seal  Purdue News

July 15, 2003

Purdue chooses international dean from University of Cincinnati

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Riall W. Nolan, associate provost and director for the Institute of Global Studies and Affairs at the University of Cincinnati, has been named dean of International Programs at Purdue University.

Riall W. Nolan

His appointment, effective Jan. 1, was announced today (Tuesday, 7/15) and is subject to approval by the Purdue Board of Trustees.

"Purdue's International Programs is a leader, with the largest international student enrollment for a public university," said President Martin C. Jischke "Riall Nolan will lead Purdue to new research and engagement collaborations between faculty and partners overseas and expand international experiences for our students."

Nolan's office oversees the Office of International Students and Scholars and the Office of Programs for Study Abroad.

Provost Sally Mason said Nolan's skills in administration and academic planning will help Purdue's international programs engage in more study abroad opportunities, such as internships in industrial settings.

"The International Programs strategic plan calls for a 50 percent increase in the number of Purdue students who study abroad," Mason said. "Nolan's enthusiasm and vision will help increase the number of students choosing to study overseas in challenging programs led by Purdue's faculty."

The Purdue strategic plan already is achieving results. In the 2002-03 academic year 694 Purdue students studied abroad, compared to 526 in 2001-02.

Nolan said one of his priorities will be to increase the number of students who go abroad.

"I would like to work with faculty from all departments to develop challenging and innovative programs," Nolan said. "Understanding that there are people in the world who think differently will help students be leaders. Study abroad makes young adults better students and citizens, and it makes them much more competitive in the job market. They need to see how business is done in other cultures, as well as how human rights and environmental concerns are viewed in other cultures. Students can't learn these lessons in textbooks."

The Office of International Students and Scholars coordinates a variety of programs, such as International Awareness Week, the International Friendship Program and Cultural Perspectives Discussion Series, which bring local and international communities together. The office also provides services and support for the 5,015 international students – 2,101 undergraduates and 2,914 graduate and professional students – while they are on campus.

The office also is responsible for Purdue's support of national security requirements, such as the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service's electronic reporting system, called the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.

Before serving at University of Cincinnati, Nolan was dean of International Affairs and Programs at Golden Gate University in San Francisco and director of International Management Development Institute at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.

Nolan, a Peace Corps volunteer and Fulbright Scholar, earned his doctorate in social anthropology in 1975 from the University of Sussex, England. He received his bachelor's degree in psychology from Colgate University in 1965. He has lived and worked overseas in Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Senegal, Papua New Guinea, the former Soviet Union and various countries in West Africa.

"Part of the personal attraction of Purdue for me is this land-grant institution's long and distinguished involvement with international activities, including re-establishing a link with Kabul University and other higher education institutions in Afghanistan," Nolan said. "A world-class university not only sends its students abroad to learn, but also to gain experience by applying their knowledge overseas."

Nolan's writing and research interests are international development, cross-cultural learning and adaptation, and the reform of university curricula to better meet the needs of a globalizing world. In 1995, he received an award for teaching excellence from the University of Pittsburgh. His book "Communicating and Adapting Across Cultures" was published in 1999 and "Development Anthropology: Encounters in the Real World" in 2001. He also speaks French, Melanesian Pidgin, Wolof and Bassari.

Miroslaw Skibniewski, associate provost, became interim dean when Michael M. Stohl, left January 2002 to become a professor of communication at the University of California Santa Barbara. Stohl served as dean of Purdue's international programs since 1992.

Writer: Amy Patterson-Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Sources: Riall Nolan, (513) 556-4402,

Sally Frost, (765) 494-9709,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;


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