Sikh Studies Search Committee Begins Extensive Search for Endowed Chair

Kathryn Webber, Graduate Student Editor of CHASS College Computing

When Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini’s family established an endowed chair in his name, they hoped not only to honor his name, but to continue his legacy through the foundation of Sikh and Punjabi Studies at the University of California Riverside. The new program will explore the complex history and culture of the Sikh people while working in partnership with the local Sikh community.

Sikh and Punjabi Studies have greatly benefited from the efforts of the Sikh Foundation which has taken the lead in helping to raise money for the Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair. This Foundation has been instrumental in the establishment of similar programs at UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine. Fundraising efforts have proven that Sikh and Punjabi Studies is an area of study that interests not only academics, but also the Sikh community at large.

With the completion of funding for the Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair, the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is actively seeking applicants to fill this position. A senior scholar who is an expert in the study of Sikh society and culture is sought. Specialists in a variety of fields such as religious studies, literature, film studies, women’s studies or history are encouraged to apply. The College seeks applicants with substantial teaching, research and community service experience. In addition, senior scholars are needed who are prepared to provide academic leadership for both the undergraduate and graduate programs.

Professor and Acting Chair of Religious Studies, June O’Connor is leading the committee in this extensive search. The Sikh Studies Search Committee began its review of applications on December 1, 2004 and will continue until the position has been filled. The Dr. Jasbir Singh Saini Endowed Chair of Sikh and Punjabi Studies will be available in July 2005.

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