At the other end of the world a new institution with a Buddhist hue is currently being setup. As part of a wider expansion program here at Oxford University, the United Kingdom’s first endowed professorship in Buddhist Studies has been established. According to the University’s publicity material, the post is funded by a “generous benefaction, held in trust by Balliol College, from the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai (BDK) of Tokyo, which is a society for the promotion of Buddhism”. The new professor will be a fellow of Balliol College and also directly involved with the new Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies.
Oxford’s news website notes that, “The [professorial] vacancy will be advertised soon with a view to making an appointment from 1 October 2007 or as soon as possible thereafter. The advertisement will be posted on the University website at www.ox.ac.uk/jobs“.
In even more ambitious plans, the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies is also “working towards a team of six permanent posts, including endowed Lecturerships in East Asian Buddhist Studies, Pali Buddhist Studies, Tibetan & Himalayan Buddhist Studies, Buddhist Social History and Buddhist Art”. These are potentially great steps for the University…for any University!