Published: March 6, 2019

As noted elsewhere in the Newsletter, this year we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Center for Asian Studies. Hats off to its first two Directors Dennis McGilvray and Laurel Rodd and to the current CAS Team ably led by Faculty Director Tim Oakes and Executive Director Danielle Rocheleau Salaz!

For the past several years CAS has worked hard to find resources to support opportunities for CU undergraduates to either study or work in Asia during the summer. Geordi Emnett, a mechanical engineering major, participated in the CAS-led, Tang Endowment-supported Urban China Global Seminar (see page 4 for more information) last summer. This is some of what he had to say about that experience:

This summer has been the most incredible summer of my life to date. I had the privilege of getting to join a group of 12 other students to spend a month in China. This experience was beyond impactful and changed my life in immeasurable ways….The experience of studying abroad in China really challenged me to grow as a thinker, a global citizen, and it further spurred my intense curiosity to learn more about the world.

A modest investment aimed at opening the eyes and minds of CU’s undergraduates to the broader world around them can have a transformative impact.

We are deeply grateful to Dean Jim White and his colleagues in the College of Arts & Sciences for their ongoing support of CAS. We are encouraged that the importance of the campus-wide “internationalization” is (finally) getting the increased attention it deserves. The Academic Futures report, prepared with extensive campus-wide input and consultation in 2018, identified “Internationalizing our Campus” as one of its Top 4 priorities. The Academic Futures Committee noted that comprehensive internationalization is “essential to our mission and to other goals and projects set forth in this report.” It went on to note: 

“Internationalization of our curriculum and our research creates a path to the long-term relevance of our public mission in service to society by creating global citizens with the ability to address problems of international significance. Globalization is one of the most powerful forces in our world, bringing great benefits and causing equally great challenges and anxieties. CU Boulder must position itself to prepare our researchers, artists, and students to address those anxieties, to help solve those challenges, and to ensure those benefits serve the common good” (emphasis added).

Proactive support of internationalization would create an environment in which CAS and other programs linking CU to the wider world could truly thrive. Important progress has been building from the bottom up. Deans of the College of Engineering & Applied Science, the Leeds School of Business, and the CU Law School have each recently hired staff dedicated to supporting and expanding international programs and connections. CAS has active links with the College of Engineering and the School of Business and is exploring links with the Law School and with one of CU’s newest Centers: the Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies (CNAIS). A critically important next step is the appointment of a senior administrator to lead and direct the internationalization effort. The Academic Futures report recommended this be assigned to a new Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Education. Experience at other Universities in Colorado and across the U.S. support the recommendation of an earlier in-depth review of internationalization at CU Boulder in 2010 that this effort be led by a Vice Provost/Associate Vice Chancellor for International Policy and Programs. 

The Center has been told it needs to vacate its current premises in the coming year to make way for the proposed University Conference Center. We trust that CAS will be provided with a new space that both keeps all of the component parts of the Center together and provides easy access for students, staff and community members so that the vitally important work of the Center for Asian Studies will continue to thrive for the next 20 years. Onward!

George Taylor 
CAS Advisory Council (CASAC) Chair