Salem and Jakarta, Indoenesia are separated by approximately 8,500 miles and a time difference of 14 hours.
But a new memorandum of understanding between Chemeketa Community College and a Jakarta university is creating new connection between the capital of Oregon and the capital of the world’s fourth most populous nation.
In a small ceremony in the boardroom of the Salem campus in May, Chemeketa president Cheryl Roberts signed the memorandum of understanding alongside Dr. Sofia Alisjahbana, rector of Universitas Bakrie in Jakarta.
“The goal of these discussions would be to develop academic and cultural exchanges focused on education, training and research,” the MOU reads. “Subject to mutual consent, the areas of cooperation may include any service or program offered at either institution where cooperation is feasible and desirable.”
Roberts and Alisjahbana met during the past year at the U.S.-Indonesia Higher Education Summit, an event hosted by the U.S. Depeartment of Education to continue strengthening education relationships between the two nations.
“We had a passion and a deep care for the students and the communities and the countries that we serve,” Roberts said of her conversations with Alisjahbana.
The initial agreement will remain in place for two years and can be renewed in one-year increments for up to five additional years.
Possible ways the two schools can work with each would be through exchanges of faculty and student, joint research projects, exchange of academic materials and more.
“It’s not just the signing of the MOU, but the next steps,” Alisjahbana said. “That’s the most important thing.”
“This is the beginning of the conversations to ensure we have great partnerships,” Roberts said.