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Last modified: Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ten international programs at IU awarded $17.6 million in Title VI funding

Aug. 5, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University today (Aug. 5) announced that 10 of its international programs will receive about $17.6 million, over four years, from the U.S. Department of Education through its competitive Title VI program.

Michael McRobbie

Michael McRobbie

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For more than a half century, international centers at IU have received support and national distinction through the initiative established through the Higher Education Act. Only a handful of universities are receiving funding for as many Title VI programs as IU.

"This is wonderful news for Indiana University," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "These awards ensure that for the next four years IU will remain among America's top tier of universities housing centers for international research and language studies."

McRobbie pointed out that the Title VI funding process is highly competitive.

"These awards reflect our commitment to language and international studies, which has long been a core strength of Indiana University," McRobbie said. "This is a testament to the great work being done by the directors of these centers and the distinguished faculty members and researchers within these programs. This additional funding will enable us to continue building on our investments in these departments and provide students with top-quality language and cultural studies programs."

Title VI funding will be provided to seven National Resource Centers (NRC), which promote and strengthen the learning of languages and foster understanding of vital areas of the world, including Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Russia and the Middle East.

Those centers are: the African Studies Program, East Asian Studies, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Center for the Study of Global Change, Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, the Center for the Study of the Middle East and the Russian and East European Institute.

All of these centers also will receive additional support for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships. These fellowships support meritorious undergraduate and graduate students undergoing training in modern foreign languages and related areas of international studies.

Patrick O'Meara

Chris Meyer

Patrick O'Meara

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IU's Islamic Studies Program was awarded funding through the FLAS program. IU's Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region (CeLCAR) received four-year funding as a Title VI Language Resource Center (LRC). Title VI provides funding for a small number of LRC's to improve the effective teaching and learning of less commonly taught languages.

With the exception of the Center for the Study of Global Change, all are based in the IU College of Arts and Sciences.

The Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), based in IU's Kelley School of Business, also received funding for four more years. The CIBER program advances the study and teaching of international business and support research on U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace.

IU Vice President for International Affairs Patrick O'Meara described IU's overall success as extraordinary. He said that it ensures that the university remains among the top tier institutions that contribute to global literacy and international scholarship.

"Title VI support provides resources for our centers to maintain their national and international prominence and to engage in innovative activities," O'Meara said. "The range and depth of our centers are evident in these awards. The funded centers represent an incredible number of countries and regions, and because of this they are not only invaluable to IU's academic mission, but they are also a national resource of great importance.

"Over the years, faculty members have received support to do significant research, publish or attend conferences and workshops. Fellowship recipients have gone on to careers in government or at universities," he added.

In this latest round, many of the centers will receive funding for undergraduate students to pursue language and area studies coursework during the academic year or during the summers. This is in addition to considerable, continuing funding for foreign language and area studies fellowships for graduate students, which aids the centers in recruiting top students.

"Foreign languages and area studies are two historic strengths of the College of Arts and Sciences," said David Zaret, its interim dean. "Our programs in these areas have long attracted top-flight scholars to IU and Bloomington.

"It doesn't surprise me at all that these eight programs within the College have been successful in winning these grants. At the same time it is very gratifying that the U.S. Department of Education continues to recognize and support these areas of vital importance," Zaret said. "I congratulate all the faculty and staff members whose work throughout the year has resulted in this excellent outcome."

Dan Smith, dean of the Kelley School, added, "The Kelley School is recognized as one of the most important business schools in the world. Receiving this prestigious grant will provide us with the resources necessary to support innovative programs that will advance international business education and practice. I am particularly excited about initiatives that we hope to pursue that will enhance the global competitiveness of smaller to mid-size companies in the state of Indiana."

Following are highlights about how the centers will use the Title VI funding (includes links to home pages):

  • The African Studies Program will train future generations of specialists in African studies with advanced competency in critical but less commonly taught languages by strengthening and expanding undergraduate and graduate African language learning in Akan, Arabic, Bamana, Swahili, Wolof and Zulu. It also will increase the number of national experts through intensive student recruitment and enhanced collaboration, and expand programming for K-12 educators
  • The Center for the Study of Global Change will continue to promote internationalization of teaching and learning within higher education and in outreach to K-12 schools, through a broad array of programs.
  • The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies will continue to support the study and teaching of indigenous languages Haitian Creole, Quechua Portuguese and Yucatec Maya. It also will continue with its outreach efforts, including the Minority Languages and Cultures Program, the Indiana Project on Latin American Cultural Competency and the Brazilian Studies Program, as well as a new sustainable development initiative.
  • The Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region will continue to develop materials for the strategic languages of the region including textbooks, multimedia and Web-based materials for intermediate and advanced levels for Afghanistan's common languages Dari and Pashto. It will continue to pioneer the synchronous and asynchronous delivery of language instruction using new and emerging technologies and research the efficacy of bridging from more widely studied languages, like Turkish and Farsi, to the less commonly taught languages of Central Asia.
  • The Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) will focus on long-term sustainable approaches to international business practice and economic development. The IU CIBER will promote continual innovation in teaching and learning through an online portal for multimedia instructional tools, e-learning games and mobile applications.
  • The Center for the Study of the Middle East coordinates all IU programs dealing with Arab countries and includes scholars on Israel, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan. It will strengthen teacher training, including for those at community colleges and K-12 schools, add instruction at IU on modern Israel and Iran and in Arabic language.
  • East Asian Studies, in partnership with the University of Illinois's Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, will continue to expand outreach, strengthen interdisciplinary research and teaching and stimulate pedagogical innovation. It also will increase the numbers and quality of "language ready" students proficient in Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian and Cantonese, who are capable of contributing to the needs of government, business and the academy.
  • The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center will continue to promote learning of strategically important languages, including Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Persian, Tajik, Tibetan, Uyghur and Uzbek. It will produce Web-based materials for teaching archeology of Central Asia. To increase the supply of specialists, new undergraduate courses and conferences and workshops will focus on Islamic Central Eurasia, national security issues, economic development in transitional economies, and nation-building in Turkic- and Iranian-speaking countries.
  • Islamic Studies, an inter-area studies program, will promote better understanding of the Muslim world as a historical, cultural, literary, political, religious and economic entity. It will highlight the many and diverse Muslim and non-Muslim traditions and societies that have developed within it over the last 1,400 years and bring together scholars from the West with those from all areas of the Muslim world; and to promote a free and open exchange of views.
  • The Russian & East European Institute administers the nation's largest language training program for the region, offering fellowships in 12 area languages: Czech, Estonian, Greek, Hungarian, Macedonian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian, Slovene, Ukrainian and Yiddish. It trains large numbers of experts with advanced skills in less commonly taught languages and area studies who contribute to the needs of the U.S. government, academic and business institutions.