The Korea Foundation of Seoul and the University of Pennsylvania signed an agreement last week to commit $2.5 million each to create an endowment of Korea Foundation Professors in the School of Arts and Sciences.
Funding will support the endowed professors' salaries, expenses for their academic activities, and other program elements such as visiting professors, graduate fellowships, academic research, conferences, seminars, and the expansion of the Korean collection in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library.
One chair will be in the humanities, one in the social sciences; and if possible, a third discipline will be determined at a later date, said President Judith Rodin, but Korea is to be the "primary focus of their academic research," she added.
Penn's Korean Studies programming already featured course offerings, links with Korean universities, and outreach, the President said. "Our need, so generously addressed with this agreement, is to increase the number of Korean specialists on the faculty to create a critical mass in the discipline."
Penn has offered instruction in Korean language since 1984 and conducts a special summer internship program in which students are housed with Korean students at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, noted SAS Acting Dean Walter Wales.
Korean Studies originated at Penn in 1963 when Chong-sik Lee, one of the nation's leading analysts of Korean affairs, joined the political science department of Penn and began teaching a course on Korea. Now full professor of political science, Dr. Lee continues to participate in Korean Studies along with Dr. G. Cameron Hurst, III, a Medieval historian who is professor of Japanese and Korean Studies; and Director Youngro Song of the Korean Language Program. Dr. Hurst is also graduate chair of AMES (Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and director of the Center for East Asian Studies.
Volume 43 Number 21
February 11, 1997
Return to Almanac's homepage.
Return to index for this issue.