1. K-State home
  2. »International and Area Studies
  3. »History of the IAS Program

International and Area Studies

International and Area Studies

Robert Clark, Director
College of Arts and Sciences
Kansas State University
c/o Department of Modern Languages
14A Eisenhower Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506


History of the IAS Program

The International and Area Studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences is an outgrowth both of faculty initiatives in the 1960s and 1970s to create international and area studies "secondary majors," and an administrative restructuring in the 1990s to promote international programs and activities.  The first area studies program at Kansas State was the South Asia Studies Center, established in 1965 under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences.  A major source of funding for the South Asia Studies Center came from grants by the National Defense Education Act (1967-1970 and 1970-1973).  The first secondary major at KSU was in South Asian Studies, and it was followed shortly by International Studies (1979; revised 1988) and Latin American Studies (1980).  These initiatives were followed by the creation of a multi-disciplinary graduate certificate program in International Trade Studies (Graduate School). The secondary major in South Asia Studies no longer exists, but students who choose course work on topics from that region may opt to meet the requirements in International Studies.

Grants in support of international studies have been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (South Asia Center), U.S. Department of Education (South Asia Center, Latin American Studies, and International and Area Studies), and the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education [FIPSE] (ABEU-Utrecht Study Abroad Exchange Program; International Community Service; North American Agribusiness Consortium).  Indirectly, a matching grant award from the Japan World Exposition Commemorative Association was instrumental in the upgrading and remodeling of the Language Learning Center of the Department of Modern Languages.

In the 1990s, university strategic planning led to the creation of the Office of International Programs.  That office, developed by Associate Provost for International Programs William Richter and his successors, and represents and coordinates international programs and activities at the university level.  The Office of Study Abroad operates under the auspices of the OIP.  Representatives from all of the colleges and most international programs on campus form the International Activities Council, and act as an advisory group to the Provost.

The Arts and Sciences International and Area Studies program was created as a result of recommendations made by special committee appointed in 1994.  Prior to that time, Dr. Charles Bussing (Geography), served for many years as director of the secondary major program.  It was Dr. Bussing who was the driving force behind the creation of the secondary major itself.  He was followed by interim directors Marion "Buddy" Gray (History) and Wayne Nafziger (Economics).  Dr. Bradley Shaw (Modern Languages-Spanish) was appointed as director in 1995. 

Dr. Robert L.A. Clark (Modern Languages-French) became interim director in January of 2012. His responsibilities include advising and promotion of the Secondary Major in International Studies and the Secondary Major in Latin American Studies. He serves in matters related to international studies and seeks to promote opportunities for students and faculty to develop their international interests. The director works closely with the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Study Abroad to encourage involvement in their many and varied programs.