The University at Buffalo (UB) invites inquiries, applications, and nominations for a visionary leader to serve as the next Vice Provost for International Education (VPIE). Reporting directly to the Provost, the Vice Provost serves as UB’s senior international officer responsible for all central international programs and services at UB. The VPIE is also responsible for the recruitment of undergraduate international students as well as the development of a rich portfolio of study abroad programs, overseas degree offerings, and international partnerships in research and education. The Vice Provost leads the Office International Education which comprises International Admissions and Enrollment Management, International Student Services, Immigration Services, Study Abroad Programs, Exchange Programs, and Overseas Sponsored Programs. The Vice Provost also oversees a significant UB program with the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) which enrolls approximately 1,500 students.
A member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the largest and most comprehensive public research university in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, UB is an internationally renowned center for academic excellence. The Vice Provost will advance UB’s international prominence in research and education.
Long a leader in international education, in 1991, UB was one of the first public research universities in the U.S. to establish a senior-level position, Vice Provost, to oversee an overarching international strategy including international enrollment, international faculty and student support, and global partnerships and programs. It has served as a model of best practices for many other universities across the state and nation.
The university seeks creative, entrepreneurial, and collaborative leader with demonstrated success and effectiveness in developing and facilitating international programs to continue to elevate UB’s leadership in developing, promoting, and supporting international education and scholarship.
The University at Buffalo has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in the recruitment. This position description has been created to describe the ideal characteristics and experiences of the ideal candidate. It draws on UB’s existing materials and aggregates commentary from a variety of stakeholders including university leadership, faculty, staff and students. All applications, inquiries, and nominations should be directed to the search firm as indicated at the end of this document. All submissions and inquiries will remain confidential.
Situated on a binational border, the University at Buffalo has been an international university throughout our long institutional history. Since the first international student enrolled in 1847—the year after our founding—international education has been a vital part of UB’s identity.
Long a leader in international education, in 1980 following normalization of relations, UB was the first U.S. university to establish an institutional affiliation with a university in China. In 1991, UB was one of the first public research universities in the U.S. to establish a senior-level position (Vice Provost) to oversee international education, and it has since served as a model of best practices for many other universities across the state and nation.
UB is committed to seeking out opportunities for academic exchange, collaboration and dialogue across national and cultural borders. UB is dedicated to preparing students to contribute meaningfully to our globalized world through study abroad experiences, as well as through their exposure to different viewpoints and cultures via its multinational community of schools and international curricula. UB’s globally minded faculty, who themselves represent many parts of the world, increasingly pursue international research and teaching opportunities.
Under the leadership of the VPIE, UB recruits and admits a diverse pool of excellent students from more than 90 countries. Through comprehensive support services and inclusion and engagement programs, UB fosters international student success and retention. UB maintains vital institutional affiliations with more than 90 leading universities around the world. UB’s offshore degree programs include six UB undergraduate programs delivered entirely at the Singapore Institute of Management, which currently enroll 1,500 students.
UB is a global community of scholars, ranking among the nation’s top 25 universities for the enrollment of international students in the Open Doors census for nearly two decades, and currently enrolling over 6,000 international students.
Since 2008, the University at Buffalo has made a strategic commitment to comprehensive internationalization, captured in “The Global Imperative: Making UB an International University.” In support of UB’s international community, in 2016 the Provost’s Task Force on International Inclusion and Engagement released a report with recommendations on how to enhance the international student experience on campus.
UB’s strategic international efforts have focused on three broad dimensions—the student experience, including increasing study abroad and global learning opportunities and enhancing students’ cultural competency; the faculty, including eliminating barriers to carrying out internationally oriented work and encouraging participation in international research and study abroad; and the institution as a whole, including increasing the visibility of UB’s international identity and activities and enhancing UB’s relationship with international alumni.
The Vice Provost for International Education serves as UB’s chief university officer responsible for all central international programs and services at UB. The Vice Provost leads the Office of International Education (OIE), which comprises seven major functional areas: International Enrollment Management, International Admissions, International Student Services, Immigration Services, Study Abroad Programs, Exchange Programs, and Overseas Sponsored Programs. OIE also operates the University Guest Quarters, a temporary housing facility for visiting scholars from around the world. These services advance UB’s internationalization agenda while facilitating the global mobility of students and faculty and helping foster and support a welcoming and inclusive international community at UB.
As the office responsible for the comprehensive internationalization of the university, the VPIE works with the Provost's office and the academic units to internationalize the curriculum, develop international studies and programs, and promote international education opportunities both on campus and overseas. The VPIE is also responsible for hosting visiting foreign dignitaries according to appropriate protocol, arranging presidential and provostal trips abroad, and serving as the university's primary representative in dealings with overseas partner institutions, international education organizations, and federal agencies involved in international education and exchange.
Office of International Education programs and services include:
Due to its traditionally strong value proposition of excellent academic quality, UB has long been successful as a magnet for international students from across the globe. The Office of International Enrollment Management (IEM) is responsible for planning and conducting UB's international student recruitment activities. In consultation with other provostal areas, IEM develops a strategic recruitment plan aimed at enrolling a diverse group of high-quality international students from around the world. Throughout the year, IEM organizes a variety of recruitment activities abroad, including print and electronic publicity, participation in recruitment fairs and other events, visits to local schools and colleges, and interviews with prospective applicants. These activities target eligible students in East, Southeast, Central and South Asia; the Middle East; Europe; Central and South America; and Canada. IEM works with International Admissions during the admissions process and with International Student Services once new international students arrive to ensure their enrollment and adjustment to UB are successful.
The Office of International Admissions is responsible for reviewing and offering decisions on all international undergraduate applications, reviewing and finalizing all graduate decisions, evaluating foreign credentials, evaluating undergraduate transfer credit to the university, reviewing financial documents, creating university student records for international students, creating SEVIS and Slate records, generating Certificates of Visa Eligibility, communicating with all undergraduate applicants, and providing training and resources for all university personnel involved with admitting international students. With a full-time staff of nine and the assistance of several graduate assistants, International Admissions reviews and processes nearly 15,000 international applications each year. The staff attend several training workshops and conferences each year and have developed an extensive resource library to assist in the review of foreign academic documents.
The Office of International Student Services (ISS) provides immigration services, orientation and campus programming, enrichment activities, and general support to UB’s international students on F-1 and J-1 visas. Through its immigration services, ISS helps international students maintain their status in compliance with immigration regulations and apply for the immigration benefits for which they are eligible.
ISS provides extensive fall and spring orientation programs for incoming international students and workshop series on immigration topics as well as topics relating to living and working in the U.S. It also organizes enrichment programs and cultural events such as the annual International Education Week to enhance the educational experience and promote the inclusion and engagement of international students into campus life.
In 2018-19, the university hosted more than 500 international scholars (J-1 scholar visa holders), and 250 international faculty and staff on working visas (H-1B, O or TN visa holders). UB Immigration Services is the central university office responsible for insuring that the university is in compliance with applicable federal law related to the hiring and retention of non-U.S. citizens holding faculty, research, and staff appointments. The office files employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant petitions so that academic departments may hire international faculty and researchers. Immigration Services, which is the only authorized signatory for UB-sponsored petitions, was created as a self-funding unit supported by fees charged for services. Directed by an immigration attorney and staffed by two paralegals and a graduate assistant, the office provides technical services to facilitate the temporary and permanent appointment of immigrants and nonimmigrants to teaching and research positions.
The Office of Study Abroad Programs serves both undergraduate and graduate UB students before, during, and after they participate in a study abroad or university exchange program. Staffed by four full-time professionals and three graduate assistants, Study Abroad Programs provides information and assistance at every stage of the process—from helping students find the right program, complete a successful application, apply for financial aid, and obtain course approvals; to preparing students to go abroad with relevant travel, health and safety, and cultural orientation information; to staying in touch to provide support and advice throughout their stay overseas; to processing their grades and transferring credits upon their return; to helping them readjust to their life and studies back home.
Currently, approximately 600 UB students study abroad each year. UB currently offers more than 60 programs in 30 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, North America, Oceania, and Central and South America. These range from three-week winter session programs to six-week summer programs to semester-long and academic-year programs, and a great variety of academic fields are available. In many cases, the programs offer course instruction in English, so a foreign language is not required to participate. The office also assists students with the more than 850 programs offered by other SUNY institutions as well as other non-UB study abroad programs. Study Abroad Programs works with faculty and staff to develop new study abroad programs and to publicize current offerings to their students. The office also supports non-credit experiential learning student trips with respect to program planning and risk management.
OIE is responsible for developing and administering the university’s reciprocal exchange programs with foreign institutions of higher education. These programs provide for the exchange of students, faculty, and staff and contribute to the internationalization of the university. Furthermore, exchange programs help increase international enrollment since many international students who come to UB as exchange students return to the university as degree-seeking students. Currently, UB maintains more than 90 active exchange programs with leading institutions in Africa, Asia, Australasia, the Caribbean, Europe, North America, and South America. The office is frequently contacted by foreign institutions seeking an affiliation with UB; in addition, the office works with the deans and faculty at UB interested in establishing or expanding exchange programs, as well as with colleagues at other SUNY campuses and in SUNY System Administration involved in system-wide exchanges and the coordination of exchange agreements and activities.
The office negotiates with proposed partners, drafts agreements that fully protect the interests of the academic units involved as well as the university, and arranges for official approval by UB and SUNY. Every exchange agreement is periodically reviewed to ensure that it is active, that the terms of the agreement are complied with and when necessary updated, and that exchange activities are reciprocal and balanced.
OIE also supports the academic units across campus and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development in facilitating international research collaborations, particularly with institutional partners. These include endeavors such as earthquake engineering research with China, Taiwan and Japan; nanotechnology and neuro-imaging research with Japan; HIV/AIDS research with Zimbabwe; automotive and robotic research with Germany; photonics research with China, India, and Nigeria; social welfare and development research with India; and oral biology research with Japan.
The mission of the Office of Overseas Sponsored Programs is to assist schools, departments, and faculty members in developing externally funded overseas projects. Drawing on UB's extensive experience in developing and delivering overseas programs in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, the office collaborates with the academic units to conceptualize, plan and administer overseas academic programs, typically in cooperation with partner institutions in-country and/or sponsoring agencies in the U.S. The office monitors requests for proposals and assists faculty members in articulating ideas, developing proposals, identifying funding sources, and providing ongoing guidance and follow-through.
Since the 1970s, UB has been a pioneer in developing overseas programs. The landmark $15 million cooperative education program in Malaysia (1986-91) provided the impetus for the development of many other programs in Asia during the late 1980s and early 1990s, and eventually led to the establishment of the VPIE. In the 1990s, the office partnered with the School of Management in major overseas projects in Europe and Asia: the Center for Excellence in Management (Hungary); Riga Business School (Latvia); and Executive MBA Programs in China and Singapore. The office is also responsible for developing and administering the UB component of the CUBE Program at Konan University, Japan, which brings 35-40 Konan undergraduate management students to UB each fall for a two-semester specialized academic program, and a company visit program in Western New York.
In cooperation with the School of Management and the College of Arts and Sciences, OIE developed and supports a 2003 contract with the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) to deliver baccalaureate degree programs in Business Administration, Communication, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, International Trade and Geographic Information Science conducted entirely at the SIM campus in Singapore. Currently, these programs together enroll 1,500 students and have graduated nearly 5,000 students. Numerous UB-SIM students study abroad at UB every semester. In turn, dozens of Buffalo students study abroad at SIM each year.
In addition to these seven major areas, the Office of the Vice Provost for International Education is responsible for internationalizing the curriculum and campus experience of students, faculty, and staff. OIE worked with Undergraduate Education and the General Education Task Force to support the development of the global learning component of the UB Curriculum, UB’s general education program. It helps develop and support foreign language and area studies programs that increase student knowledge of the languages and cultures of other countries, and it co-organizes and sponsors international artistic and cultural events on campus. In addition, OIE provides support for the Fulbright and German Academic Exchange Service student programs on campus.
The VPIE works closely with the Council on International Studies and Programs (CISP), a faculty advisory committee, to develop international education policies, review new international programs, and promote and support international activities of campus-wide interest. The membership of the Council comprises faculty from across the university as well as international education staff, who are ex officio.
Impactful research, scholarly distinction, transformative student experiences, and far-reaching service to local, state, national, and international communities define UB’s mission as one of the nation’s leading public research universities. UB was founded in 1846 as a private medical college located in downtown Buffalo and joined the SUNY network in 1962. SUNY is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, comprising 64 campuses with a total enrollment of more than 415,000 students, and UB is the largest and most comprehensive public research university within the system. In 1989, UB was among the first public universities in the Northeast to be admitted into the AAU. Over the years, UB’s scope and mission have expanded significantly as it has grown into a world-renowned research university that is the thriving heart of the regional community, a national leader in public higher education, and a global hub for excellence in research and education.
UB enrolls more than 31,000 students (approximately two-thirds undergraduate and one-third graduate and professional students), and offers more than 400 degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, professional, and doctoral levels across its 12 decanal units.
UB has a distinguished faculty of approximately 1,700 full-time and 750 part‑time members. UB is home to more than 100 research centers and institutes; its current annual research expenditures, including those in affiliated institutions, exceed $400 million. The University Libraries hold more than four million volumes and provide access to and an exceptionally wide array of digital information resources.
UB’s academic programs and facilities are located on three distinct campuses in the Buffalo metropolitan area. UB’s North Campus, located in the Buffalo suburb of Amherst, is the university’s main undergraduate campus and home to the university’s senior administration and primary athletics and cultural facilities. Three miles to the south, on the northern edge of the City of Buffalo, is the university’s historic South Campus, home to many of the university’s professional and health sciences focused schools. UB also has a rapidly developing third campus center in downtown Buffalo. The focal point of UB’s downtown presence is the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, on which UB’s new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences facility is located in proximity to the university’s health and life science partners.
Recognizing the key role that a vibrant 21st-century physical campus environment plays in enhancing education, research, and learning, UB is realizing a long-range Master Plan for enhancing its North, South, and Downtown campus spaces and connecting them more effectively to their surrounding communities.
With an annual operating revenue of $752 million, UB and its affiliated entities generate an estimated economic impact of $1.8 billion annually in New York State. The university’s total workforce of approximately 6,200 full-time equivalent employees makes it one of the region’s largest employers. UB is also a leader and an active partner with the more than 20 public and private colleges and universities in the Buffalo-Niagara region.
Internationally recognized as an accomplished researcher and transformative higher education leader, Satish K. Tripathi, PhD, was appointed the 15th president of the University at Buffalo on April 18, 2011.
Dr. Tripathi, who served as UB’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs from 2004-2011, was one of the principal creators of the UB 2020 strategic plan to achieve academic excellence and has led the university to achieve significant growth in research and scholarly activity, enhanced student quality and diversity, and an expanded international presence. Building on this strong foundation, Dr. Tripathi has a vision for UB’s future that focuses on moving the university into the highest ranks of the nation’s leading research universities through expanding its reach and impact locally as well as globally.
The first international-born president in UB’s history, Dr. Tripathi served as dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California-Riverside prior to coming to UB. Previously, he was a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, where his 19-year tenure as a faculty member included serving as chair from 1988-1995. A fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he holds honorary degrees from the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, and Brock University in Ontario, Canada. In 2009, he was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award by Banaras Hindu University.
An active leader in the national higher education community, Dr. Tripathi is chair of the Mid‑American Conference Council of Presidents and serves on the boards of the NCAA Division I, NCAA Board of Governors, College Football Playoff Board of Managers and Internet2. He has also served on the board of directors for the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, . Among his numerous community leadership roles, Dr. Tripathi serves on the boards of directors of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Great Lakes Health. Appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2011 as an inaugural co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, he served in this position until 2017.
As Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, A. Scott Weber, PhD, serves as the university’s chief academic officer, responsible for leading the development and implementation of the university’s academic vision. Weber provides leadership across the academic enterprise including research, scholarship and creative activities; undergraduate, graduate, professional and international education; faculty development; diversity and inclusion initiatives; and university libraries.
A member of UB’s faculty since 1983, Weber is an innovative scholar and teacher and former chair of UB’s Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, where he helped establish UB’s transportation engineering program and oversaw the department’s significant rise in national rankings among U.S civil engineering programs.
Weber has held progressively responsible administrative roles at UB, including Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, where he was instrumental in the creation of the UB Curriculum and the nationally recognized Finish in 4 program; and Vice President for Student Life, where he focused on enhancing the student experience on campus and promoting overall student wellness.
Weber’s research focuses on biodegradation of chemicals in water and soil and the reclamation of environmentally impacted sites known as brownfields. He earned bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees in civil engineering from Virginia Tech and a PhD in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis.
The State University of New York is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive state university system, consisting of 64 campuses including major research universities, health science centers, comprehensive and technical colleges, and community colleges, all committed to providing a broad range of outstanding academic programs for students within New York and from around the world. The University at Buffalo is one of four research centers in the SUNY system, along with the University at Albany, Binghamton University and the University at Stony Brook.
Dr. Kristina M. Johnson joined SUNY as its 13th Chancellor in September 2017. With 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state, SUNY is the nation’s largest comprehensive system of public higher education. It serves 1.4 million students annually, employs more than 50,000 faculty and staff, and connects more than three million alumni around the world.
As a world-renowned research university, UB’s intellectual capital and innovation are playing a vital role in Buffalo’s resurgence as a thriving city that is a magnet for talented professionals, artists, entrepreneurs, and innovators who recognize the tremendous energy and momentum gathering here. Home to one of the nation’s fastest growing populations of college graduates, the Buffalo-Niagara region, with 1.1 million residents, is the state’s second largest major metropolitan area, exceeded only by New York City. The region includes a diverse blend of communities, each with its own distinct personality, yet commonly characterized by a distinctly neighborly way of life, an unpretentious nature, and spirited loyalty among residents. Buffalo’s own strong sense of community, easy lifestyle, and affordability regularly place it in top ten lists from a variety of national publications for its overall quality of life.
Buffalo offers an impressive array of cultural and recreational opportunities uncommon for a region of its size. Buffalo’s rich cultural resources reflect its distinguished history and commitment to sustaining the arts, including the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; the world-class collection of modern painting and sculpture at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; an extensive array of historic architectural treasures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, H.H. Richardson, Louis Sullivan, and Eero and Eliel Saarinen; and an expansive park system (including Delaware Park), considered to be the very best work of designer Frederick Law Olmsted. The city is home to the state’s largest concentration of theaters outside of New York City. Niagara Falls, one of the major tourist attractions of the world, is a short drive away, and Buffalo is close to two significant wine growing regions—Niagara Escarpment and the Finger Lakes region. In addition, the Adirondack Mountains are half-day’s drive from Buffalo.
Rich in natural resources and beauty, the Buffalo-Niagara area is a four-season region that offers the best for seasonal sports enthusiasts. University at Buffalo fans enjoy a full complement of NCAA division I sports with the UB Bulls, as well as the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, Triple-A baseball’s Buffalo Bisons, and the National Lacrosse League’s Buffalo Bandits.
Less than a two-hour drive from Buffalo across the United States-Canada border is Toronto, the cultural, entertainment, and financial capital of Canada. Buffalo is also ideally located for easy access to many of America’s greatest cities. The Buffalo-Niagara International Airport offers direct flights to more than 20 cities, including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington, DC, all only an hour’s flight away.
UB is a critical partner, playing a central role in the creation of a strong, sustainable knowledge economy and thriving entrepreneurial culture that are driving Buffalo’s revitalization. Exemplified and driven by the centrally located Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and UB’s new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences facility, Buffalo is experiencing a period of tremendous progress and momentum as well as unprecedented regional investments in the industries of the future and in the assets that ensure a satisfying quality of life for all its citizens.
The Vice Provost for International Education reports to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and is responsible for all central international programs and services at UB. The Vice Provost leads the Office of International Education, which is responsible for the recruitment of undergraduate international students as well as the development of a rich portfolio of study abroad programs, overseas degree offerings, and international partnerships in research and education.
Candidates should demonstrate significant capacity for and a clear vision for progress in the following areas:
This position represents an outstanding opportunity for an experienced leader with a history of decisive and innovative leadership, including managing human, financial, and physical resources. Successful candidates will possess the following characteristics and credentials:
The University at Buffalo has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in the recruitment of their next Vice Provost for International Education. Review of nominations and applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. All inquiries, nominations/referrals, and applications, including a curriculum vitae that is responsive to the opportunities and challenges above, should be sent electronically and in confidence to:
Sean Farrell, Principal
Marc St. Hilaire, Senior Associate
1300 19th Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
The University at Buffalo is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. The university is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic university community and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, disabled individuals, and other protected groups.