Many of the readers of Vajra Bodhi Sea must be aware that Dharma Realm Buddhist University has gone through changes in the past year. The faculty, the Board of Trustees, and the Sangha all have had plans for developing a university, some of them realistic, others beyond our reach.
Starting a university and making it work is a very complex task which involves a concentrated effort of all those involved as well as those willing to offer some financial support, without which any institution has a very hard time getting on its feet.
As the new acting president of Dharma Realm Buddhist University, I have inherited both the efforts, successes, defeats, mistakes and misunderstandings of the past, and with that baggage I will try to do my best.
On May 24th a meeting presided by the Venerable Master was held in Burlingame and a new Board of Trustees was elected. Since then the faculty of Dharma Realm Buddhist University and I have been working hard trying to prepare a bulletin for the Fall of 1992, as well as more complex plans for the future. The first meeting of the new Board was scheduled for June 28th. Many of the members were unable to attend. Those present decided that I would correspond with the Board Members in order to keep them informed and get to their votes on specific subjects. This should expedite the process of building steadily and gradually building the programs of the University.
Trustees are not, however, the only ones who can help with decision making. Many of the mistakes committed in the past could be attributed to misunderstandings and misinformation. In order to avoid similar trouble, all our decisions need to be clearly stated. I will try to keep the readers of Vajra Bodhi Sea well-informed with a periodical up-date. Suggestions are welcome from all the disciples of the Venerable Master.
The Venerable Master has often stated that education is very important to him and that is why I believe that we all need to work together in building a good Buddhist University. This cannot be achieved without the mutual support of the Sangha and the lay disciples, a support which can be given in many different ways according to the interests and backgrounds of the individuals. Only by working in harmony will the University and the community be able to solve many of the complex issues and head for a fresh start.
In the meantime we should not stop working on the daily business of preparing and supporting those classes that we are able to offer. In the Fall of 1992 Dharma Realm Buddhist University will offer a series of new classes aimed at the community. It will also have a new and vigorous program in Chinese thanks to a new addition to our faculty, Professor Richard Yang. Professor Yang has taught Chinese to English speakers for many years and developed a well-tried-out system. He guarantees that his first year students will be able to speak after having completed the coursework for that year.
Our English as a Second Language (ESL) Program is also well on its way. We have so far acquired eight new students from Taiwan for the Intensive Summer Program, and hope to have more in the Fall.
The University is presently advertising its Master's in Buddhist Study and Practice throughout the universities that offer religious studies and Buddhism programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. The goal for this year is to make all of these programs self sufficient in order not to tax the patience of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association which has been so kindly providing us with funds for many years. If the programs attract a minimum of five students per class our goal will be achieved. However, the faculty and staff hope that we will be able to even generate some income if our intentions continue to be sincere. The University has also planned a symposium on Buddhism and Science which should take place in the early Fall and address itself to the many poignant issues which our contemporary world raises about the integrity and morality of modern Science.
NEW BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Chairman: Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
Dharma Masters Heng Sure, Heng Da, Heng Tung, Heng Shr,
Hector Wong, Howard Hu, Michael Yeo, Ronald Epstein, Allen Low,
Priscilla C. Yeh, Raymond T. Yeh, Yang Jyan-you, Helen Woo (Gwo Syang),
John Chu, Shen Dzung-li, Chou Jing-hai, Anne (Gwo Bi) Cheng,
Susan Rounds, Dr. Randolph Lum, Jared Carter, Darwin Hu, Li Dzu-hou,
Terri Nicholson, Douglas Powers, Dr. Huang Ming-lu, Chang Fu-lin.