In October 2009, the University at Buffalo signed agreements with Confucius Institute Headquarters/Hanban and Capital Normal University (CNU) to establish a Confucius Institute at UB. The grand opening was held on April 9, 2010, with remarks by UB President John B. Simpson and CNU President Huili Gong and outstanding performances by students from UB and CNU.
In 2011, UBCI welcomed its first guest teachers from CNU. Zhengzhi Miao began teaching at Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart and Qingjie Fan at Canisius High School.
The Chinese guest teacher program, community cultural activities, language classes and tutoring have developed rapidly. In the 2015-2016, UBCI has arranged for 14 guest teachers from many provinces in China to teach in schools throughout Western NY. Two visiting professors from CNU are teaching at UB.
At the same time, UBCI is playing an increasingly significant role in teaching and research about China at UB. The Confucius Institute sponsors conferences and distinguished speakers, supports scholarships, fellowships, and study abroad, offers opportunities for faculty and graduate students to conduct research in China, and opens doors for UB departments to host teaching faculty from China.
In fall 2014, UB signed a second set of agreements with Hanban and CNU ensuring funding and fruitful collaboration for the Confucius Institute for the next five years.
In May 2015, UBCI sponsored a symposium in honor of George C. Lee, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering and a member of UBCI’s board of directors. UBCI honored Professor Lee with the Confucius Educator Award for his pioneering work in the late 1970s and early 1980s to foster collaboration between American and Chinese universities.
As we embark on our next 5-year period, UBCI is proud to build on Professor Lee’s legacy as we facilitate greater teaching, research and exchange with China in Western New York.