University of Dayton.
Photo: Staff Writer
Photo: Staff Writer

UD to end academic programs at China Institute in 2019

“During the past five years and through a variety of approaches, the Institute has experienced challenges in attracting faculty to teach and a critical mass of UD students to attend the China Institute, especially for its semester-long programs,”  Dr. Paul H. Benson, Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, said in an email sent to campus members. 

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“In addition, partnerships with other institutions to send their students to the China Institute simply have not borne fruit and are less likely moving forward,” Benson said. 

Citing a need to focus on other programs such as the UD Sinclair Academy and Flyer Promise Scholars programs, the school will “shift attention away” from academic programs at the China Institute, UD said in the announcement. 

The university said it is “exploring a range of options” for the 68,000 square-foot complex in the Suzhou Industrial Park that opened in 2012. Some training programs may continue at the institute, a UD spokeswoman said.

Former UD president Dan Curran, who led the school when the institute was established, said the decision to end academic programs there is a reflection of shifting priorities in higher education.

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Curran said it was always difficult to convince faculty to spend a semester at the institute in China. He also thought that increasing difficulties in recruiting international students likely played a role in the decision to cease academic operations at the institute.

“Certainly I’m sad to see any project that had a lot of promise end,” Curran said. “But, there are a lot of choices to be made and it’s a different environment than it was then.”

The university spent more than $2.2 million in 2016 on “program services” at an international campus described as being in “East Asia and the Pacific,” according to UD’s most recent form 990.

This is a developing story and we’ll update this page with new details as they become available.

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