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Liu named director of UB Confucius Institute

By BRUCE ACKER

Published February 14, 2017

Zhiqiang Liu, associate professor of economics, has been named director of the UB Confucius Institute (UBCI).

Liu succeeds Stephen C. Dunnett, professor and vice provost for international education. Dunnett, chair of the UBCI board of advisors, had served as interim director following the death in November 2016 of former director and philosophy professor Jiyuan Yu.

Established in 2009, UBCI supports China-related research and artistic production at UB, Chinese language teaching at the university and in local schools, and cultural events that foster a better understanding of Chinese traditions and contemporary culture throughout Western New York.

“We are very pleased that Zhiqiang Liu has been appointed director of the Confucius Institute,” Dunnett said. “Professor Liu is a prominent scholar in his field and maintains an active research agenda with a focus on the Chinese economy. He is in an excellent position to direct the work of the institute moving forward.”

Liu was appointed to the position by Robin Schulze, professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; UBCI is housed within CAS.

The Confucius Institute works in collaboration with Capital Normal University, one of UB’s longtime partners in Beijing. A board of advisors consisting of faculty and administrators from UB and Capital Normal University oversees the work of the institute. Major funding is provided by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in China, as well as UB.

UBCI is part of a network of more than 500 such institutes around the world. Last December, it was named “Confucius Institute of the Year” at the annual Confucius Institute Global Conference in Kunming, China.

Liu said he was honored to be appointed director of UBCI and noted the “exceptional work” Yu had done to build the institute into a “prominent center for teaching and research about China at UB and in the community.”

“I look forward to building on the significant accomplishments of the previous directors and dedicated staff to further strengthen the Confucius Institute as a dynamic and effective academic unit,” he said.

A UB faculty member since 2000, Liu studies applied microeconomics, economic growth and development, the economics of crime and the Chinese economy. He has published numerous articles in leading economics journals, among them Economic Development and Cultural Change, the Journal of Comparative Economics, the Journal of Development Economics, the Journal of Economic Geography, the Journal of Law and Economics, the Journal of Political Economy and the Journal of Urban Economics. He has served on the board of directors and board of regents of the Chinese Economists Society, and also sits on an advisory committee of the Natural Science Foundation of China. He is currently on the editorial board of China Economic Review.

Prior to joining the UB faculty UB, Liu was a lecturer at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and also served as a special-term professor and deputy director of the China Center for Human Capital and Labor Market Research at the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.

He earned an MBA and a PhD from UB and a BS from Tianjin University.