Paul J. Anderer, the Wm. Theodore and Fanny Brett de Bary and Class of 1941 Collegiate Professor of Asian Humanities, has been appointed to the newly created position of vice provost for international relations. He formally assumed the post on July 1.
Anderer’s responsibilities include bringing greater coherence to the University’s wide-ranging international programming and bolstering Columbia’s role as a center of global research and education. He will also oversee the organization of partner programs around the globe to ensure conformity to institutional rules, work with President Lee C. Bollinger and Provost Alan Brinkley to raise the profile of the University’s agenda on international relations, and lead efforts to attract more funding for new and existing programs.
“We are actively soliciting support that would facilitate programs and the exchange and arrival of students, especially those who may be from developing countries and have financial needs,” says Anderer, who views the cultural and intellectual ferment of New York City as a great institutional advantage for drawing top academic talent from around the world. “We have an opportunity that we should not miss to capitalize on our location.”
In a letter to the University addressing Anderer’s appointment, Provost Alan Brinkley wrote, “The creation of this position and the appointment of Paul Anderer to it, reflects a University-wide commitment to engage global issues in a serious way. We count on Professor Anderer to play a vital role in articulating the centrality of international connections to research and teaching, present and future, at Columbia.”
A scholar of modern Japanese literature and culture, Anderer knows firsthand the value of being an exchange student, a privilege that he would like to see extended to an increasing number of Columbia students.
“I had a chance to study in Japan, and it changed my life,” he says.
Anderer joined the Columbia faculty in 1980. From 1989 to 1997, he was the chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. He served as director of the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture from 1991 to 1993, and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fulbright Commission. He has also written several books on Japanese literature.