The University announced Wednesday the opening of its new office in Shanghai, China. The office was established as part of the University’s effort to strengthen partners in education and research and to increase the profile of the University as a leading global research institute.Jeffrey Legro, vice provost for global affairs, said the office will develop the University’s current programs in China. “The mission of the office is to develop education abroad, to build research partnerships, to help develop internships and career opportunities for graduates, to attract the very best Chinese students to apply to U.Va. and to work with many alumni who live in China who are very active and work with alumni to gather support for U.Va. in general,” Legro said. In the spring of 2012, University President Teresa Sullivan led a delegation to China. Sullivan’s visit was expanded upon and reaffirmed when Provost John Simon and Legro visited Mainland China and Hong Kong the following winter.In the fall of 2013, Justin O’Jack was appointed China Office director.“Justin has a great ability to work between the two cultures,” Legro said. The University’s delegation to China also includes Engineering School Dean James Aylor, College Dean Ian Baucom, Darden Dean Robert Bruner, Continuing and Professional Studies Dean Billy Cannaday, Chief Operating Officer Pat Hogan and Commerce School Dean Carl Zeithaml. “Each of the schools has made a contribution because they recognize that China will run through the lives of our students and the future of UVa and that we need to be engaged there,” Legro said. “The schools recognize that it makes sense to invest in our presence and growing reputation there now, and we are hoping to do that by building and growing real activities in China.”The University is celebrating the opening of the China office with a two-day event March 6-7 in Shanghai.Academic and industry leaders will gather for a conference March 6 called “China’s Urbanization: The Next Challenge,” to discuss China’s architecture, business and growth during a period of rapid urbanization.A dedication and open house will take place March 7 at the China office. A top-level delegation from the University will be present and all events will be translated.This two-day celebration will kickstart a series of events in China from schools across the University for a year.