TCIA was founded by Professor Sidney Burris, Professor of English and Director of the Fulbright College Honors Program and the Religious Studies Program at the University of Arkansas, and Ven. Geshe Thupten Dorjee, an ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk, holder of the advanced geshe lharampa and geshe ngarampa degrees, and instructor at the University of Arkansas. The institute is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.