Ghent Collaboration Anniversary Celebration

HikeBumpers College and Division of Agriculture Celebrate 15 years of International Academic and Research Collaboration with Ghent University

The U of A’s Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences is hosting four faculty from Belgium’s Ghent University Sept. 19-20 to celebrate an important milestone in the long and productive relationship between the two institutions.

This two-day meeting at the Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences not only commemorates past achievements, including a long-running student exchange program and successful faculty collaboration, but also looks forward to evaluating the current status and how the partners enhance the relationship. This involves developing new creative ventures to improve student experiences and research, and further strengthen ties between the institutions. 

All U of A faculty and students are invited to attend the entire event or any portion thereof. This is a unique opportunity for students to learn about novel international study opportunities, and for faculty to network and develop research collaborations with leading Ghent researchers.

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Roland Verhe, one of the most successful European academicians in developing international programs around the world, will describe his key role in initiating this institutional relationship for Ghent University before reviewing our current state and developing new opportunities with faculty and student input.

The event includes a student social  at 4 p.m. on Thursday on the Hawkins Family Terrace (south end of the AFLS Building) to network with Ghent students studying in Bumpers College and to meet visiting faculty. Light refreshments will be served. Students also will learn about Ghent University study abroad and research opportunities for both undergraduates and graduates.

Study abroad opportunities include a range of options from a short two-week ‘Sustainability Course’ at Ghent coordinated through Bumpers College and U of A’s College of  Engineering,  to semester-long experiences or longer as part of a dual-degree program or a ‘stand-alone’ research experience as part of an honors project, master’s degree  thesis or doctoral work.      

The relationship began around 2004 with the federally funded program for a dual-degree program in agricultural economics and bioresources student exchange program and short courses, which involved students and faculty across campus. These programs have continued despite conclusion of grants due to termination of the federal program. The meeting will focus on planning imaginative international programs for the coming years. 

Please join us as we celebrate 15 years of collaboration with the University of Ghent!

Celebration Schedule

September 19, 2019 at Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences

8:30 - 9:00 a.m. - Breakfast

9:00am – Introductions by Andy Proctor 

9:00am – 9:10am – Welcome to the University and Bumpers College by Dean Deacue Fields

9:10am – 9:20am – Welcome from the Arkansas Division of Agriculture by Jean-Francois Meullenet

9:20am – 9:25am – Welcome from the Graduate School/International Programs by Curt Rom

9:25am – 9:30am – Overview of the event’s agenda by Andy Proctor

9:30am – 10:20am – “The Beginning with Biorenewables” by Roland Verhe, introduced by Andy Proctor

10:20am – 10:40am – Break

10:40am – 11:30am – “Ag Econ Double Degree Programs” by Guido Van Huylenbroeck (via Zoom), Mark Cochran (via Zoom), Bruce Ahrendsen & Lucas Parsch

11:30am – 12:00pm – Question and Answer Panel with Roland Verhe, Guido Van Huylenbroeck (via Zoom), Lucas Parsch, & Bruce Ahrendsen

Please submit your RSVP to join us for this meal. 

Chaired by Jeyam Subbiah and Deacue Fields

1:00pm – 2:00pm – “State of the Collaboration from UGhent Perspective” by Koen Dewettinck, Filip Van Bockstaele, & Jessika De Clippeleer, introduced by Jeyam Subbiah

2:00pm –3 :00pm – “State of the Collaboration from U of A Perspective” by Mary Savin, Andy Proctor, Bruce Ahrendsen, Bryan Hill, & Wayne Mackay, introduced by Deacue Fields

3:00pm – 3:15pm – Open Discussion

September 19, 2019 at Hawkins Family Terrace/AFLS Building

4:00pm – 4:30pm – Social gathering and refreshments

4:30pm – 5:00pm – Student perspectives and experiences, introduced by Mary Savin

5:00pm – 5:30pm – Conversations and refreshments with Ghent faculty & students


September 20, 2019 at Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences

Chaired by Luke Howard and Jeyam Subbiah

8:30 - 9:00 a.m. - Breakfast

9:00 - 9:15 a.m. - Reflect on Day 1 by Robert Bacon 

9:15 - 9:45 a.m.– “Collaboration Between Industry and Academia: Do We Need a New Paradigm?” by Koen Dewettinck

9:45 – 10:15 a.m.– “Designing Healthier Fats for Bakery Applications” by Filip Van Bockstaele

10:15 - 10:45 a.m. – “Sustainability Short Course” by Mary Savin, Ben Runkle and Michel Flement (via Zoom)

10:45 - 11:00 a.m. – Break

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – “Open Discussion” including how to facilitate faculty-faculty collaboration, how to engage students, and what are future funding options, led by Roland Verhe, Koen Dewettinck, Bruce Ahrendsen, Mary Savin, Benjamin Runkle, & Michel Flement (via Zoom)

Please RSVP to join us for this meal.


September 20, 2019 - Food Science Building E3
"Exploring the Tastes of Belgium" - The History of Beer and Chocolate - Chaired by Robert Bacon