East-West CenterProgress and Problems Gao ID: ID-78-11 February 15, 1978
The Center for Cultural and Technical Interchange Between East and West, the East-West Center (EWC), was created in 1960 to promote better relations and understanding between the United States and the nations of Asia and the Pacific through cooperative study, training, and research. Located in Hawaii, the Center was originally established as part of the University of Hawaii, but since 1975 the Center has been under the management and control of a nonprofit public educational corporation.
EWC has had difficulty in establishing a separate identity nationally and internationally, and the establishment of a separate corporation to manage and operate the Center has not resolved some questions concerning land, student enrollment, and future development. Better relations and understanding between people has resulted from knowledge and experience gained by Center participants. The Center enjoys a good reputation in Asian-Pacific countries and has been relatively successful in its efforts to raise funds from those governments. However, the Center has not yet attained full maturity as an educational institution. The Department of State has a legislative mandate to oversee the EWC, but to date it has not performed any qualitative evaluations of Center programs. Former Center participants suggest that the EWC could improve its cultural exchange efforts by: limiting repeat attendance by fellows, visiting researchers, and professional associates; scheduling professional associate activities at overseas locations; and increasing the length of time for professional associate activities.