The opening celebration for the University of Idaho Confucius Institute took place Monday.
The Confucius Institute is a nationwide organization whose mission is to help college students in America understand the Chinese language and culture and foster economic development between the United States and China.
Katherine Aiken, dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, said the UI Confucius Institute will work hand-in-hand with the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, China.
“The UI Confucius Institute will have two code directors,” Aiken said. “One from China and the other from here.”
Aiken said China already has their director picked out, but UI is still in the interviewing process.
“The South China University of Technology said they are committed to sending up to three language instructors once we have expanded enough here,” Aiken said.
Aiken said both Chinese and American students majoring in international studies are excited for this institution. She said this will give them a chance to learn about China in ways they previously couldn’t.
“We will be offering the Chinese language as a class, for the first time since I can remember, in the fall,” Aiken said.
Aiken said the Joint Advisory Board for the UI Confucius Institute is in charge of making decisions for the Confucius Institute.
“The board has the responsibility to achieve the institutes goals,” Aiken said.
Aiken said the university is working with Han Ban, an entity with China’s Ministry of Education, to fund the Institute on campus.
“It is our belief that this will be the last Confucius Institute installation that will be funded by the Chinese government,” Aiken said.
Aiken said she thinks the institute will have events to celebrate Chinese holidays and festivals.
Jenny Hall, assistant to the dean, said there was a raffle held during Monday’s opening celebration. The results of the raffle are as follows:
Winner of the Kindle Fire is Dakotah Bartholomew
The two winners of a $100 gift certificate to the VandalStore are Josh West and Korynn Lacher.
Erik Fink can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org