Alabama A&M, Troy respond to concerns about Confucius Institutes

Alabama A&M, Troy respond to concerns about Confucius Institutes

Alabama A&M University and Troy University have responded to questions from Congressman Mo Brooks about the Confucius Institutes that operate on their campuses. Confucius Institutes at American colleges have come under fire from federal and state officials who say they could be used for propaganda and influence favorable to China’s government, such as by suppressing discussion of its authoritarian policies. Brooks called on Alabama A&M and Troy to shut down their Confucius Institutes. “The Communist Chinese Party cannot be allowed to gain influence over America’s education system or undermine American national security," Brooks wrote to university officials last month. Confucius was a philosopher and teacher who lived more than 2,500 years ago in China. Confucius Institutes operate under Hanban, an organization based in Beijing with the stated purpose of promoting the teaching of the Chinese language and understanding of the culture. In a four-page letter to Brooks, (attached to the end of this article) Alabama A&M President Andrew Hugine Jr., said the Confucius Institute at the university focuses on enhancing cultural awareness. “In its operations and curricula approval and oversight, the institute’s course programming has followed the normal course of any program, course or degree approval at the University and is under the auspices of our faculty,” Hugine wrote. “We not only espouse academic freedom, but we practice it in all that we do. The faculty has curricula control over the offerings of the institute.” Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins wrote to Brooks that there was no indication ...
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