Professor Zhiqiang Liu Appointed Director of UB Confucius Institute
Established in 2009, UBCI supports China-related research and artistic production at UB, Chinese language teaching at the university and in local schools, and cultural events that foster a better understanding of Chinese traditions and contemporary culture throughout Western New York.
Stephen C. Dunnett, professor and vice provost for international education and chair of the UBCI board of advisors, said, “We are very pleased that Zhiqiang Liu has been appointed director of the Confucius Institute. Professor Liu is a prominent scholar in his field and maintains an active research agenda with a focus on the Chinese economy. He is in an excellent position to direct the work of the institute moving forward.”
UBCI is housed within the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at UB. Liu was appointed to the position by Robin Schulze, professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
The Confucius Institute also works in collaboration with Capital Normal University, one of UB’s long-time partners in Beijing. A board of advisors consisting of faculty and administrators from UB and Capital Normal University oversees the work of the institute. Major funding is provided by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters in China and the University at Buffalo.
Professor Liu succeeds Professor Dunnett, who served as interim director following the untimely death in November 2016 of former director and professor of philosophy Jiyuan Yu. Liu said, “I am honored to be appointed director of the Confucius Institute. My good friend and colleague Jiyuan Yu did exceptional work to build the Institute into a prominent center for teaching and research about China at UB and in the community. I look forward to building on the significant accomplishments of the previous directors and dedicated staff to further strengthen the Confucius Institute as a dynamic and effective academic unit.”
Professor Liu’s research interests include applied microeconomics, economic growth and development, the economics of crime, and the Chinese economy. He has published numerous articles in leading economics journals, including Economic Development and Cultural Change, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Geography, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Political Economy, and Journal of Urban Economics, among others. He has served on the board of directors and board of regents of the Chinese Economists Society. He also sits on an advisory committee of the Natural Science Foundation of China. He is currently on the editorial board of China Economic Review.
Professor Liu has been on the faculty in UB’s Department of Economics since 2000. Prior to joining UB, he was lecturer of economics at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is also special-term professor and deputy director of the China Center for Human Capital and Labor Market Research at Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing. He earned an MBA and a PhD from UB and a B.S. from Tianjin University.
The UB Confucius Institute is part of a network of more than 500 such institutes around the world. In December 2016, UBCI was named “Confucius Institute of the Year” at the annual Confucius Institute Global Conference in Kunming, China.
Professor Dunnett said, “The Confucius Institute has been very effective in supporting teaching and research about China at UB, and this development was specifically noted by Hanban when it named UBCI a Confucius Institute of the Year. Our partners in China look forward to supporting Professor Liu in his efforts to further expand the programs and increase the impact of UBCI on campus and in the community.”