Defense spending legislation passed in 2018 prohibits institutions from hosting Confucius Institutes if they receive U.S. Department of Defense funding for Chinese language programs. Although many efforts have been made, WKU has been denied a waiver from the DOD that would allow WKU to operate both the CI and the Chinese Flagship Program.
We have given notice to our partners to terminate the agreement between WKU and CI headquarters. Though activities will phase out over the next several weeks, we will continue our dialogue with key partners to work toward a solution that allows WKU to continue our programming. We hope to strengthen, deepen, and broaden our relationships with partner institutions in China throughout this process. We remain committed to ensuring each of the six graduate students currently enrolled in a WKU degree program have the opportunity to complete their degrees.
WKU and our partners will look for ways to continue collaborating to support our school districts and to continue our pipeline for students and instructors from China. Having a diverse student population, we continue to remain strongly committed to international education and creating opportunities for each of our students to broaden their horizons through experiences with Study Abroad and Study Away. A hallmark of the WKU Experience is our students being able to see the world and cultures different from their own.
I would like to thank you for your support of the CI at WKU. Your good work helped the CI to become the regional center for Chinese teacher training and Chinese curriculum development. Our partnership, during the last nine years, has created opportunities for K-12 students to learn about another culture - right here in the communities in which they live.
The details of this transition are still being finalized. I will share more information with you as it becomes available.
Again, thank you for all you have done to support the Confucius Institute at WKU.
Timothy C. Caboni