Campus News

Dunnett to step down as vice provost for international education


Published June 29, 2018 This content is archived.

“His contributions have transformed UB into a globally recognized center for international education, and will continue to influence our institutional direction for years to come. ”
Provost Charles F. Zukoski
headshot of Stephen Dunnett.

Stephen C. Dunnett

There’s one undeniable fact about UB’s rise as a global leader in international education: No one has been more integral to that effort than Stephen C. Dunnett.

As vice provost for international education, Dunnett has led the university’s international programs and services since 1989, impacting thousands of international and domestic students, as well as faculty and staff. He’s been responsible for significantly growing the international student population, building a centralized Study Abroad Program to increase global learning opportunities for students, enhancing international alumni engagement and internationalizing UB’s curriculum.

He has received foreign dignitaries and delegations at UB — he was instrumental in securing the visit to UB of the Dalai Lama in 2006 — and has served as a trusted adviser to the university’s senior leadership on international protocol and relations, taken a leading role in developing international plans for SUNY, and has been a nationally sought-after consultant on international education.

In the words of Charles F. Zukoski, provost and executive vice president, “His contributions have transformed UB into a globally recognized center for international education, and will continue to influence our institutional direction for years to come.”

After nearly three decades leading UB’s internationalization efforts, Dunnett has decided step down as vice provost on Sept. 1. He will continue to oversee UB programs at the Singapore Institute of Management, Chinese Culture University in Taiwan and Konan University in Japan through August 2019, when he plans to retire from the university.

Zukoski plans to name an interim vice provost for international education in the coming weeks.

UB’s Confucius Institute was named the “Confucius Institute of the Year” in 2016. Here, Stephen Dunnett accepts the award from Liu Yandong, vice premier of the State Council, China, and chair of the Council of the Confucius Institute Headquarters, at the annual Confucius Institute Global Conference in Kunming, China.

Dunnett joined UB in 1971 as a faculty member in the Graduate School of Education. He founded — and continues to direct — the internationally renowned English Language Institute, which offers English language instruction, cultural orientation and pre-academic training to international students, scholars and professionals.

In 1980, he was integral in establishing the first open educational exchanges of any U.S. university with Chinese universities, which opened the door for other universities to launch educational programs with China.

Later, in 1986, he played an important role in creating one of the first 2+2 cooperative education programs in Malaysia, a forerunner of the programs delivered in Singapore 20 years later.

In 2008, he oversaw work on “The Global Imperative: Making UB an International University,” UB’s comprehensive internationalization strategy and strategic plan that continues to guide the university’s internationalization efforts.

Dunnett also has led the formation of many important partnerships and affiliations that contribute to UB’s international reputation, lead to increasing research and teaching opportunities abroad, and positively impact the Western New York community. Among them are:

  • Landmark affiliations in 1989 — at the end of the Soviet era — with universities in Poland and Latvia, which led to the founding of the Riga Business School, the first U.S. management training school in the Baltics.
  • Partnerships with Indian universities, including one with Amrita University that involves long-running, dual-degree programs in management and engineering.
  • Major programs of cooperation with Japanese universities, including Konan University in Kobe, which has partnered with UB for nearly 20 years on international management programs that have sent hundreds of Konan undergraduates to UB for a year of study.
  • A relationship with the Singapore Institute of Management, which offered the first Executive MBA Program in Singapore accredited by a U.S. university, starting in 1996, and UB’s first undergraduate degree programs delivered entirely overseas, starting in 2004.
  • A relationship with longtime partner Capital Normal University in Beijing that led to the launch in 2010 of the UB Confucius Institute, which enhances Chinese culture and language research and education at UB, and provides Chinese language programming at local K-12 schools.
  • A partnership with Brock University in Canada that offers a joint master’s degree in Canadian and American studies, the first international joint degree to be offered in the SUNY system, starting in 2013.

Among Dunnett’s most important accomplishments has been his success in growing UB’s international enrollment and enhancing the multicultural campus community. UB was among the first universities in the nation to create an international enrollment management office and develop an international enrollment recruitment strategy.

Under his leadership, UB has developed a global reputation as a welcoming and diverse university, ranking among the top 25 U.S. institutions hosting international students for the past 15 years.

Dunnett has received numerous honors recognizing his leadership in international education and scholarship, including prestigious awards from the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) and NAFSA: Association of International Educators, as well as several international universities and the Embassy of Poland.

He has served as president of AIEA, and in important board and leadership roles in NAFSA, World Education Services and the European Association for International Education.

A UB alumnus — he earned a PhD in higher education from the university — Dunnett also is the recipient of the President’s Medal for outstanding service to the university in 2007.