Names of four finalists in senior international officer search announced

Nicole Ziege

The four candidates for WKU’s associate provost for global learning and international affairs/senior international officer position have been announced.

The candidates include: Jennifer Engel, executive director of international programs at Loyola University Chicago; Francois Le Roy, executive director and senior international officer for the Center for Global Engagement & International Affairs at Northern Kentucky University; David Schmidt, vice provost for international affairs at Middle Tennessee State University; and John Sunnygard, executive director of the Office of International Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver.

The open candidate forums for the first three candidates took place on June 18, June 19 and June 25. Sunnygard’s open candidate forum will take place on Monday, July 9 at 1 p.m. in the Jody Richards Hall auditorium.

The names of the candidates were announced at least 24 hours before their respective campus visits and open candidate forums. The announcements came in emails to all faculty and staff from search committee co-chairs Cheryl Stevens, the current dean of Ogden College of Science and Engineering, and Gordon Johnson, former vice president of information technology.

“This is a strategic leadership position that will guide and broadly impact all WKU internationalization efforts,” Stevens and Johnson said in an email which announced the four candidates on June 14. “The search committee invites members of the WKU community to participate in the process and provide feedback through the search website.”

The associate provost candidate search comes as enrollment is expected to decline in the fall, resulting in about $6 million in revenue loss, as previously reported. International enrollment declines have especially contributed to that decline, President Timothy Caboni said in an interview with the Herald.

Caboni said that international enrollment has declined for the past four or five years. He said he addressed the decline during his first year as president by creating a search for a new associate provost for global learning and international affairs.

“We’ve not talked about that as an institution,” Caboni said, referring to the decline in international enrollment. “One of the first things I did—and this is part of what I would call ‘the strategic doing’ of this year—was make a change in our international office to both do a reorganization and to launch the effort to understand what the challenges were, but also to create a search to identify the next leader in our international efforts.”

Nicole Ziege can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected] Follow Nicole Ziege on Twitter at @NicoleZiege.