As network of Chinese-funded institutes at American universities expands, some professors see opportunities. Others worry about academic freedom and whether centers promote "culturetainment," not scholarship.
NAFSA: Association of International Educators on Monday announced as its new executive director and CEO Esther Brimmer, a foreign policy expert and academic.
Brimmer, who formerly worked at the U.S. Department of State, is currently a professor of practice of international affairs at George Washington University, an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a senior adviser at the consulting firm McLarty Associates. She will assume her new leadership role at NAFSA on Jan. 1, succeeding Marlene M. Johnson, who is retiring after 18 years at NAFSA’s helm.
Among those universities that have closed, the University of Pretoria moved up its upcoming recess period and plans to reopen Oct. 10. In a statement Monday the university said protesters blockaded entrances and disrupted classes. A statement from Pretoria’s vice chancellor and principal, Cheryl de la Rey, also described “incidents of arson and other violent behavior.”
The latter institution, known as Wits, has suspended all university operations until further notice and plans to poll staff and students on whether to reopen on Monday “if the appropriate security measures are in place.”
"If the majority of students and staff support the reopening on Monday, 3 October 2016, the university will call upon government and the police to meet their obligations to protect the university’s property and to safeguard the lives of students and staff," the university's statement on the matter said.
Three petrol bombs were found on the Wits campus over the weekend. Eyewitness News reported Monday that a cleaning worker died after inhaling fumes from a fire extinguisher allegedly released last week by student protesters in a Wits residence hall. The university said in a statement expressing its sympathies that the worker had been "rushed to the Campus Health and Wellness Centre and then taken to hospital, where the worker was treated for a few days. The worker was discharged from hospital and then passed away."
The university said the cause of death has not been determined.