BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Confucius Institute Program, formerly at Western Kentucky University, now has a new home.
WKU notified its partners on April 22 that the University had ended its agreement with the Confucius Institute Headquarters to operate the CI at WKU, and announced Monday that Simpson County Schools will take over.
Simpson County Schools signed a contract with the Hanban/Confucius Institute on Friday.
“When the decision to end the CI at WKU was announced, my heart sank,” Terrill Martin, interim director of the CI at WKU, said. “I alerted the various schools and districts of the decision, but assured them that we would work hard to find a new host institution.”
Martin said he felt Simpson County Schools was the perfect partner. “Simpson County was one of the first school districts to partner with the CI at WKU, back in 2010," said Martin. "They have a teacher in each of their schools in the county, and even purchased the Beasley House, which is committed to international education.”
Many of the schools associated with the previous CI at WKU will continue their partnership with the new entity.
The new entity will operate under the name of the Confucius Institute at Western Kentucky, dropping the “University” from the name. “There is name value keeping Western Kentucky in the name,” Martin said.
The CI at WK will provide the Chinese language to 47 K-12 schools across more than 18 counties, reaching more than 22,000 students throughout the state.
“Simpson County Schools is excited to be able to continue to offer Chinese to our students,” Tim Schlosser, the new Superintendent of Simpson County Schools, said. “SCS have partnered with the Confucius Institute for the past nine years to bring Chinese language and culture to our district. It is a good opportunity for our students to learn about other parts of the world.”
Martin has been appointed to lead the program into its next phase.