Global and Area Studies Centers Will Realign with International Affairs

Charles Bankart, Senior Internationalization Officer; Jennifer Roberts, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies; and Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Wednesday, July 10, 2024, 9:45 a.m.
KU Lawrence Edwards All Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleague,

This month, KU’s Institute for International and Global Engagement and our five Area Studies Centers will realign under KU International Affairs. A new associate vice provost, a member of the faculty, will be hired to lead international and global engagement and the centers on a permanent basis.

A restructuring committee of Arash Mafi, Executive Dean of the College; Shelley Hooks, incoming Vice Chancellor for Research; Carol Smith, Dean of KU Libraries; Jennifer Roberts, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies; and Charles Bankart, Senior Internationalization Officer; will support the transition and serve as the search committee for the new associate vice provost. While the search is underway, the centers will report to Bankart.

The reorganization will leverage the excellent work of the Area Studies programs to better integrate international scholarship and global engagement throughout the university. The five Area Studies Centers are a defining strength of KU, which is one of 13 schools in the country to have four or more federally funded National Resource Centers. The realignment provides opportunities for greater collaboration among administrative units and supports the development of stronger international partnerships and collaborations.

With the reorganization, administrative and budget oversight of IIGE and the centers have shifted to International Affairs and academic appointments will remain with the College. The centers’ staffing and budgets will not change. Under the leadership of the new associate vice provost, international and global engagement will be a dedicated focus and function within International Affairs.

International Affairs will additionally host two provost fellow positions as part of the realignment process:

  • Melissa Birch, Associate Professor in the School of Business, will focus on building international partnerships that connect KU’s expertise and resources with businesses, governments and higher education institutions around the world. Please join us in thanking Melissa for her prior service to the university as Executive Director of IIGE since its founding.
  • Megan Greene, Professor of history, will continue her work to internationalize the curriculum, integrate intercultural competencies into KU’s core coursework, and increase capacity for international research and education abroad.

Through this realignment, we look forward to expanding KU’s global reach and international education efforts.

Charles Bankart

Senior Internationalization Officer

Jennifer Roberts

Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer

Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor