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Release: June 12, 2000

Kim is named Distinguished Service Professor, Vlastos to lead CAPS

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jae-on Kim, director of the University of Iowa Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS) and a professor of sociology, has been named a Distinguished Service Professor in recognition of his years of outstanding leadership and contributions to CAPS. Kim's new position is effective July 1. He will also become director emeritus of CAPS and be succeeded by Stephen Vlastos, a UI professor of history.

CAPS was founded in 1986 and since then has focused on teaching and research that advance knowledge and understanding of the history and cultures of the East Asian countries. Kim has been director of the center since 1992. Among other accomplishments, he was instrumental in securing partial funding for two new endowed chairs, one in Korean Studies and one in Chinese Studies.

As a Distinguished Service Professor, Kim will have additional support for his research and campus activities related to Korea. Kim also will focus on maintaining and building relationships with external constituencies.

Vlastos joined the UI history department in 1976, after earning his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. His principal area of research is Japanese agrarianism and right-wing political movements in the period leading up to the Pacific War. He also has written on peasant protests and rural political economy in the late feudal period. His most recent book was an edited volume, "Mirror of Modernity: Invented Traditions of Modern Japan," (University of California Press, 1998).