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Agreement seals exchange program between Duquesne, China universities

Investigating and solving crimes transcends culture, evident by a partnership formalized Friday between Duquesne University and China University of Political Science and Law.

Frank Liu, director of the Center for Legal Information at Duquesne, said the partnership between the Uptown university and CUPL's Institute of Evidence Law and Forensic Science will focus on sharing curriculum and teaching materials, exchanging professors and researchers and conducting joint research, projects and conferences.

The program will start with faculty visits that will lay the groundwork for students from the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law to possibly visit China, said Ralph Pearson, Duquesne's provost and vice president of academics.

"It is another opportunity for us to have our students get international experience," he said. "Duquesne is enriching the international life here on campus."

Wecht, a physician and former Allegheny County coroner and noted forensic expert, attended yesterday's news conference. He said China has much to offer American students because its civilization goes back thousands of years.

"Forensic science is a common denominator," he said. "It transcends and ignores politics."

Baosheng Zhang, vice president and director of the Institute of Evidence Law and Forensic Science in

Beijing, said the school is excited about Chinese professors and researchers being able to learn from American professors. Professor visits are expected to start in the spring and students may be able to take part in the exchange program starting during the fall 2010 semester.

"We hope the two universities can start a collaboration in an exchange of scholars," he said.

Ken Gormley, Duquesne law professor and interim dean, said the university has a long-standing relationship with CUPL through the law school, which led to the new partnership.

"There is no other university in the country that can match this because of the unique opportunity the law schools provided," he said.

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