Recent leadership appointments in academic affairs will help to consolidate some of the offices that serve students in order to increase efficiency, according to Cheryl Young, the newly appointed assistant provost of academic affairs, effective Jan. 1, 2013.
She will be overseeing the integration of services provided by the Office of International Education, Center for American and World Cultures, Confucius Institute, MUDEC-Oxford and Lifelong Learning.
Young is currently the director of Lifelong Learning, which promotes continuing education by offering credit and non-credit programs to people of all ages
Right now, continuing education offices and programs and international offices and programs at the university provide similar services, Young said.
“Right now we share a lot of [services],” Young said. “International education works with incoming international students and I work with incoming international students as well through the ACE (American Culture and English) program. International education works with students who want to study abroad with outside programs and I do all of the faculty-led study abroad. We already do functions that align with each other. This will bring that together so we can operate more efficiently on behalf of the students and staff.”
Sophomore Hannah Wheeler will study abroad in Switzerland next semester with a program outside the university.
“From the perspective of someone studying abroad next semester, this semester I haven’t found that there is one person that knows everything about what I need to know about,” Wheeler said. “If the process was streamlined and there was just one center for students to use [to get all the study abroad information] it would save a lot of time and effort.”
Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Bobby Gempesaw announced other new appointments in addition to Young’s.
Current Director of International Education David Keitges has been named interim director of the Confucius Institute. Current Director of the Confucius Institute Quanyu Huang has been named interim director of the Asian/American Program at the College of Arts and Sciences. These appointments are also effective Jan. 1, 2013.
“The mission of the Confucius Institute at Miami is to expand the Chinese program and expand to the regional campuses,” Huang said. “The second one is to serve as an outreach program to help the community adapt to these changing global economies. The third is to serve as a bridge for internationalization for Miami students and faculty.”
Ray Gorman is the provost and executive vice president of student affairs. He said the Confucius Institute aims to spread the Chinese language culture and familiarize people with the Chinese language.
“There’s this organization in China called Hanban and they’re the organization that sponsors all these Confucius Institutes, hundreds of them around the world,” Gorman said. “Here at Miami, Hanban as a state-sponsored organization provides us with instructors. They pay for three or four instructors from China to teach our courses.”
Gorman said the Confucius Institute also serves as a platform for various cultural programs, such as a singing competition in Chinese, a skit competition and various films to expose more people on campus and in communities to Chinese culture.
Gorman also said although it is not known exactly how the reorganization will work under the new leadership, all international offices will be more integrated than they have been in the past.
“That was really the driving force behind the reorganization: the integration of all international programs,” Gorman said.
Young said the Confucius Institute will work with the Office of International Education and the Center for American Cultures. She said they will all be under an umbrella of global education.
“They (the Confucius Institute) have a high school program that travels to China and I will be working with them,” Young said. “They’re part of an outreach effort education Americans and others about Chinese language and culture. We’ll be working with them a lot.”
Huang said the restructuring of all of these offices is too new to have any future goals related to integration.
“We have to have time to digest and to think how we should do this,” Huang said.
Keitges declined requests for an interview for this article.