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Preserve the SRIFIAS Library to Ensure Indiana University's Continuing Strength in Inner Asian Studies

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[NOTICE: Dean Lee A. Feinstein of the IU School of Global and International Studies has expressed support for the SRIFIAS and its library both in the current period of transition and for the long term, and has stated that the search for a secure, accessible space for the library is on-going. The petition remains open, and your signatures in support of the SRIFIAS are very welcome.

SIGNERS AFTER 6 JUNE 2015: Your signature supports our urgent request for public announcement of the transition plans with a time line. Time is running out before the closure of the building that currently houses the SRIFIAS. By signing the petition, you encourage the IU administration to proceed with all possible speed and deliberation, so that the library and its present and future users suffer as little as possible from the impending move.

Please see https://friendsofsrifias.wordpress.com/ for more information about the IU administration's response, and next steps.]

Michael A. McRobbie, President, Indiana University (mcrobbie@iu.edu)
Lauren Robel, Provost and Executive Vice President, Indiana University (lrobel@indiana.edu)
David Zaret, Vice President for International Affairs, Indiana University (zaret@iu.edu)
Larry D. Singell, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University (lsingell@indiana.edu)
Lee A. Feinstein, Dean of the School of Global and International Studies, Indiana University (lafeinst@indiana.edu)
Carolyn Walters, Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries, Indiana University (cwalters@indiana.edu)

Dear Indiana University Administrators:

IU's world-renowned Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies (SRIFIAS) is facing an urgent existential crisis that is within your collective capabilities to resolve.

Since its establishment in 1967 by Distinguished Professor Denis Sinor, the Institute has held a prominent position in the international scholarly community through its support of fundamental research and teaching on Inner Asia/Central Eurasia and through its publishing activities.

The SRIFIAS is an integral member of the triad of IU units focused on the Inner Asian/Central Eurasian region. Students and faculty in the Central Eurasian Studies department (CEUS) and scholars from around the world who come to IU under the auspices of the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center (IAUNRC) make frequent use of the library and other resources of the SRIFIAS.

The widely heralded establishment of IU's School of Global and International Studies (SGIS) has apparently had the unintended consequence of bringing the SRIFIAS to the brink of crisis. Although space in the new SGIS building has been allocated for CEUS and IAUNRC, the SRIFIAS has not been accommodated and will be forced to vacate Goodbody Hall by the end of 2015.

The SRIFIAS library is in critical need of new space and logistical support immediately. Without a home in Goodbody Hall, the SGIS building, or some other convenient campus site, such as the Wells Library, the SRIFIAS will be unable to carry out its important functions in the international scholarly community and in training IU students. If the SRIFIAS library collections and equipment cannot maintain their integrity and functional condition, it will likely be impossible to recreate them.

As IU celebrates and consolidates its strengths in global and international studies with the launch of the new School of Global and International Studies, we request that the IU administration take this opportunity to renew its commitment to Inner Asian/Central Eurasian Studies, and ensure the future integrity and functioning of SRIFIAS resources and facilities. Crucially at this moment, we ask you to move quickly to resolve the looming space crisis facing the SRIFIAS, and to provide it with logistical support for a smooth transition.

Your decisive, positive action at this time will be in keeping with IU's high reputation and responsibilities as steward of the many unique scholarly resources for which the university is justly famous throughout the world. The SRIFIAS is not only a product of the grand ambition of President Herman B Wells; it is also a living foundation of the legacy of IU's long-time champion, Distinguished Professor Denis Sinor (1916–2011), whose many honors include the IU President's Medal for Excellence in 2008.


Friends of the Sinor Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies


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