Global-Li

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 global programs.

"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 says.

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. ■