship between the two universities.

In the Spring of 2000, a group of six faculty and administrators, headed by YSU Rector Dr. Radick Martirossian, visited the Fresno State campus for three weeks.

Plans are being made for faculty and students from the YSU School of Business to visit the Fresno State campus later this semester and also in the Spring semester.

The goal of the project is to contribute to economic and political stability in Armenia by fostering educational reform in the area of business/economics at Yerevan State University.

rahmatianThe program will enhance the expertise of educators and business practitioners in the basic business and economic principles that underlie all modern market economies. The program has been designed to facilitate Armenia’s development as a technologically advanced, democratic, and free-enterprise society.

Modern business practices will be applied to real world problems by inviting local businessmen to the Yerevan State University campus for seminars, workshops, and demonstration projects. By first observing and later participating in these seminars for local businesses, the YSU faculty will gain insight into the nature of business consulting.

Opportunities will soon be available for the Armenian community to become involved in the project in a number of ways.


The duration of the grant is from August 15, 2000 to August 15, 2003.

The project was assisted financially by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Information Agency under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, as amended.