Persian Language Program at Georgia Institute of Technology

Persian Language Program at Georgia Institute of Technology

A Proposal to Establish a Persian Language Program at Georgia Institute of Technology

Submitted by:

The Professional Organization of Iranian Americans

Abstract:

Based on an initial effort through the Persian Community Center of Atlanta (Kanoon) with the help of Iranian Students at Georgia Tech, the Department of Modern Languages at Georgia Institute of Technology agreed to initiate a two-course Persian Language program (Farsi-1001 in Fall 2011 and Farsi 1002 in Spring 2012).  This program became possible through a fund-raising activity through the Persian Community Center of Atlanta which resulted in a $10,000 gift to Georgia Tech in 2011.  This was to pay for the cost of each course at a level of $5000.  Georgia Tech agreed to continue the program through the second year with four courses (Farsi 1001, 1002, 2001, 2002) funded externally at $20,000.  We also dedicated the first Atlanta Persian Festival to the Persian Language program and we were able to collect more than $3000 in 2013 (the third year of the program). Georgia Tech agreed that with the successful implementation of the program for the first two years, it will become permanent and funded internally. 

In addition to the above and based on an initial agreement with the Modern Languages Department, if 50% of the salary for an assistant Professor is collected through external funds, Georgia Tech will match the other half.  This translates into $75,000 for two years.  This agreement was based on the initial interaction with the Chair of the Modern Language program in 2001.  There is also the possibility of establishing an institute for Persian Studies Joint between Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University that will include the permanent faculty from Georgia Tech and other Professors and instructors at Georgia Tech and Emory interested in research on issues related to Iran.  This includes not only Persian Language but also, economics, history, sociology and political science for the countries with the region.  

As a starting point, we need to strengthen the present program.  Unfortunately, the four-course program starting in 2012 was reduced to two in 2015.  We request additional funding at the level of $10000 to increase the number of courses to four per year.  We also request programs that can make this program permanent and sustainable.

Professional Organization of Iranian Americans (POOIA) requests your tax-deductible donation towards this goal. Remember that your contributions will be matched one to one for the first two years and will result in the establishment of an institute for Persian studies.

Proposal:

To continue the initial success of the program since its start in 2011, we propose to extend the program to include:

1-    A lecture series on issues related to Iran and the region through inviting distinguished lectures from Academia and institutions and foundations that can educate GATECH and Atlanta community about the region.  This lecture series will be primarily through GATECH college of liberal art but will include other departments and Emory University. 

2-    Introduction of courses that focuses on other aspects of Iranian culture and politics including, Persian literature, Persian film and Theatre,..

3-    Open a professorship level position at GATECH.  This requires $75-100K funding to pay for 50% of an assistant professorship level position.  The position can be offered in Modern languages, history, economics or political science departments.  The addition of a tenure track faculty professor in additional to an instructor level position will make it possible to attract major funding in these areas that already exists as government grants and through Heritage foundations.

4-    Development of a Persian Language Summer school:

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