FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts Chris Cory, Pace University, 212-346-1117, cell 917-608-8164, email@example.com Cao Ding, Confucius Institute Headquarters, Hanban, Beijing, China Tel. from US: 010-5859-5940, firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTO EDITORS: We can supply digital photos of the ribbon-cutting, the symposium, and a Chinese seal image.
Pace University to establish New York City’s only university-based Confucius Institute
One of two new institutes in New York State that will be inaugurated May 3 and 5 as part of rapid worldwide growth
“Confucianism and global education” to be explored at day-long public symposium May 5
New York, NY, April 28, 2009 – On Tuesday, May 5, Pace University will establish the first university-based Confucius Institute in New York City. On Pace’s downtown Manhattan campus, the Institute will begin activities with a day-long public symposium on contemporary Confucianism and global education. The Institute will serve both Pace’s New York City and Westchester campuses and their communities.
The announcement was made by Geoffrey L. Brackett, the University’s provost. “We are proud to launch the Confucius Institute at Pace University, which will draw on Pace’s pedagogical, scholarly and professional expertise as a unique educational enterprise centering on Chinese culture and the world’s most-spoken language,” Brackett said.
“This has been a highly-collaborative and energizing endeavor, driven by our excellent faculty and guided by the Dean of Dyson College, Nira Herrmann,” he added. “It is unique in its interdisciplinary focus and involves both undergraduate and graduate programs. It will be a great additional resource for our students, faculty, the whole Pace community and the metropolitan region.”
Growth at Alfred and Stony Brook; upcoming Chicago conference. The unveiling of a plaque and the symposium at Pace are part of a three-day sequence in New York State – and elsewhere — that betokens a rapid world-wide expansion of Confucius Institutes (CIs).
A new Institute will be formally inaugurated at Alfred University in Alfred, NY, on May 3. An Institute at the State University of New York at Stony Brook opened April 13.
A conference of faculty members and administrators from CIs in the US, Canada and Mexico takes place at the Mariott Miracle Mile hotel in Chicago May 1 and 2.
The Pace institute http://www.pace.edu/pace/confucius/ will bring the number of such Institutes to four in New York State and to 58 in the US, according to Hanban (“Office of Chinese Language”), China’s non-governmental organization for teaching Chinese as a foreign language. (The city’s first CI opened three years ago at the China Institute on East 65th Street.)
Hanban says it is aiming for 500 Confucius Institutes around the world by 2010.
The institutes’ growth reflects both encouragement by China and increased global interest in the country, symbolized by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s decision to make China a destination of her first trip abroad.
Commercial publishing partner. The Pace institute is believed to be the only one with a commercial partner. Phoenix Publishing and Media Group (PPMG), one of China’s largest media conglomerates, is joining Pace and Hanban in contributing equal shares of the first year budget of $300,000.
PPMG has sent executives to Pace’s graduate publishing program since 2007. It and Pace will use the institute as a pedagogical laboratory for developing PPMG’s Chinese-language textbooks for foreigners.
Both PPMG and Hanban are donating Chinese reference books, textbooks and software. Hanban also is arranging for two visiting teachers of Chinese from a Chinese university.
“Our partnership with PPMG and Hanban is unique — no other Confucius Institute has such an arrangement,” according to Provost Brackett. “This is an outgrowth of our superior MS in Publishing program, which has deep collaborative ties with China and a significant presence there. It indicates the strength of Pace’s ability to educate for the professions in the international arena.”
In addition to being the only US institute with a business partner and the first university-based institute in New York City, the Pace institute is the only one of the three new New York institutes to be inaugurated with a scholarly symposium. Pace officials also think it may be unusual in its integration with an East Asian Studies program, several of whose professors are on the institute’s faculty.
Participants and schedule. On March 5 media are invited to an invitation-only ceremony unveiling a plaque, at 10:00 AM in Pace’s building at 41 Park Row, just east of City Hall Park. Public ceremonies start at 10:30 in Pace’s main building next door at 1 Pace Plaza, in the Multipurpose Room. The symposium begins at 11:30.
Participating will be Pace’s president, Stephen J. Friedman; Brackett; the dean of Pace’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Nira Herrmann; and officials from PPMG and the Chinese consulate in New York. Also present will be the Pace institute’s director, Weihua Niu, a professor of psychology, and Joseph Lee and Ronald Frank, the professors who co-direct the University’s East Asian Studies program.
“Why a Confucius Institute?” The symposium will be lead by notable experts.
• 11:30 AM: “Why a Confucius Institute?” by Wm. Theodore de Bary, Columbia University’s John Mitchell Mason Professor and a former provost, a renowned Confucian specialist. His most recent book on religious and intellectual traditions of East Asia is Nobility and Civility: Asian Ideals of Leadership and the Common Good.
• 1:15 PM: “Images of Confucius, Past and Present,” by Deborah Sommer, chair of the religion department at Gettysburg College, a specialist in Chinese religions and intellectual history. (Confucius’s 2,560th birthday is August 28.)
• 3:00 PM: Panel on cross-cultural teaching and learning moderated by Xiaolei Wang, professor of psychology at Pace and author of the recently-published “Mother Tongue, Father Tongue, Country Tongue: Growing up with Three Languages.” Presentations on “Understanding and Improving Students’ Learning: A Dialogue between Confucian and Socratic Approaches” by Jinfa Cai, of the department of mathematics education at the University of Delaware, and on “Culture, Brain and Learning: Recent Evidence from Imaging Research,” by Chuansheng Chen, a psychologist at the University of California at Irvine.
• 3:00 PM: “Chinese students in the 19th century United States” and their present-day legacies. by Edward Rhoads, an emeritus professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin.
An invitation-only final banquet will present performances by China Theater Works of an excerpt from a Chinese opera, and by majors in Pace’s fast-growing Musical Theater program of excerpts from Western musicals.
Travel and summer programs. The Pace institute also plans to promote:
• Education for professional groups;
• Interdisciplinary scholarship on China through collaborative research, conferences, seminars, and public lectures;
• Innovative teaching and learning techniques, international travel experiences, summer programs, and institutional exchanges; and integration of the study of China into the University’s liberal arts and professional curricula.
Its first classes, this summer, will provide a Chinese Studies track for the high school students who come to Pace’s Summer Scholars program for a two-week immersion in college courses and New York City life. In the future, the Institute plans seminars for professionals in business, education, probably film and theater, and public film festivals.
Pace and China. Approximately 275 Chinese international students and China-born US citizens attend Pace; alumni in China now number more than 50. Chinese language courses and exchanges of professors and students with China go back to the early 1980’s.
The University has at least 13 other agreements and affiliations with Chinese institutions. Students visit China regularly in field-study courses, and Pace professors, 25 of whom have scholarly or professional experience in China, collaborate with Chinese colleagues on research and training projects in areas from clean energy to trade law, nursing, accounting, and attitudes toward the elderly.
For 103 years Pace University has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu