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Skidmore College

New Buddhism studies professorship

September 23, 2016

A new tenure-track faculty position in Buddhist studies will strengthen Skidmore’s offerings in both religious studies and Asian studies. The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Professorship will be mostly supported for four years by a $300,000 grant from the foundation. 

After the rigorous application process, Skidmore President Philip Glotzbach said, "We couldn't be more delighted to hear of our selection by this prestigious foundation.' The grant serves a core Skidmore mission, he adds, because "our students, and the world, need much deeper understanding about global faiths and cultures.”"In fact, student interest has been growing so much that Skidmore recently separated religion and philosophy into their own departments and also added a major to its existing minor in Asian studies. The Ho Professor will bridge both areas by teaching three courses in religion and two in Asian studies each year, with at least three of these courses focused on Buddhist studies.

Ho Foundation CEO Ted Lipman says, "As an outstanding liberal arts college, Skidmore provides a solid platform" for the foundation’s goals of "advancing Buddhist studies and developing a network of scholarship." Skidmore’s dean of the faculty, Beau Breslin, remarks, "Our faculty members are deeply committed to drawing on the world's literary, religious, philosophical, and artistic traditions, not only as points of contrast and comparison with the European canon, but as intrinsically valuable sources of insight into the universal questions at the heart of a liberal arts education."

An international search this year will bring a new Ho Professor into the teaching schedule by the fall of 2017.

Established in Hong Kong in 2005, the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation supports a range of Chinese cultural programs. The Skidmore funding is part of its Buddhist studies grants administered by the American Council of Learned Societies.

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