Over the course of 20 years teaching throughout the world,
Luchen Li has seen the need for higher education to meet the
growing globalization of business and communications. He has used
his passion for cross-cultural understanding, coupled with his
knowledge of the humanities and social sciences, to advance the
development of global strategies.
Now, the educational innovator is leading Rose-Hulman's enhanced
international education efforts as its first associate dean of
"I know that today, in the global era, the awareness of cultural
difference and the ability to work in teams with colleagues from
various cultures and nationalities are far more important than in
past years. We need to prepare our students for the global work
market, the global economy, and the global mindset," Li says.
International education, he later explained, is not simply
offering exchange programs, classes in language and culture or
traveling abroad. "International education consists of
comprehensive programming that leads to increased awareness and
understanding of the international community, global opportunities,
and diverse world views," Li says.
It's an effort that will not be limited to Li's new position,
but will require the cooperation of the entire campus community.
"We cannot succeed without a shared vision," he adds.
Included in that vision, Li explains, are traditional global
programs, like international student exchange. However, he sees the
goal as "not just attracting more international students, but
attracting international scholars."
Li developed similar global strategies as director of
international programs at Kettering University.
"Dr. Li brings a vast wealth of experience in the area of
international programs. I have no doubt that he will provide the
leadership necessary to coordinate, enhance, and expand the global
opportunities for our students," says Phil Cornwell, vice president
of academic affairs.
Opportunities abound for faculty to participate in research
collaboration with colleagues from around the world. Li believes
faculty members must engage others in order to address today's
energy challenges and other global concerns. "These problems
require our faculty members to go beyond the campus laboratory," Li
International collaborative efforts, Li explains, will not
simply provide faculty and students with an external exposure to
other cultures. Global programs, he says, should "reach out to the
world with the purpose to internalize a global mindset at
Rose-Hulman." He adds: "We cannot do global things within a small
box-we must reach out to others."
An educator first, Li pursues the advancement of international
education "to make a broader impact upon student learning and help
with curricular innovation."
Li earned degrees in English and English literature from China's
Hebei Teachers University and Suzhou University. He earned a
doctorate in modern American literature from the University of
Oregon, where he also studied international business strategy,
organizational behavior, marketing, and finance. He recently
attended the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education
at Harvard University. Li is also an internationally recognized
Steinbeck scholar. ■