UB announced Friday that it plans to close the UB Confucius Institute after 11 years of promoting Chinese culture across Western New York.
The decision to close the institute by the end of 2021 was communicated by President Satish Tripathi and Provost A. Scott Weber to the institute’s board of advisors on May 10, the school said in a statement.
“After careful consideration of all of the variables, we decided that in order to preserve and strengthen our long-standing relationship with CNU we would need to do so outside of the parameters of the Confucius Institute and in alignment with our research and education mission,” Weber said.
The institute, which is located in the UB Commons, has played three major roles at UB: to help develop and strengthen Chinese language programs; to foster a better understanding of Chinese traditions; and to support research related to Chinese artistic production.
Running the institute is a collaborative effort between UB, The Center for Language, Education and Cooperation and Beijing’s Capital Normal University, one of UB’s long-time partners in the region.
At UB, the Confucius Institute falls within the College of Arts and Sciences and collaborates with many other departments, including the Office of Vice Provost of International Education, currently led by John Wood, and soon Nojin Kwak.
“The UB Confucius Institute has greatly increased knowledge of China, its language and culture, both at the university and throughout the local community, positively impacting students from primary school through graduate school,” Wood said in a statement.
Zhiqiang Liu, an economics professor and director of the Confucius Institute, has agreed to chair an interdecanal committee that will explore how UB can advance Chinese and Asian studies while supporting students.
Dan Eastman is the assistant managing editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org