On Friday, December 4, 2015, Prime Minister Miro Cerar of the Republic of Slovenia met with University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce on the UW Seattle campus to express interest in sustained collaboration between UW and academic institutions in Slovenia.
The Slovene Prime Minister was accompanied by Ambassador of Slovenia to the U.S. Božo Cerar, Slovene Deputy Prime Minister Boris Koprivnikar and other Slovene government officials. On the UW side Vice-Provost for Global Affairs Jeffrey Riedinger, Vice-Provost for Digital Initiatives and Dean of Libraries Betsy Wilson, Divisional Dean for Humanities Michael Shapiro, Prof. and Chair of Slavic Languages Katarzyna Dziwirek, Prof. of Law Louis Wolcher and Prof. of Slavic Languages Michael Biggins also participated in the discussion.
Prime Minister Cerar had words of praise for the long-term impacts of the UW-University of Ljubljana Faculty Exchange, which has been in existence since 1979. He and the UW President also discussed an initiative already underway at UW to create an academic program in interdisciplinary Slovene studies which would serve students both at UW and, via distance learning, throughout the U.S.
The Slovene delegation was welcomed to Gerberding Hall by a line-up of UW graduate students working in Slovene studies, UW post-doctoral researchers from Slovenia, and two UW undergraduates recruited from Slovenia to compete as part of the UW men’s rowing team.
An album of photos documenting the visit is viewable here: http://albums.phanfare.com/isolated/fX9xwUYZ/1/7089834
This was the first visit by a Slovene prime minister to the UW and took place as part of a larger Slovene trade delegation tour of five major American IT hubs on the East and West Coasts. Previously, former Slovene Ambassador to the U.S. Samo Žbogar visited UW twice – in 2004 and 2007, on the second occasion delivering a talk to a hundred students in UW’s Jackson School of International Studies.