Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

International Institute receives $750K Mellon Foundation grant to help offset federal cuts

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $750,000 grant to the U-M International Institute for language instruction and other initiatives.


Learn more about the International Institute.

The three-year grant restores some funding that was lost when Congress sharply cut federal financial support, known as Title VI funding, to the U.S. Department of Education's foreign language and area studies programs.

As a result of the cuts, grants to six Title VI-funded National Resource Centers at the International Institute have been slashed by 47 percent in 2011-12 and 2012-13, a loss of almost $750,000 per year.

"This grant from Mellon is a tremendous boost to our international education and programs for students here at U-M," says Ken Kollman, director of the International Institute.

"We have long been a leader in languages and area studies, training entire generations of educators, scholars and professionals who then become known experts on other parts of the world. These funds will have a big ripple effect," Kollman says.

The grant will help fund lectureships in the following less-commonly taught languages: Czech, Filipino, Persian, Quechua, Thai, Tibetan, Urdu,Vietnamese and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian.

The funds also will help support a new tenured faculty position in Central Asian studies as well as symposiums, lectures and other events.  

The International Institute houses 17 centers and programs focused on world regions and global themes. The institute develops and supports international teaching, research and public affairs programs to promote global understanding across the campus and to build connections with intellectuals and institutions worldwide.

The Mellon Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation based in New York City. It makes grants principally in five core program areas: higher education and scholarship; libraries and scholarly communications; conservation and the environment; museums and art conservation; and performing arts.