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Study says values taught in public schools

Study says values taught in public schools

(July 17, 2001)

The Henry Luce Foundation has approved a four-year, $400,000 grant to help develop a Southeast Asia Studies Program at the University of California, Riverside.

The grant would, in its first year, pay the full $175,000 cost for two new positions, one senior and one junior faculty, focusing on Southeast Asia, a foundation letter said. In subsequent years, the grant would contribute 75, 50 and 25 percent of the two professors' salaries and benefits. The first payment from the New York-based Henry Luce Foundation is expected to arrive at UCR in September. The foundation informed UCR officials on June 29.

UCR officials have already begun building a foundation for the program. Patricia O'Brien, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, has approved the recruitment of Filipino Studies Professor Dylan Rodriguez from UC Berkeley to join the Ethnic Studies Department effective at the beginning of this month. His hiring will bolster the two positions to be supported through the Henry Luce Foundation grant.

The faculty positions will be in history, anthropology, religious studies, or literature. One of the faculty positions will emphasize a national literature and language, for example Vietnamese or Tagalog for the Philippines.
UCR Chancellor Raymond L. Orbach said the grant approval acknowledges both the strengths of performing arts initiatives already at UCR, which focus on Southeast Asia, and their potential for growth into other areas.

"The University of California, Riverside is very grateful to the Luce Foundation for its award of $400,000 to provide seed funding for two new faculty positions in Southeast Asian Studies. UCR has considerable strength in the performing arts in this area already, and this splendid grant will do much to stimulate new excitement and intellectual energy in a dynamic field of study that is emerging strongly on the Riverside campus," he said.

The campus has shown a commitment to Southeast Asia studies through such steps as the formation of the Southeast Asian Performing Arts Studies Center at UCR. Faculty in the departments of music, dance, religious studies, and ethnic studies established the center in 1997 to examine the links performing arts forge between Southeast Asian homelands and expatriate communities, including those in California. The center now works with faculty and students from UC campuses in Los Angeles, San Diego and Irvine.

Two performing arts studies center founding faculty members, music professors Deborah Wong and René Lysloff, hailed the grant as a way to build a valuable resource for academic research and for the community at large.

"This is not just a great victory for UCR, but for the Southeast Asian community in this area because with this grant, we can begin the process of becoming a valuable resource for the people," Lysloff said.

The grant will also help shape new ways of looking at how geographic areas are studied, Wong added.

"We hope to expand the thinking in area studies beyond the literal geographical areas and look at the global flows of people and culture," she said, citing the post-Vietnam-Conflict migration of Southeast Asians to California as a case.
Other signs of UCR's commitment to Southeast Asia Studies include a 1998-99 UC Pacific Rim Planning grant, which allowed the center to establish relationships with universities and performing arts conservatories in Southeast Asia. This year, O'Brien has committed funds to the center with plans to expand the campus's support in the next three years.

The campus, in partnership with UCR Extension and universities in Vietnam, is developing a Southeast Asian summer language institute, which is expected to offer UCR students opportunities to study abroad by 2002, O'Brien said.

These initiatives reflect the increasingly Asian ethnicity of UCR's student population. Asian-American students comprised 42.5 percent of the more than 13,000 undergraduates in the 2000-2001 academic year. The number of Asian-Americans, by far the largest single ethnic group at UCR, is expected to grow in numbers. UCR, the UC system's fastest growing campus, is projected to have about 24,000 undergraduates by 2010.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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