Valparaiso U dropping Confucius Institute amid criticism

By The Associated Press

VALPARAISO — Valparaiso University, citing criticism and the potential loss of federal money, said it will close a program that promotes Chinese music.

The Confucius Institute will continue performances before closing March 1, university President Jose Padilla said Monday.

“We are proud of what the CIVU program has accomplished over the last 14 years,” Padilla said. “We hosted CIVU as part of a cultural, international and apolitical exchange that many universities and governments, including the state of Indiana, pursue to expose their students and others to an ever-global world and economy.”

The program was supported by the Confucius Institute headquarters in Beijing and Zhejiang University of Technology.

Padilla said federal law prohibits the Pentagon from funding research at universities with a Confucius Institute. Another bill would restrict U.S. Education Department funding, he added, a blow that “would be devastating.”

Padilla said more than 80 universities are closing Confucius Institutes.

Valparaiso plans to create a program to continue the exchange of Chinese music and language without money or staff from China.

Padilla said the closing is not related to an investigation recently announced by Attorney General Todd Rokita, who suggested the partnership might be promoting communism.

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