Southern Illinois University

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Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Center for Vietnamese Studies. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Center for Vietnamese Studies.

Historical Note:

The Center for Vietnamese Studies and Programs was created in March 1969 under the supervision of Area and International Service, but after student protest the name of the center was changed to the Center for Vietnamese Studies to emphasize its mission as an academic unit. The Center for Vietnamese Studies was approved by the SIUC Board of Trustees on March 21, 1969, and the State of Illinois Board of Higher Education on June 3, 1969. It became officially operational on July 1st, 1969 and remained active throughout the 1970s. Using funding from the five year AID 211-d grant the Center was funded for six years (the last year being stretched from previous funds).

Throughout these six years the center offered various courses and lectures from resident and visiting  professors despite constant criticism and protest. Protests on the Center and the Vietnam war prompted the mid-semester school closure in 1970, but the Center resumed when the University reopened. That same year SIU became the largest resource on southeast Asia in Illinois. AID funding gradually decreased throughout the term of the grant, making the beginning years of the Center the most accomplished. As the grant ended the Center attempted to raise money itself to continue operation, but failed. The Center was not carried on the SIU list of accounts for personnel after 1973.

Once the Center ended in 1973/1974 the office was moved from Woody Hall to Pulliam Hall where it still existed under Dr. Dinh-Hoa Nguyen, who did not receive any special compensation for the role. The room held many of the publications and books acquired from the grant that were eventually moved to Morris Library. Hoa, a tenured professor in linguistics, continued to conduct activities including: responding to information requests on SE Asia, providing consultations, and generating personal publications. The Center is presumed to have closed once Hoa left the University.

Sources: Lagow, Larry. "A History of the Center for Vietnamese Studies at Southern Illinois University." PhD dissertation, Southern llinois University at Carbondale, 1978.
Note Author: Katherine Orze

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