Joseph J. Arden became director of the University of Maryland University College's (UMUC) Asian Division in 1975. Since then, he has personally initiated UMUC programs throughout the world, where no adult and continuing education programs previously existed. Dr. Arden set the standard in the world for implementation, operation and maintenance of adult and continuing education in off-campus overseas settings.
Dr. Arden, who also serves as Vice President of UMUC, has had direct academic, administrative, and fiscal responsibility for the program in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. He has also been involved in maintaining UMUC programs during armed conflicts in Vietnam, Bosnia, and Saudi Arabia. During the 1960's, Dr. Arden served in military and civilian positions in Asia, teaching in Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and Japan. His motto has always been, "UMUC goes to where the troops are."
In 1977, Dr. Arden was responsible for creating UMUC study tour courses for academic credit, which led to the first two-week study tour to the People's Republic of China. The participants on this tour were among the first official United States university group admitted in China after the Cultural Revolution. The tour resulted in the designation of Fudan University in Shanghai as a sister university of UMUC. That tour resulted in additional study tours throughout Asia.
Under Dr. Arden's leadership, more than one million overseas students have taken courses with UMUC, often under highly adverse circumstances. These students, who would not otherwise have been able to participate in higher education, have earned thousands of degrees. He has set an exacting model for others to follow.
In 1957, General Lyman L. Lemnitzer gave the commencement address for UMUC Asian Division's first graduating class of two, in Tokyo. Lemnitzer observed that UMUC, "possesses the most extensive and unusual campus in the entire world. It can be truly said that the sun never sets on the University of Maryland." Dr. Arden is the academic leader who has ensured UMUC's bright present and future in the global community.
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