As the new Director of the IAUNRC, I am delighted to announce and celebrate the renewed funding of our Title VI Center for another four-year cycle, thus maintaining our continuous support from the federal government since 1962, i.e., for now well over half a century. Our successful proposal stresses three key goals and priorities that need to be pursued and achieved during the coming four years. First, we plan to promote and enhance the offering of Inner Asian and Uralic content across the entire American educational spectrum from kindergarten to the university through expanded teacher training, scholarly research, outreach to the broader public, and production and dissemination of new resources for understanding our region. Second, we will continue to reach out with knowledge of our area to educational institutions that have traditionally been under-served or even neglected by our previous activities, specifically Minority Serving Institutions and Community Colleges. Third, we will once again emphasize the crucial role played by the teaching and learning of Less Commonly Taught Languages to facilitate the in-depth study of the broad Inner Asian and Uralic world. In pursuing this goal we will contribute to the creation of a new generation of language instructors, who will have access to improved resources, as well as the production of growing numbers of skilled language users.
Among planned efforts where the focus is on Indiana University itself, but where there will doubtless be a wider resonance, are a four-year area studies advancement project, co-sponsoring symposia with other IUB Title VI centers on cross-regional topics, supporting an initiative for IUB to host the annual Central Eurasian Studies Society meeting in the near future, and helping IUB’s Department of Central Eurasian Studies move toward filling a vacated position in the key field of Mongolian Studies.
From all of us at IAUNRC and at Indiana University I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the outgoing Director of our Center, Edward J. Lazzerini, who retired at the end of June 2018 after ten years of service. We wish him all the best.
Toivo U. Raun