Published February 16, 2021
Dear University Community:
I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Nojin Kwak, professor and chair of the Department of Communication and Media and director of the Nam Center for Korean Studies at the University of Michigan, as UB’s vice provost for international education, effective this summer.
Following an international search, Dr. Kwak emerged from a highly competitive pool of candidates. Dr. Kwak stood out because of his impressive leadership experience, commitment to international research programs and student experience, innovative approach to building partnerships, dedication to inclusive excellence, and creative vision for the future of international programs at UB.
As director of the Nam Center for Korean Studies, Dr. Kwak oversees an extra-departmental academic unit that serves faculty, students, and the surrounding community by fostering learning about Korean language, culture, and history via programming, scholarships, and research funding. Under his leadership, the center launched robust undergraduate and graduate fellows programs; established summer study abroad scholarships; expanded educational, research and mentorship programs; and positioned the University of Michigan as a hub within the Korean Studies scholarly community. As director, Dr. Kwak secured more than $13.6 million in grants and gifts, including a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education to collaborate with other area centers to offer educational and research programming such as the University of Puerto Rico Symposium, East Asia K-12 workshops, and foreign language instruction.
In addition, Dr. Kwak serves as the founding director of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Korean Studies e-School, an innovative course-share consortium. One of the few consortiums to be officially designated by the Korea Foundation Global e-School Initiative, the BTAA e-School is composed of 13 world-class research institutions that collaborate to offer courses and share expertise and resources throughout the Midwest.
Dr. Kwak earned an MA and a PhD in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. A prolific author, his research centers on the role of social and digital media in civic and political engagement, and he has received numerous top paper awards at major conferences. Dr. Kwak served as president of the Korean American Communication Association, and is a co-editor of a book series, Perspectives on Contemporary Korea. In recognition of his contributions to campus diversity—particularly in the area of international and intercultural diversity—Dr. Kwak received the Harold J. Johnson Diversity Service Award from the University of Michigan.
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Professor Munroe Eagles and all of the members of the search committee for their outstanding service, which was vital to the successful outcome of this search. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Interim Vice Provost for International Education John Wood for his outstanding leadership and continued service to UB and to the Office of International Education.
Please join me in welcoming Nojin Kwak to UB and to this important leadership role within our campus community. For more details on this appointment, please view the full announcement here.
A. Scott Weber Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs