The appointment of Diana Kao as associate vice-provost – international is a big step forward for the University’s internationalization program, says vice-provost Clayton Smith.
After serving seven years as the associate dean of programs at the Odette School of Business, Dr. Kao brings her expertise and experience in administration and international affairs to her new office in the International Student Centre.
“We have a faculty member whose full-time job will be to actively engage in promoting our international endeavours, from student exchanges and research collaboration to programming partnerships,” Dr. Smith says. “We are building the infrastructure to move from commitment to action.”
Kao plans to take a strategic approach to building relationships with foreign partners including educational institutions, industries and governments. “I will look at what our strengths are and how we match them with potential partners,” she says.
She says her experience has given her insight into three key aspects of her new job. She was an international student herself, coming to Canada for graduate studies; she has been a professor and understands the challenges facing researchers for international collaborations; and she has gained knowledge of processes and programs as an administrator.
“For us to raise our profile as an international player, we need to have a system that works.” says Kao. “My background is in information systems, one of my goals is to develop systems and processes that coordinate our international activities and give our University a cohesive presence in the world,” says Kao.
Kao plans to use her office to build a platform to support and facilitate international activities of the University. “I have something to offer – I can be that bridge.” says Kao.