SOCCIS: Anniversary

Commemoration of the 30th Year of SOCCIS by Carlos Haro, Ph.D.

Presentation at a meeting of the SOCCIS Steering Committee, November 1, 2001 at UCLA

Comments by Carlos Manuel Haro, Ph.D.
SOCCIS Executive Officer

This morning I'm very pleased to have two very important people at UCLA in the realm of international studies. Vice Chancellor - Institutional Relations, Emeritus, Dr. Elwin Svenson, is both a mentor and a friend of many years. He will be speaking about SOCCIS in its early formative period. For the present we have Professor Geoffrey Garrett, the newly appointed Vice Provost of International Studies and Overseas Programs here at UCLA, and some on campus are talking about him as being the new Sven. Professor Garrett is now responsible for the research centers and the international studies academic programming at UCLA.

Comments by Professor Geoffrey Garrett, Vice Provost of International Studies and Overseas Programs, UCLA

I had to make a presentation to a group of UCLA donor/volunteers the other day and for that I was asked to explain what ISOP/international studies was, so I organized my remarks around three questions. What is international studies, what is ISOP, and where is ISOP headed. First, with respect to what is ISOP, there are three large activities I'm responsible for: centers and research-based activity, the second is international disciplines and programs, and the third is study abroad. At a very broad level I think they have to be integrated much more coherently than they have in the past, and there is an opportunity now to take this step.

Obviously, living in the world today, you can never get away from the events of September 11th. The pitch that I've been giving on that score with respect to international studies is that I think there have been three epochs of international studies in the U.S. The first one is the one we're all very familiar with, the Cold War model, when there was funding for area studies and the study of international conflict, for all the obvious reasons. Then the world changed, epoch 2, in 1990/1991 with the end of the Cold War. In many ways I think it was a very intellectually liberating experience because people got to think more broadly and ambitiously about thematic issues that crossed area boundaries. Everything was thought of not just as interdisciplinary, but interregional. However, I think it's also true that one thing that happened in the 1990s in this country and in universities was that it was a very comfortable and self-satisfied decade. All the big problems in the world had gone away, and therefore at an intellectual level we were much freer to think creatively about doing international work. In a sense, there was a growing disconnect between what universities did and the real world.

So the social sciences and the humanities, both of which made very big comparative and thematic moves in the 1990s, became increasingly inward-looking, esoteric, and not connected to the real world. Academics were studying these fields in ways that people in the world could not understand. There were heightened barriers between the academy and the real world. And so that is why I think we are in epoch 3, because one thing that is clearly going on post-9/11 is that people are looking to universities to have something to say. I think that is both an opportunity and a responsibility for us. The opportunity is the fact that we collectively have the attention of the country in a way that is probably without precedent. Physical threat to the homeland is a real difference. It might be the case that international conflict has been fundamentally transformed and that we need to think about non-state forms of warfare, but living in the U.S. is different because people in the U.S. now believe that the world isn't out there, it's here as well. That is what creates opportunities for us, but also responsibility in the sense that there is so much uncertainty breeding fear-the underlying set of emotions that exist in the country at the moment.

We need to do something about that. What should international studies do about it? If you follow what has been going on with the Department of Education, I think that mirrors what one would expect to be a relatively narrow-minded and shortsighted response, which is to say that we are investing in studying Afghanistan and terrorism. It is obvious that that is where the political will would be today, but I think the challenge for all of us is to convince foundations and private donors (who should be easier to convince than the federal government) that one really should think about 9/11 much more broadly. That is to say that it is not the case that we should just turn back the clock. We had a Cold War, now we have a new war, and the paradigm that we had for understanding that (area studies) is not the way to go ahead. I firmly believe that the thematic move that was made in international studies was the right move, and it is still the right move in the post-911 world. How could I justify that in this current context? It's pretty obvious-let's say that one believes that the attacks were largely Muslim/Arab-inspired. The answer is not to simply study Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia, because everybody knows this is a global network.

We thought that epoch 2 was going to do away with culture. But that is wrong. What has happened is that far-flung groups have much stronger senses of identity and bonds, because information technology has enabled them to do that, which is really a globalization move at a cultural level. We are not seeing a "McWorld", we are seeing a reaction against McWorld, so in the same vein as Ben Barber, this really is "McWorld provoking jihad".

So I think that the way to go with international studies is to take advantage of the kind of environment we are in to make ourselves much more relevant, but to do it in a really broad-minded way. It is not a bad idea for us to know more about Afghanistan, but to invest all of the country's energy into learning about Afghanistan strikes me as being an unbelievably narrow-minded and shortsighted way to respond. Therefore, in this given case, where there is a much bigger patent basis of interesting things international, we have the pedestal and what we have to do is convince people to think very broadly about how to understand the world where 9/11 is not the totality of the world, it is just a very important instantiation of the world we're living in.

Haro: Thanked Vice Provost Garrett for meeting with the Steering Committee and his presentation. Haro moved to introduce Vice Chancellor - Institutional Relations, Emeritus, Dr. Elwin Svenson.

Introductory comments by Carlos Manuel Haro

The year 2002 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CONSORTIUM ON INTERNATIONAL STUDIES - SOCCIS, and we will commemorate the date as part of the meeting. I also refer you to a tribute submitted by Dr. Maurice Harari commemorating the thirtieth year of SOCCIS.

SOCCIS has been around for longer than most of us think, the consortium was created in 1972, but before that there were a series of activities and networking initiatives that were sponsored by educators from several postsecondary institutions in the region. One of the visionaries and a key player in the establishment of SOCCIS was Vice Chancellor Svenson. In 1970, he was Assistant Vice Chancellor to Chancellor Charles E. Young and had an administrative role at UCLA with a focus on international studies. You can trace SOCCIS and the ISOP of today back to Vice Chancellor Svenson. Although retired, he is still involved with UCLA and is currently consulting at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. It is a pleasure for me to have Vice Chancellor Svenson here.

Dr. Elwin Svenson, Vice Chancellor of Institutional Relations, Emeritus, shared his experience regarding the establishment of SOCCIS in 1972.

Historical Context, the Establishment of Southern California Consortium for International Studies - SOCCIS and Highlights of the last 30 years

1960 - The California Master Plan on Higher Education was adopted and it consolidated public higher education in the state. The Plan defines the boundaries between the three systems of public higher education in the state and established areas of responsibility and authority. The plan also provided rules and regulations for the systems to negotiate with each another. As a young administrator, Charles E. Young was on the staff of University of California drafting documents related to the Master Plan.

1960's-Franklin Murphy was appointed Chancellor at UCLA and participated in the creation of an international Latin American consortium consisting of U.S. universities and Latin American presidents and directors.

In 1960's the University of California system determined that area studies had to evolve and that there were regions of the world other than Europe that had to be studied. Due to the lack of sufficient resources, different regions of the world were assigned to UC Berkeley and to UCLA. UCLA created centers for Russian-European studies, Africa, Latin America, and Middle East.

1961- The Peace Corps started and many institutions were involved in training for 5 or 6 years. UCLA was one of the institutions contracted to provide training; about 10 percent of all Peace Corps volunteers serving overseas were trained locally at UCLA.

1965- UCLA reorganized its administrative structure to encourage the development of area studies centers, to have them assume more responsibility, and to branch out. From 1965-1970 UCLA was maturing and the University of California recognized that academic research required collaboration. UC Berkeley and UCLA joined in various programs and projects. In Southern California, Cal Tech and USC also began to collaborate with UCLA in various areas, external relations (the political arena), funding, joint projects (a library exchange program was established), etc.

1970 - The ten-year review of the California Master Plan. This review was the precursor to the establishment of SOCCIS. The Plan indicated a need for interaction and cooperation between the three systems of higher education in the state.

1970- Professor David Wilson was named chair of the UCLA Committee on International and Comparative Studies (CICS) and participated in the review of the California Master Plan for Higher Education. It was also acknowledged that the three tiers of public education needed to cooperate with private institutions in the state.

1971- Professor David Wilson organized a conference of a group of representatives from Southern California universities to confer on the status of international studies. The first meeting was held on August of 1971. One goal set for the conference meeting was to discover what interest, if any, there was at various campuses in organizing the international education community and exchanging information on international studies. A second goal was to determine appropriate and acceptable methods of institutional cooperation to support international studies in the region. It was clear that different institutions emphasized different aspects of international education and that each institution had different programmatic concerns. Institutions could be concerned with one or more general areas such as: study abroad, undergraduate international curriculum and instruction, advanced language training, courses for languages not commonly taught, graduate student training, faculty research, international/foreign students, teacher training, and professional school programs.

The 1971 conference brought the various institutions, with their diverse interests, together and it produced a written document stating common aspirations and identified a course of action to obtain those aspirations. They created four study groups to deal with various issues of concern to the international education community, concentrating on traditional international study topics of : 1) foreign languages, 2) curriculum and teaching, 3) research, and 4) public service. Finally, they created a non-profit association whose primary purpose was to further international studies in higher education. The general policy direction of the association was provided by a steering committee that included representatives from each member in the association. Management of the consortium was provided by an executive officer, housed at UCLA. The first Steering Committee included representatives from USC, CSULA, California State Universities and Colleges, UC Study Abroad Programs, Occidental College, Claremont Graduate School, and UCLA.

The SOCCIS annual report of 1972 notes communication between the consortium and the State of California's Coordinating Council for Higher Education and the Master Plan Revision Committee. The Revision Committee reported on the establishment of SOCCIS as a structure that allowed for interaction and cooperation between the systems of higher education. The consortium began implementing various initiatives: a study abroad program (in Lima, Peru, co-sponsored by Indiana University, CSU and UC EAP), a process for sharing foreign language and literature courses, a small film collection for instructional use, and support for faculty activities in various areas (through the working committees that sponsored seminars and colloquium series).

1974- Working/program committees established through SOCCIS drew faculty and staff representatives from various member institutions. The committees included Latin American studies, East Asian studies, South Asian studies, and working groups to deal with topics such as international business studies and research, the international dimension of undergraduate education, international relations study and research, international dimension of schools of education and teacher training, foreign language cooperation, European and Soviet studies, international undergraduate education, and international/foreign students at SOCCIS member institution.

Prior to the establishment of formal centers on East Asian, Southeast Asian, and South Asian studies, SOCCIS had working committees in these areas that brought together interested faculty. These SOCCIS activities were precursors to federally funded centers on East Asia in the late 1970s and on Southeast Asia in the 1990s. South Asian studies continues as a focus of a SOCCIS working group and draws together faculty who teach and conduct research on the area.

1975- During the mid-1970's, the key concept of the consortium was established: campus representatives from the various public systems and the private institutions worked together and consortium members applied their own institutional resources into the consortium. Professor James S. Coleman assumed the head of the UCLA Council on International and Comparative Studies (CICS) and was instrumental in leading the consortium from the late-1970s until his death in 1985. Coleman placed great value in working with colleagues from other institutions and fostering cooperation through the consortium. SOCCIS member institutions not only contributed faculty and staff time to the consortium (to the steering committee and to working groups), but each institution contributed funding (dues contributions) that was used for programs. Collaborative efforts included USC and UCLA preparation of a joint proposal for funding of an East Asian Studies Center. Additionally, different members of the consortium provided the administrative structure to support the SOCCIS working committees. For example, the SOCCIS Latin American Seminar was supported by the Latin American Center (UCLA); the SOCCIS East Asian studies colloquium was supported by the East Asian Center (USC); the SOCCIS international business effort was supported by the business program at CSU Northridge; work on international dimensions of undergraduate curriculum by USC, UCLA, Pepperdine, CSU Northridge, and CSU Long Beach; SOCCIS European studies by USC, UCLA, CSU Long Beach, and CSU Northridge; SOCCIS South Asian studies by Loyola Marymount and UCLA.

At the start of the consortium in the 1970s, the SOCCIS administration included the Steering Committee, composed of representatives from seven member institutions, various "working" or standing committees established by the Steering Committee, and the SOCCIS Executive Officer. The association dues started with a contribution of $100.00 from each member, it was raised to $250.00, and, finally, to $500.00 in the early 1980s.

1976-1977 - Through cooperation with the UCLA African Studies Center, the consortium established a one-year research program for faculty from SOCCIS member institutions. Faculty selected from CSU campuses were provided with a program to conduct research under the supervision of a UCLA senior faculty. This program was revised to a two year period and it offered campuses in SOCCIS a mechanism by which to develop their faculty and strengthen an international studies area.

1980-1989 - SOCCIS institutional membership ranged from 11 universities and colleges and reached a high of 22 members.

In closing, Vice Chancellor Svenson, reflected that SOCCIS as an organization capitalized on an environment in the state that prompted collaboration among higher education institutions and fostered collegiality. The organizational initiative of a handful of institutions in 1971 allowed for the creation of a structure that gave international education administrators and international and area studies faculty freedom to work together. Although individual institutions had different international education priorities and concerns, they had a common interest in promoting international education through cooperation and sharing. It is the continuing involvement and contributions of administrators and faculty that makes SOCCIS work.

Carlos Haro: One of the important ways that SOCCIS contributes to international studies is by helping to institutionalize certain programs and functions. From the outset, SOCCIS had committees established in specific areas, for example in East Asian studies. SOCCIS' activity in that area was valuable in laying the groundwork for USC and UCLA to create the East Asian studies center and secure funding through the Department of Education, Title VI. The joint-center on East Asian studies is now part of both institutions and has been functioning since 1976.

We have relied on SOCCIS to promote and implement programs that contribute to international education in various ways. Vice Chancellor Svenson referred to one other consortium program that impacted another area of international studies: faculty development in African studies. The consortium brought selected faculty from the CSU campuses to conduct research on African studies at UCLA and to be mentored by senior faculty. That was a successful model for faculty development and one that can be replicated in other international areas studies once again. We have a continuing scholars program: the present model primarily trains high school teachers and community college instructors. The SOCCIS teacher training activity of the 1970s evolved into an institutionalized program that Jonathan Friedlander has implemented over a period of many years and that involves faculty from several SOCCIS institutions and various Title VI centers.

The consortium functions as a vehicle for international studies initiatives that have the support of several campuses and provides a network, along with modest but needed support. Ultimately, the goal of the consortium has been to have viable programs institutionalized at one or more of our consortium campuses. That has been a major SOCCIS accomplishment and a valuable contribution to international studies in the region.

Question to Vice Chancellor Svenson: If this is another epoch, after September 11th, does that mean something for SOCCIS? Does it affect how we function, how we interact? We are a group of individuals at institutions that are concerned with the real world, but does the new epoch that Vice Provost Garrett spoke of affect us?

Svenson: Yes, what that means is we follow a structure, create a small committee, and have the group focus on that question. The SOCCIS structure is proven and successful; it brings you together, with your diverse views and interests, and you have the opportunity to reflect upon questions like those that confront us now, such as, what should SOCCIS do in response to September 11th?.

Carlos Haro: One of my responsibilities is to assure that international studies resources at various campuses are shared and utilized across the region. Resource centers at UCLA and other institutions can be linked to the consortium in various ways that can be mutually beneficial. National resource centers are not programs that dwell within the institutions, but they are supposed to reach out and interact with other universities within the Southern California area. Consequently we have a number of activities that SOCCIS co-sponsors with these centers and the announcements and Emails that I send through the SOCCIS communications network reflect this cooperation. Thus far we have had good results in our interaction with the centers. SOCCIS continues its linkage with the USC-UCLA Joint Center on East Asia, created in the mid '70s. In addition, the consortium co-sponsors events and programs in conjunction with the European and Russian Studies Center, the Burkle Center for International Relations, and the Southeast Asian Studies Center.