Press Release

Contact: Candice Douglass
(206) 616-3506

University of Washington Receives $750,000 Grant for Area Studies

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation invests at critical moment.

October 23, 2012, Seattle— The University of Washington has received a $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its area studies programs, enabling eight Title VI National Resource Centers (NRCs) in the Jackson School of International Studies to continue their programs for students, educators, and the community despite almost $3 million in cutbacks by the federal government.

The NRCs, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, focus on specific areas, regions or countries, providing language instruction, coursework, and outreach programs to build awareness and knowledge of different regions and cultures.  

“The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s investment comes at a critical juncture for area studies programs nationally,” said University of Washington President Michael K. Young.  “We are proud of the contributions our area studies programs have made to the scholarship and teaching of many of our world’s cultures and languages, and the role they have played in preparing our students for roles that help make a better world.  This award will make a strategic difference in the future of our programs.  I applaud the Mellon Foundation’s vision and express, on behalf of the entire UW community, our gratitude.”

The administrative framework for conducting area-based research and teaching has evolved gradually over the past century at the University of Washington, expanding to include many departments and units across campus.  The Jackson School of International Studies houses the various Title VI Centers; many other units within the social sciences, humanities, and arts divisions of the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as faculty in other UW schools and colleges participate in the Title VI Centers and conduct area-based scholarship and teaching.  In 2010, the UW was the recipient of eight Title VI Center grants, tied with the University of Wisconsin for the greatest number of such centers in the nation.

“In our increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, it is crucial to continue to integrate global perspectives with the deep knowledge that area studies programs have specialized in producing for more than fifty years,” stated Resat Kasaba, Director of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.  “We are extremely grateful for this award from the Mellon Foundation.  It will enable us to continue to strengthen our area and international studies and build vital linkages across many disciplines on campus, including our professional schools.”

Kasaba indicated that budget cuts over the last two fiscal years (2011 and 2012) have translated into a reduction of $998,772 per year, or almost $3 million over three years, substantially reducing administrative and other staff support, as well as investments in innovative language acquisition and digital learning tools.

The University of Washington will use the grant from the Mellon Foundation to continue the most critical aspects of its programs and to develop new ways of structuring area and international studies in a fast-changing world.

About The College

The College of Arts & Sciences, founded 150 years ago, provides an education of tremendous breadth and depth to more than 27,000 students while advancing research and scholarship in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.  The College has more than two dozen interdisciplinary centers and ties to many other centers, enabling scholars in diverse fields to collaborate on complex research questions in the humanities, demography, labor studies, law, astrobiology, and other areas.

The College’s faculty members generate about $90 million in research funds annually, through public and private grants.  The College also serves the community through the more than 280 performances, 60 exhibits, and 100 public programs annually offered through the Henry Art Gallery, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the UW World Series, and the Meany Hall for the Performing Arts.

About the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies (The Jackson School) is part of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington.  The Jackson School combines the social sciences, humanities, and professional fields to enhance an understanding of an increasingly interconnected globe.  The Jackson School's commitment to regional, cross-cultural, and comparative studies extends well beyond the boundaries of its many formal academic programs.  The school has eight Title VI National Resource Centers (NRC) devoted to outreach and public education activities.






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