West Virginia University Provost Joyce McConnell announced today the creation of an Office of Global Affairs that will report to the Office of the Provost. The new unit will be led by Dr. William I. Brustein, who was named vice president for global strategies and international affairs several weeks ago. Both Brustein’s appointment and the new office were effectively created August 31, 2016.

“As a national figure in international higher education, Dr. Brustein has both wisdom and vision,” McConnell said. “Consolidating our international enterprise under his leadership will ensure that both our students and the professionals working in this field across campus will benefit from Dr. Brustein’s leadership.”

In his most recent former position as vice provost for global strategies and international affairs at the Ohio State University, Brustein enacted innovative strategies to unify internationalization across the institutions. Among his tangible accomplishments at OSU were satellite offices in Shanghai, China; Mumbai, India; and S�o Paolo, Brazil. He also focused on making students into true global citizens, with demonstrable global competencies. His efforts in this area were recognized in 2014 with the National Association of International Educators’ Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization for innovative programs.

West Virginia University currently has professionals in international affairs working in units across campus, from the Intensive English Program and Office of International Programs to the Division of Student Life and the Office of Admissions. In the new organizational structure of the OGA, Brustein will helm all of these existing internationally-focused units and divisions and bring them under the Office of the Provost. The consolidated, unified structure of international affairs at the institution will allow for better collaboration amongst staff and faculty and better service to students.

President E. Gordon Gee said that the formation of the new unit represents a tremendous positive step in the university’s global strategy.

“I truly believe that Mountaineers can change the world,” Gee said. “To do that, we must become a truly global institution, engaging with scholars and students from all nations. With all of our talented international experts working together with Dr. Brustein, we will be in the position to truly establish West Virginia University on the world stage.”

As part of the strategic creation of this new unit, McConnell and Brustein have identified a leadership team. Dr. David Stewart, the interim director of the Office of International Programs and associate vice president for international student affairs and global services, and Dr. Radhey Sharma, the current chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, will work closely with Brustein as Associate Vice Presidents for Global Strategy and International Affairs.

Stewart has been interim director for the Office of International Programs since January 2014. Concurrently, he has served as associate vice president for international student affairs and global services in the Division of Student Life for six years. In both offices, he has played a key role in international student recruitment, support and guidance to international students, organization of campus-wide international programs, and the enhancement of global alumni outreach efforts. Stewart came to WVU as a member of the English department faculty in 1991 and has held a variety of administrative roles since 1999.

Sharma, meanwhile, was hired in 2009 to serve as chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He held that appointment until he took on his new role. He has played an instrumental role in WVU’s partnership with the Royal University for Women in Bahrain, which has led to a number of study-abroad opportunities for students at both institutions. He is currently working closely with officials from the RUW the development of a WVU civil engineering degree program for RUW students.

He previously held a distinguished professorship at Louisiana State University. In that capacity he was also a member of the Louisiana Government Forensic Engineering Team that was charged with the investigation of the levee failures in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Sharma is internationally educated himself at institutions in both India and England, including Oxford University. He has been instrumental in recruiting international students to the Statler College and in establishing global partnerships for the college.

McConnell and Brustein have already met with the university staff members who will make up the OGA to discuss the transition and Brustein has been meeting individually with university leaders. Brustein said he is looking forward to getting to know the members of his staff individually in the coming weeks. He is exploring the further formation of his leadership team, as well as overseeing the set-up of the new physical office space for his office and his team in Purinton House on Campus Drive downtown.

Brustein’s goals for WVU include establishing a stronger, more comprehensive approach to global education, research, experience and recruitment and to actively growing the university’s existing Intensive English Program.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the WVU family, and have the opportunity to help propel WVU into the ranks of a global university.” Brustein added, “By internationalizing teaching and research we can create globally competent students to become future leaders to help make a better West Virginia and world.”



CONTACT: Henry ‘Hank’ Oliver, International Programs
304.293.7242, henry.oliver@mail.wvu.edu

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