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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 10, 2005

Ke Named New Director Of Center For Asian And Pacific Studies

Chuanren Ke has been named the new director of the University of Iowa Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS), effective Aug. 15.

Ke, an associate professor of Asian languages and literature in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, takes over for Stephen Vlastos, who is stepping down from the position he has held since July 2000. Vlastos plans to return to the faculty full-time as a professor of history after taking a developmental leave in the 2005-06 academic year.

Ke, who received his doctorate in linguistics from Indiana University at Bloomington in 1992, has taught at the UI since 1993 and served as the chair of the UI Department of Asian Languages and Literature from 2001 to 2005. His teaching and research interests include Chinese applied linguistics, second language acquisition, psycholinguistics, computerized adaptive testing, language assessment, Chinese language and pedagogy, curriculum development and teacher education. He also serves as an associate professor of second language acquisition with the Foreign Language Acquisition, Research and Education (FLARE) -- interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Second Language Acquisition. Ke will retain his professor's salary of $58,100.

William Reisinger, associate provost and dean of UI International Programs, said Ke brings a great deal of scholarly expertise and enthusiasm to CAPS and will build on the strong leadership provided by Vlastos over the past five years.

"East Asian studies at the University took long strides forward thanks to Stephen Vlastos' vigorous efforts," Reisinger said. "Chuanren Ke, with his strengths as a scholar and administrator and his strong support among CAPS faculty, is certain to bolster Iowa's national and international repute in this area. I look forward to working with him."

CAPS, which was established in 1986 with a major gift from the E & M Charities of Muscatine, anchors the Asian studies complex at the UI, supporting 23 full-time faculty members and five lecturers dedicated to undergraduate education on Asian issues. CAPS also serves as the primary fund-raiser for Asian studies. CAPS received a four-year, $2 million Freeman Foundation Undergraduate Asian Studies Initiative grant in 2001, and a $210,000 three-year grant in 2003 as a National Consortium for Teaching about Asia Partner Site.

The Freeman Foundation grant has funded three new East Asian studies faculty positions, 1.5 library staff positions and 10 International Writing Program writers. It has also supported symposia, courses, lectures, cultural events and visiting scholars from Asia. CAPS staff and faculty have also raised more than $1.85 million toward a $2 million capital campaign to fund two endowed professorships in Chinese and Korean studies.

CAPS is affiliated with International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research, teaching and service.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu ; Program: Dongwang Liu, 319-335-1305