University is Doing Business in China
Dr. Dail Fields
-- Why is a Regent business professor spending a month
teaching in China? Near as I can figure, it's part of God's plan
for using the gifts with which He has blessed me.
If you are like me, you are less accustomed to listening to God
than talking to Him. I frequently have several items for His to-do
list. In this case, I worked hard at listening after I received
an e-mail asking for Regent to send a professor to teach for a
period of time at Henan University, deep in the heart of China.
And what I heard was 'go.'
Several years ago while planning a short-term mission trip, a
more experienced gentleman suggested that we should all be FAT
Christians (yes, I thought - that's for me!). But he didn't mean
freedom from weight concerns; he meant Faithful, Available, and
Teachable. I think I heard God's message at this time saying "be
faithful, available and I will teach you."
first met people at Henan University about 4 years ago. That was
another FAT experience. A friend with a kingdom business in China
had a possible opportunity for Regent with a college in Beijing.
Before leaving, I contacted some people with China knowledge and
experience available within CBN and affiliated groups. I was referred
to a professor at Lee University who was a graduate of Henan University
in China. Turns out that Henan University also had a sister school
relationship with Lee. So, after some further relationship building,
I traveled to Kaifeng and inked a sister school relationship between
Henan and Regent in 1999.
The purpose of being sister schools was to bring students from
China to Regent for an MBA degree. An American Masters in Business
Administration is very valuable in China these days, as reform,
privatization, and for-profit enterprises are the themes. But
few students had materialized in 3.5 years. The purpose in inviting
Regent to send a teacher now was to reactivate this program. The
Regent Business School also asked me to assess the level English
proficiency among the MBA students we would receive from Henan
University. So, besides God's tug at my heart, the trip was timely.
The only thing that wasn't timely was SARS. But I trusted that
God wanted me to go to China to help further His presence in graduate
business education in China -- not to get SARS. Thus far He has
provided immensely. I have developed relationships with the president
and vice-president of the University, the Dean and other senior
officials of the Management Department -- all the right people
to help our plans here bear fruit.
What's the story on Henan University?
Henan University is the largest government sponsored university
in Henan province. The school currently has approximately 22,000
students, and is poised to open a new campus and grow to 35,000.
Needless to say, Regent University has a chance to touch and help
scores of people here.
University located in Kaifeng, a very historic city in China.
Henan province is located about 400 kilometers (240 miles) southwest
of Beijing. It is a very populous region with nearly 100 Million
Think about it -- that's more than one-third of the population
of the US.
Henan is an interior province in China, and it's been slow to
develop compared to the coast around Shanghai and the southern
area adjacent to Hong Kong. People here frequently characterize
the area as 'behind' the rest of China. The absence of growth
adds a bit of 'old China' charm to Kaifeng. The car, truck, and
taxi noise is much less than in bigger, more 'progressive cities.'
Traffic here is heavy with bicycles.
the lack of progress in parts of the province, things at Henan
University are on the move. China appears to be channeling serious
money into development of higher education. Henan has built several
new buildings in the last few years, as the accompanying pictures
show. The new administration building is a bit of a showcase.
The classroom where I have been teaching is equipped with a computer,
projection system, and document camera. It is similar to the recently
enhanced rooms at Regent.
Students have classes six days per week. The days are divided
into morning session (8 a.m. to Noon) and afternoon (2:30 to 5:30).
Chinese traditionally take a nap after lunch until 2:30 p.m. I'm
not sure how many actually nap, but the university and the city
are almost deserted from lunch until 2:30.
A Surprising Visit
One of the benefits that the Regent sister school relationship
with Henan University brings is exchanges of students and teachers.
The Graduate School of Business at Regent has an exchange student
from Henan University who is graduating with her master's degree
in education in 2 weeks. She has specialized in teaching English
as a second language -- and is planning to continue on for her
of the first things that happened after she had been at Regent
for a couple months was her announcement that she had become a
Christian! Next she influenced her parents on the other side of
the planet in China -- and they became Christians! God is on the
move! Her parents are retired and live in a village near a city
in the western part of Henan province. I exercised one of my perks
as a visiting professor from America and went to visit this students'
family over a weekend.
Her sisters arranged a tour of the surrounding area and her parents
invited me and my traveling companion and translator from the
university for a dinner in their village home. What a treat! What
a handsome and robust couple. They have raised four children (prior
to the one-child policy China works to enforce now). Their two
daughters and an aunt are also in the second picture. Her father
has very kind eyes - and is an outspoken Christian! What a dinner
One daughter works for a TV station, and the manager of the station
was at the dinner meal. TV stations in China are operated by the
government, so I anticipated this fellow was well placed in the
Communist Party hierarchy. He confirmed this at dinner when we
were discussing the village, its recent economic progress, and
his role. You can imagine my surprise when the father openly explained
how wonderful it was that his daughter had found the Lord and
helped he and his spouse do the same. He even talked about how
he believed he had experienced a healing through prayer.
influential government fellow then observed that in the new China,
people can choose their own personal religious beliefs. Hmmm.
Might be a propaganda moment.
But the strength and conviction of the father in this family
demonstrated vividly in front of his children was awesome. He
presented me with a Chinese calligraphy he had done from James
4:8 "Come near to God, and He will come near to you."
And He did!
from Regent Graduate School of Business
More from Regent
Dr. Dail Fields is an Associate Professor of Management in the
Graduate School of Business. He came to Regent University from
George Washington University where he was an Associate Professor
in Human Resource Development. Prior to that, he taught at City
University of Hong Kong. He has led re-engineering projects for
major consulting firms, directed operations at MCI Communications,
and owned and operated a small business in computerized graphics
and printing. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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