Departure of assistant provost prompts Office of International Programs’ reorganization

The position of Geneseo’s Assistant Provost for International Programs is currently vacant as its former holder, Becky Lewis, has retired. Lewis served as the head of the Office of International Programs. Her retirement precipitates a partial reorganization of the remaining aspects of Geneseo’s international programs. 

The Office of International Programs, which currently has no formal administrative staff, is the umbrella that covers the International Student & Scholar Services, English for Speakers of Other Languages and general campus internationalization projects, according to the Geneseo webpage for the office. Following Lewis’ and ISSS Director Mary Hope’s decision to retire after the spring 2017 semester, ISSS shifted from the Office of Academic Affairs to the Office of Enrollment Management, according to Interim Associate Provost for Personnel and Diversity Kenneth Kallio.

Additionally, the Study Abroad Office now exists under the Office of Academic Affairs and ESOL exists under the Department of English. The Office of Academic Affairs has not decided whether to replace Lewis’ position as the assistant provost for international programs due to the distribution of the offices, according to Kallio.

Faculty Fellow for International Programs at the Office of International Programs and adjunct lecturer in the departments of English and Languages and Literatures Wes Kennison is charged with leading the Office of Study Abroad in a restructured Office of International Programs.

“After [Lewis and Hope left] , the reorganization was implemented because it was good timing,” Kallio said. “Kennison was named to run the study abroad program in the interim … but we still have to decide what we’re going to do with study abroad in terms of leadership. It hasn’t been decided yet exactly how we’re going to approach the position after the [reorganization of ISSS].”

Where Kennison now temporarily leads the Study Abroad Office, Jennifer Kenyon was selected as the permanent replacement for Hope as the director of ISSS, according to Kallio.

Lewis played a substantial role in improving the study abroad program, according to Kennison. 

“I came into the Study Aboard Office at the same time as our former boss … Lewis,” Kennison said. “The study abroad program was in a deep amount of trouble at that point [but as of] this past summer we are the number one [public, masters-granting] college in the United States as far as … the percentage of participation of students in study aboard.”

The primary reason why Geneseo is so highly ranked was due to the leadership of Lewis, according to Kennison. Lewis was also well-respected by faculty and staff in ISSS, the Office of Study Abroad and ESOL, according to Kennison.

“The reorganization began last spring after the spring semester ended,” Kallio said. “It’s way too early to tell whether there’s significant change.”u

 The Study Abroad Office held a conference for nearby colleges on Sept. 29 (pictured above). The Office and other international programs sit in some uncertainty following the retirement of Assistant Provost for International Programs Becky Lewis. (Annalee Bainnson/Photo Editor)

The Study Abroad Office held a conference for nearby colleges on Sept. 29 (pictured above). The Office and other international programs sit in some uncertainty following the retirement of Assistant Provost for International Programs Becky Lewis. (Annalee Bainnson/Photo Editor)

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