"offering access to Chinese Language & Culture to people of all ages in our region."

About Us

Confucius Institute and KU logo
Offering access to CHINESE LANGUAGE & CULTURE to people of all ages in our region. Confucius Institute of KU

The Confucius Institute of the University of Kansas (CIKU) is a unit of The University of Kansas. The Institute contributes to the outreach and public engagement mission of the University and enriches the international and multicultural dimension of academic life at the University.

The Confucius Institute of the University of Kansas was established in 2006, in partnership with the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) and Central China Normal University (Wuhan, China). Central China Normal University is a comprehensive university that retains a strong emphasis in teacher preparation and it has one of the highest ranking teacher preparation programs in China. 

Opening Ceremony of the Confucius Institute of the University of Kansas May 4, 2006

Opening Ceremony of the Confucius Institute of the University of Kansas May 4, 2006

Partial funding for the Institute is provided by Hanban. The Institute has in past years also successfully competed for grants from the federal government and from other organizations. Faculty and graduate students from Central China Normal University participate in visiting scholar programs at the Institute, where they contribute to the research, instructional, and outreach activities of the Institute. The visiting scholars are interviewed, screened, and selected by KU professional staff for participation in KU Confucius Institute programs.

The Confucius Institute of the University of Kansas is a unit of the School of Education at the University of Kansas. The Institute serves K-12 schools and communities throughout the state of Kansas, including schools for which the Institute provides Chinese language and culture classes via distance learning.The Institute also assists districts with establishing and strengthening Chinese language programs. K12 curriculum and pedagogy offered by the KU Confucius Institute is selected and supervised by the Executive Director and is designed to conform to Kansas World Language Standards. 

The Institute also offers non-credit classes for adults and families. These are typically short term courses scheduled once per week. The curriculum, designed under the supervision of the Executive Director, is intended to provide low pressure, engaging opportunities for adults to achieve familiarity with  basic Chinese. 

The Institute does not offer college credit courses. For college credit courses in Chinese language, please see the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. For college credit courses about China, please see the courses offered by relevant departments, listed at the Center for East Asian Studies

The Institute works with a wide variety of community organizations, including heritage groups, libraries, philanthropic organizations, and museums, as well as other KU units to leverage resources and offer high quality events and educational programming on Chinese language and culture to the public.


As a unit of the University of Kansas, the Confucius Institute is supervised by the leadership of the University of Kansas, under the Kansas Board of Regents.

The Chancellor of the University of Kansas is the titular Director of the Institute and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Institute. The Institute is managed by the Executive Director, who reports to the Dean of the School of Education on the daily operation of the Institute. The Confucius Institute Advisory Board provides advice and guidance on the overall direction of the Institute. The Executive Director also has an Executive Committee, formed of representatives from related units within the University, to advise the Executive Director on better ways of serving the needs of China-related programs of the University.

Confucius Institute Advisory Board

Douglas A. Girod    Chancellor, University of Kansas (Chair)

(In Transition)        President, Central China Normal University (Vice-Chair)

Rick Ginsberg         Dean, School of Education, The University of Kansas

Jeff Weinberg    Lecturer, Honors Program, The University of Kansas

To be named       Additional member

Confucius Institute Committee of Advisors to the Executive Director 

Sheree Willis    Executive Director, Confucius Institute of the University of Kansas

Wu Jiangang    Associate Professor, Central China Normal University; Chinese Partner Associate Director, Confucius Institute of the University of Kansas

Melissa Birch    Associate Professor, School of Business

Maggie Childs    Chair, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Jeff Weinberg    Lecturer, Honors Program

Jane Zhao    Associate Professor, School of Business

(all University of Kansas unless otherwise noted)

Upcoming Events
2018 Asian Culture Festival
Overland Park Convention Center | Saturday, May 12, 2018 | Information Here
Chinese Community Classes Summer 2018
Edwards Campus | Form Available: May 2018
No. 1 nationwide: KU’s special education graduate program.
—U.S. News & World Report
No. 1 nationwide: KU’s graduate program in city management & urban policy.
—U.S. News & World Report
28 graduate & undergraduate degree programs
In-state tuition for Missouri residents through the MetroKC program
Only full-service campus in Greater Kansas City dedicated to adult learners
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today
Connect with KU Confucius Institute
KU School of Education Facebook page
KU School of Education YouTube ChannelKU School of Education Twitter Feed
KU School of Ed instagram icon