Purdue names dean for International Programs

June 16, 2011

Michael A. Brzezinski

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Michael A. Brzezinski has been named Purdue's dean of International Programs, university officials announced Thursday (June 16).

The appointment, which is effective immediately, is subject to the ratification by the university's Board of Trustees. Brzezinski had been serving as interim dean for this area, which oversees programs related to study abroad, international students and scholars, and partnerships with international universities.

"Dr. Brzezinski's leadership during this interim period, and in his previous Purdue roles, demonstrates his strategic vision and dedication to strengthening Purdue as a global university and focusing on how this global presence can help the state and our students," said Purdue President France A. Córdova. "Mike developed and implemented Purdue's first international undergraduate student recruitment plan in the 1990s that led to an increase in enrollment from 600 students in 1993 to more than 3,400 in 2010."

Most recently, Brzezinski launched the Global Business Engagement Initiative to offer Purdue resources and expertise to Indiana communities and businesses interested in pursuing international economic development.

"His ability to work well with alumni and friends overseas, especially in China and throughout the Middle East, is beneficial to Purdue students and Indiana businesses," said Timothy D. Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. "We are pleased that Mike will be leading this area, which plays a crucial role in Purdue's strategic plan."

International Programs is home to the Office of Programs for Study Abroad, International Students and Scholars, China Center and the Purdue-Tsinghua Strategic Partnership, which is Purdue's first formal university-wide partnership with an overseas institution.

"I am honored to serve as dean to build upon the foundation established by my predecessors," Brzezinski said. "Purdue is very well known around the globe. We have an excellent academic reputation, we are known for our world-class research and for the large and diverse number of international students who attend Purdue. Plus our study abroad student participation rate is increasing as evidenced by a record number of students having studied abroad this past year. I anticipate moving our global needle forward by collaborating with each and every academic college, with various research centers, and with the Global Policy Research Institute. Together there is much that we can accomplish for our students, for our faculty and for the university at large."

International Programs monitors U.S. State Department travel advisories for faculty and students traveling abroad and provides other resources for international travel. There are study abroad options in 57 countries, and in 2010-11, more than 1,700 Purdue students studied abroad.

Last year, 6,761 international students, representing 125 countries, attended Purdue, and the Office of International Students and Scholars also assisted more than 800 Purdue international faculty and researchers. Purdue's international student enrollment ranks second in the United States among public institutions.

Since coming to Purdue in 1993, Brzezinski has served as both associate and assistant dean for International Programs, as well as director of International Students and Scholars and interim director of Programs for Study Abroad. He also holds a courtesy assistant professor appointment in the Department of Educational Studies.

Brzezinski earned his doctorate in educational leadership and cultural studies in 1993 from the University of Houston and master's and bachelor's degrees from State University of New York College at Cortland in 1983 and 1979, respectively. He was central administrator and English language instructor in Beijing for Educational Services Exchange with China Inc. from 1983-88 and then international student counselor at the University of Houston from 1988-93. He also has served as a consultant for Florida International University, St. Peter's College, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, and University of Iowa. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and he was one of the first American citizens to be a foreign exchange student in Beijing from 1981-83.

Writer:  Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Sources:   France A. Córdova, president@purdue.edu

                    Timothy Sands, 765-494-9709, tsands@purdue.edu  

                    Michael A. Brzezinski, 765-494-9399, mbrzezinski@purdue.edu