SCIE Asia Council


Minutes of the meeting of 15 October 2004

held at Room K106, Macon State College, Georgia


Members present:  Dan Paracka (chair), Farley Richmond, Salli Vargis, George Vargis, Thomas Graham, Jean Choate, Ming Chen, Baogang Guo, Lei Zhu, Hao Gu, Nikhil Moro, Hemlata Madhavrao Moro, Wilson Huang, Linda Bennett Elder, Vrnda Chaitanya, Douglas Reynolds, Alison McCubbin.


1.  Paracka called meeting to order at 1.16 p.m., following which each of the 17 attendees briefly introduced themselves.

2. Paracka charged the Asia Council (agenda), and handed out the 2004-2005 agenda which included an increase in membership, selection of a voting member and "point of contact" in each campus, and an invitation to colleagues to each campus.

3.  Graham suggested that officials from the Japanese consulate be invited to attend a future SCIE Asia Council meeting to promote Georgia universities with Japanese students.  Members suggested that representatives from other consulates also may be invited.

4.  Members discussed Asia Council's name and agreed that existing name is more appropriate than "Asian Council."

5. Paracka said emails publicizing the Asia Council's work and meetings were not eliciting the expected response.

6.  Farley introduced the India Faculty Development Seminar intended to introduce faculty in the University System of Georgia to technology, innovation and business in India in the summer of 2005.  Attendees will focus on the Bombay-Hyderabad-Bangalore high technology corridor.  The application deadline is December 15, 2004.

7.  McCubbin said the chancellor's awards currently stand at $5000 but she will explore increasing this sum via other avenues.  In response to Farley's suggestion that the Friends of India, of Athens, Georgia, might help with funding the India Faculty Development Seminar, McCubbin said in that eventuality the chancellor's awards might see a matching increase.

8.  Graham suggested that the Asia Council reach out to the Georgia business community to raise funds.

9. Paracka initiated discussion about the appropriateness of the time of conducting the India Faculty Development Seminar:  Is end-May too hot in India?  Will July be better? Will July attract younger faculty?  Paracka added, that a final decision regarding the timing of the seminar will depend on input from Mark Gilbert and contacts in India.

10.  Moro suggested that the attendees land in Bangalore to take advantage of that city's weather in the summer.  Moro offered to help arrange attendees' stay at the University of Mysore, Mysore.

11. McCubbin pointed out that the summer program attracted junior faculty as it "does not usually count towards tenure."

12. McCubbin introduced the 1000-level online courses in Chinese, Japanese and Russian.  She quoted colleagues that students studying online make relatively quick progress but highlighted that transfer of credit was a problem for such students.

13. McCubbin announced a new contact in the chancellor's office, Ryan Thornton, reachable at 404-651-2950 ( to work with students in place of the study abroad advisors.

14.  Paracka announced that funding for study abroad was available with Alison's office for the 2000-level courses.

15.  Paracka presented a report on the budget of Council Activities, adding that the Council would consider adjusting its bylaws based on guidelines suggested by the Board of Regents.

16.  Salli Vargis reported that the 2004 study abroad program to India was a success.  Ten students, two of whom were not UGA students, participated.  Salli Vargis described the program, including attendees' participation in Indian performing arts, scholarship and, tours to Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Ajanta-Ellora, to Kerala, and media coverage of the attendees in The Hindu and in Malayala Manorama, experience of Koodiattam theatrical performance in Kerala.  Salli Vargis also described the $500 and $1000 scholarships available to potential attendees, to which McCubbin added that all international offices will have some funds.

17.  Salli Vargis reported that the 2004 India program attendees produced a 15-minute movie as a spoof of local "Bollywood" movies.  The movie was played via VCR at the meeting's end at 3.25 p.m.

18. Farley announced a change of Web address.

19.  Paracka introduced the intensive six-week China language program, in which 10-15 students participated every summer.  Paracka said Yan Gao of Clark Atlanta Univesrity will be hired to teach on this program, and described that 2004 attendees had appeared on local television in China.

20. Baogang announced that the intensive China language program is to be combined with the general studies program.

21. Baogang described the $3000 Asian Freeman Scholarship, and said applicants stood an approximately 30 per cent chance of winning it.  The deadline for the scholarship will be the first Friday of March.

22. Ming announced a summer study abroad program to the Shanghai Theater Academy, Shanghai, one of the top theater colleges in China.  The program will include demonstrations by experts, culture events, art college, open costume shopping and an arts-crafts-music center visit.  Attendees will be houses in an air-conditioned hotel.

23. Douglas pointed out that there was a variety of sources of contributions available for the study abroad programs.

24. Paracka introduced the study abroad program to Japan, saying that Dwight Call will lead it.

25.  Paracka said the Criminal Justice in Thailand program attracted about 12 students in its first year.

26. McCubbin said the study abroad catalogue is available online and as a CD for a quarter of the price of the book.  The price of the packet is $1.10.

27.  Paracka announced that Kennesaw State University was a center for the Chinese proficiency test, which he described as the "Toefl of Chinese," used by American students to get admissions in Chinese colleges.

28. Paracka said the Southeast Conference of Asian Studies, Lexington, Kentucky, scheduled for January 14-16, 2005, was accepting proposals.  Representation from South Asia was needed.

29. Elder announced that the conference on Teaching India to non-specialists across the disciplines will be organized by the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy, Valdosta State University, on March 4-5, 2005.

30. Chaitanya announced that an international conference on "how religious and spiritual leaders can promote issues of socio-economic development" was being planned at Valdosta State University at a date still not decided.  The conference will discuss the millennium development goals. On January 13-16, a small meeting of "key leaders" will be held to plan this conference.

31.  When Chaitanya expressed concern over the date of this meeting clashing with the Lexington, Kentucky, conference, McCubbin pointed to the availability of an events calendar online,, inviting members to contact her at to post events online in order to identify conflicts in dates.

32. Paracka announced the Asia Council's winter meeting will be held on December 10, 2004, and the spring meeting on March 25, 2005, both at this same venue.

33. McCubbin said the university system encourages collaborations with international visitors and would match funds on an equal basis.

34.  Farley announced that funding was available for the Teaching East Asia program for teachers in Gwinneth county, Atlanta, in June 2005.  Farley proposed to hold an annual program in Atlanta and a traveling program for the state.  Farley said the Freeman Foundation was generous in supporting the program and even gave extra funding for outreach activities.

35.  Paracka adjourned the meeting at 3.20 p.m., following which a couple of group pictures were taken using Nikhil Moro's camera.

36.  Members enjoyed a 15-minute movie screened via VCR by Salli Vargis, produced by student attendees of the 2004 India program.


(Minutes recorded by Nikhil Moro).


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