The Intermountain Consortium for Asian and Pacific Studies (IMCAPS), a collaboration between the University of Utah (UU) and Brigham Young University (BYU), seeks designation as a Title VI UNRC for Asia. IMCAPS combines the resources of two stellar universities to create a regional and national leader in Pan-Asian Studies (AS). Located in Salt Lake City, UU is the state's flagship public university. It has over 22,000 undergraduates, 7,000 graduate students, and 11 professional schools that graduate over 3,700 students a year. BYU, 46 miles south of UU in Provo, is a primarily 4-year private university with 2 professional schools (Law and Business) and some graduate programs, notably in Language Acquisition Pedagogy. It has over 30,000 students, about 3,000 of which are in professional programs.
UU's Asia Center (UUAC) and BYU's Asian Studies Program (BYUASP) are the hubs for Asian Studies development on their respective campuses. Both have numerous Asian language and interdisciplinary programs that graduate students with Asia expertise, including an Asian Studies Program that incorporates East, South, Southeast, and Central Asia and the Pacific, emphasizing linkages and comparisons between these regions of Asia and between Asia and the rest of the world. IMCAPS has 155 total faculty teaching over 590 courses in 27 departments with significant Asian content. UUAC and BYUASP maintain partnerships with a network of campus and community entities, including UU's Confucius Institute (CI) and BYU's Chinese Flagship Program (CF), to promote education about Asia across our campuses and community. While traditional nation-state boundaries structure much of our rich foundational curriculum, especially in language and “country” courses, increasing proportions of our teaching and research employ comparative approaches and explore trans-border phenomena through which “Asia” and the nation-states it encompasses transcend geographic bounds. We focus on a dynamically global Asia, broadcasting Bollywood from India to Japan, migrating from Thailand, Polynesia, and Siberia to North America, exporting from China to Southeast Asia. We prepare our students to become global citizens, versed in the languages an cultures of the region, with the intellectual flexibility to combine area studies and professional competence, and cognizant of the complex linkages that define the profound relevance of Asia for the United States today.
In the FY 10-13 cycle, IMCAPS will structure its goals around 4 overlapping themes: 1) Applied Asian Studies: Asia in the Professions; 2) Asian Health Issues in Global and Comparative Perspective; 3) Islam in Asia; 4) Social Media and Popular culture in Asia. We will expand our language offerings in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Hindi-Urdu, Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese (FCP); content curriculum on South and Southeast Asia and on Asian health issues; and related library holdings. We will institutionalize ties between Asian Studies and the professional schools (IP3) in 4 ways: 1) UU will hire a new Asian Studies and Internship advisor; 2) BYU will enhancing collaborative advising and curriculum coordination between its ASP and its Title VI CIBE (IP1); 3) IMCAPS will expand professional internships and training programs in Asia, especially in health fields; 4) UU will link its Asian Studies MA to professional school degrees and increase specialized language classes. IMCAPS will in crease outreach staff (UU will hire a new outreach coordinator; BYU will increase coordinator to fulltime) to significantly expand and refine our outreach to K-12 schools (AP) through pedagogy training and curriculum development for Chinese dual immersion and for content teaching on Asia tailored to state mandates. IMCAPS will enhance our ties with universities in countries with substantial Muslim populations (IP4), including India, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Thailand, by expanding student and faculty exchanges for training and academic conferences and by building shared web-based curriculum, particularly in law.