MINUTES FOR ASIA COUNCIL MEETING

March 31, 2006

Macon State College

 

A. HOUSEKEEPING

 

The meeting was called to order by the Council Chair, Dan Paracka (Kennesaw State University) shortly after 1 PM. Also present were Jonathan Leightner (Augusta State University), Tom Preston (Gainesville State College), Tom Howard (Armstrong Atlantic State University), Salli Vargis (Georgia Perimeter College), Tracy Provost (Middle Georgia College), Eric Kendrick (Georgia Perimeter College), and Deirdre Williams (Board of Regents, Office of International Education).

 

The minutes of the December 2, 2005 meeting were approved.

 

Dan Paracka announced that Marc Gilbert (North Georgia College and State University), who has been serving as the Council’s secretary, will be going to Hawaii for at least one academic year, 2006 – 2007, and that it will be necessary to elect a new secretary at our first meeting in the fall. In the meantime, Tom Howard is filling in.

 

 

B. UPDATE FROM BOARD OF REGENTS OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

 

Deirdre Williams discussed some recent developments:

 

1) The Office continues to encourage consolidation and coordination of study-abroad programs through its Mini-Grants for Study Abroad Collaboration. Funds will be granted up to a maximum of $250 per institution to reimburse travel costs, conference calls, and other expenses incurred by program directors. So far two applications have been received for this coming summer; deadline is May 1, 2006.

 

There was some discussion of whether undersubscribed programs can be salvaged by consolidation. Salli Vargis pointed out that this would present problems of reconciling different itineraries for which some people had already signed up. Deirdre Williams said it would be better to coordinate programs earlier in the process so this wouldn’t happen.

 

There was also discussion of using these grants to reimburse travel of prospective program directors to the first Asia Council meeting in fall 2006.  However, it was determined that only study abroad program directors could apply for the grant to support a specific collaborative project among study abroad programs.

 

2) The University System’s Committee on International Students and Scholars is offering mini-grants to promote the sharing of international scholars. The idea is that scholars who have visiting status at one system campus can have their expenses covered for visiting other system campuses. Amounts of up to $250 per institution are available. Questions should be directed to sue.watson@usg.edu.

 

3) The Office has created a C. Tracy Harrington Award for Inter-Institutional Collaboration in International Education. The $500 award will be made annually to recognize the endeavors of individuals or institutions in the USG. The deadline for this year is May 1, and further information can be obtained from sue.watson@usg.edu.

 

4) The STARS (STudents Abroad with Regents’ Support) program continues.

For this year’s programs the Council has provided matching funds of $500 each for four STARS stipends: one for the Japan group lead by Eric Kendrick, two for the China group led by Baogang Guo, and one for the China language program led by May Gao.

 

The Council voted to offer matching funds for four more STARS student in 2007.

 

5) The Georgia Tech-based on-line language programs in Chinese, Russian, and Japanese are still getting fairly low enrollments and the process of registration is still apparently cumbersome, due to the “transient student” designation that must be used. Eric Kendrick raised the question of whether it makes sense to continue to base this program at Georgia Tech, since this will always be a minor side-line for them. He suggested that the program might be based at his institution, Georgia Perimeter College, which already has 181 students taking Japanese and is quite familiar with transient students. An important question is how much longer Georgia Tech’s control of this program is to run, and no one seemed to know.

 

 

C. STUDY ABROAD PROGRAMS

 

1) India – The program organized by Salli Vargis and Farley Richmond had to be cancelled because of insufficient sign-up (4 students as compared with a dozen in each of the past two years).

 

Kennesaw’s two India programs have made, with about 6 students each.

 

2) Japan – Eric Kendrick’s program is on track, with 10 students.

 

3) ChinaBaogang Guo’s general studies program has 29 students, with faculty from four USG campuses. The language program has 13 students.

 

 

D. 2007 FACULTY DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR

 

Eric Kendrick reported that “Change and Continuity: The Impact of Modernization and Globalization on South Korea and China,” which he is dong with Baogang Guo, is on track for June 4 – 25, 2007. Ultimate formal approval is still pending but there appears to be no reason to think that it won’t be granted. Application deadline is December 15, 2006. Any questions should be directed to Dan Paracka (dparacka@kennesaw.edu). Chancellor’s Awards are available for first-time participants in faculty development seminars.

 

 

E. DEVELOPING A SYSTEM-WIDE CERTIFICATE IN ASIAN STUDIES

 

This concept was discussed at some length. Dan Paracka handed out copies of a flyer for the Certificate in Latin American Studies sponsored by the Americas Council, and the group used it as a starting point for how a similar program for Asia might be developed. Much discussion centered on the language requirement. The Latin American certificate can require six course hours at the 3000 level because these languages are so widely taught, even at the high school level. This is obviously not the case with Asian languages. Georgia Tech’s on-line courses came up for more discussion in this connection, as well as on-line language courses from outside the USG.

 

There was also some discussion of whether USG institutions that might be “target markets” for a certificate program have sufficient Asian history and culture course offerings. The idea of including Asian-American studies courses came up, as did such activities as participation in Model UN.

 

There was general interest in doing something about creating a certificate, but it was obvious we can’t simply imitate the initiative of the Americas Council, and that some creative thinking is going to be required. Eric Kendrick agreed to come up with a proposal to be discussed at the fall meeting.

 

The fall meeting was set for Friday, September 15.  We will meet for lunch first at noon, at the Shahenshah Indian restaurant beside the Macon State Campus.

 

The meeting adjourned shortly after 4 PM.