Mellon Awards CIC/UM Islamic Studies Virtual Curriculum $3 Million Grant

Jan 27, 2014

The Committee on Institutional Cooperation and the University of Michigan's International Institute announce the establishment of the Islamic Studies Virtual Curriculum (ISVC).

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded U-M a $3 million grant to create a virtual curriculum among the member universities of the CIC and to develop and implement a collaborative, instructional program in Global Islamic Studies. The CIC will leverage the existing distance learning infrastructure and longstanding area studies capacities of CIC member universities, coordinating courses and expertise currently located across the consortium to make it possible to offer a broader Islamic Studies curriculum.

 The initiative will provide students at CIC institutions a global perspective on Islam and the Muslim world and has the potential to impact teaching and research focusing on Islam worldwide. The curriculum will offer a broad set of courses that investigate Islam as a religion, as a civilization, as a variety of cultural traditions, and as the basis for political ideology.

The consortium model is a response to two fundamental changes in the terrain of higher education: instruction that incorporates recent advances in digital technology, and intermural cooperation among multiple institutions rather than the creation of a comprehensive Islamic studies program at a single institution. Creating such a consortium also ensures that particular Islamic studies courses are offered continually from year to year – something that is difficult for individual universities to do. The ISVC will rely on the existing CIC CourseShare program, and the International Institute and ISP will assume responsibility for administering the new initiative.

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