The program of studies in the Dutch language and the Dutch-speaking world at Columbia dates from the post-war period when the Stichting Koningin Wilhelmina Professoraat (Queen Wilhelmina Professor Foundation) joined with Columbia to create a chair in the history, culture and language of the Dutch-speaking world. Today, instead of a full-time resident chair, Columbia annually hosts a visiting Queen Wilhelmina professor (from Utrecht University or KU Leuven, on a rotating basis), sponsored by the Queen Wilhelmina Foundation, who teaches one semester a year. The visitor, along with a committee of resident faculty, also organizes a series of lectures and workshops focusing on the history and culture of the Dutch-speaking world. This program of scholarship and teaching is supplemented by a rich offering of language courses taught in the Germanic languages department.
Approximately a half dozen faculty members at Columbia are actively associated with the program; graduate students in several disciplines have completed or are completing dissertations on the culture or history of the Netherlands, Belgium, or other Dutch-speaking regions; undergraduates and graduates from Columbia and many neighboring institutions are enrolled in language and literature courses that prepare them to use the language in their own research, acquire oral competency in the language, and thus gain direct access to the varied cultures of Dutch-speaking society today.
For a look at one of the many interesting things going on The Netherlands today, see this fascinating article and video.