The Bachelor of Arts in Languages and Culture (BALAC) Program held its annual Seminar on July 28, 2016 at the Novotel Hotel on Siam Square. The day-long meetings were chaired by the BALAC Program Director, Associate Professor Surapeepan Chatraporn and fell into two sessions. The morning session, for Program advisors, was followed by an afternoon session for Program instructors. Aj. Surapeepan welcomed all advisors at 9:30 AM, and thanked them for their work during the past and upcoming academic year. She next itemized the activities normally carried out each year by the BALAC Program, including a Campus Tour for students, an Orientation and BALAC Trip for new students, a get-together and buddy system set up for BALAC and the 40 or so foreign exchange students each semester, and the cultural, historical, and environmental excursions arranged for BALAC and exchange students each Fall. For the classroom she listed various special activities often included in language and cultural studies classes, including museum visits, special speakers, performances, and films. After outlining normal Program activities, Aj. Surapeepan opened the floor to discussing problems faced by advisors, such as arranging for credit transfers for outgoing BALAC students to foreign universities, and for ways to improve the program for students and faculty. Three 3rd year students—Ms. April Cummings, Ms. Nina Simpson, and Mr. Shinnakrit Tangsiriwattanakul—were then invited to share their assessment of the BALAC Program to advisors, offering thoughts on its strengths, weaknesses, and their concerns, as well as making suggestions for improvements. Aj. Surapeepan thanked the students for their insights and then closed the morning session at 12:15 PM, inviting all present to a buffet lunch at the hotel, with a call to start the afternoon session at 1:30 PM. A group photo was arranged prior to breaking for lunch.
After welcoming BALAC instructors to the afternoon session at 1:30 PM, Aj. Surapeepan led a discussion that addressed several issues and concerns for Program instructors. Some dealt with the mechanics and for instructors, including the deadline for submittingsyllabi, and for using the CU-CAS system. Others concerned issuesrelated to grading criteria, especially for non-program courses, the need for strict exam proctoring, and the new limitations on photocopying for Program instructors. After airing a number of other concerns by faculty in the program tied to quality assurance for inbound exchange students and other issues, the afternoon session culminated in a special presentation by Assistant Professor Dr. Kriengkrai Boonlert-U-Thai, Assistant to the President of Chulalongkorn University. Aj. Kriengkrai focused on the policies of the new President and the University Board for consolidating international affairs in a single center and for expanding international affairs at Chulaongkorn University. He invited an airing of problems faced by faculty and their suggestions for improvements in dealing with international affairs at the University. Aj. Surapeepan thanked everyone for attending the afternoon session and concluded the Annual BALAC Seminar with a group photograph at 5 PM.