Published November 14, 2013
Jiyuan Yu, professor of philosophy, was appointed director of the UB Confucius Institute (CI) in August, and says he plans to revamp the institute to enhance and support Chinese studies and promote traditional Chinese culture on campus.
Secifically, Yu wants to take the institute beyond its artistic exchange and community education role and integrate the CI into UB’s mainstream campus life, academic offerings and research as an element of “Realizing UB 2020: Achieving Academic Excellence.”
Through UB 2020 — the university’s strategic plan — the university is pursuing ways to further globalize the university and its curriculum, enriching the experiences of all students and preparing them to navigate in an increasingly diverse world.
The Confucius Institute at UB opened in 2010 under the direction of Kristin Stapleton, associate professor of history and former director of the university’s Asian Studies Program. From its inception, the CI has supported and facilitated cultural exchanges between UB and Chinese universities, and notably, has brought teams of Chinese artists to Buffalo to celebrate Chinese New Year and other Chinese festivals with elaborate and well-attended presentations of Chinese performance art.
Under Stapleton’s direction, the CI also co-sponsored seminars and symposia, and established a Chinese language program through which native Chinese-speakers from Capital Normal University in Beijing come to Buffalo and teach Mandarin to K-12 students. Participants now include four Western New York school districts and seven private schools, and more are expected to enroll in the program.