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Source: Duane Nellis, 785-532-6224,
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415,

Monday, April 20, 2009


MANHATTAN -- An international educator and administrator with worldwide experience will be Kansas State University's new associate provost for international programs.

R. Michael Philson, currently executive director of international programs at Old Dominion University, will join K-State Aug 1.

"We are very excited to have Dr. Philson join our K-State community at a time when internationalization of our university is never more important," said Duane Nellis, provost and senior vice president. "He has an excellent background and range of experiences and will be joining a very effective international program staff."

At K-State, Philson will be responsible for leadership and support to develop and implement the university's international strategic vision; seek to expand international opportunities for faculty, students and academic programs; and help guide recruitment of international undergraduate and graduate students. He also will help develop and enhance international alumni networks and help secure external funding to support international programs, activities and initiatives.

"I'm really looking forward to joining a great group of faculty, staff and students in supporting and promoting international programs and initiatives at K-State," Philson said. "Being part of a new administration is exciting, and I hope we can all work together to strengthen K-State's international profile and develop programs that will bring more international students and scholars to K-State, provide increased opportunities for faculty research and collaboration, increase study abroad options for our domestic students, and encourage strong partnerships with institutions and organizations around the world."

Philson has experience as an international educator and administrator in the U.S., Fiji, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

In his current post, as the chief international officer at Old Dominion, he is responsible for the development and support of the university's international academic programs and creation of new partnerships and affiliations with community organizations and institutions overseas. He also supervises the study abroad office, English Language Center and development and support of international alumni, as well as collaborating with academic and service units across all colleges and departments. He joined Old Dominion in 2007.

His previous experience includes serving as international education administrator at Wichita State University from 2001-2007; president of the Kanda Institute of Foreign Languages in Japan, 1999-2001; and executive director of the Foreign Language and Cultural Exchange, a nonprofit organization he established in Michigan, 1996-2001.

Philson's experience also includes assisting the Dong-A Language Institute in Daejeon, Korea; initiating and implementing overseas study tours to the U.S. for Chinese students from Taiwan; and working as a recruitment officer for Edmonds Community College in Kobe, Japan.

His research interests include foreign student learning/programming; governmental and institutional policies regarding international education; foreign language training and language acquisition; and the impact of technology on learning and higher education.

Philson has presented his work at national and international conferences and has been published widely, including in the journal of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, Journal of Critical Inquiry into Curriculum and Instruction, and Case Studies in Higher Education Management.

He is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Association of International Education Administrators and the European Association of International Education.

Philson earned a bachelor's in political science, with a concentration on Asia and the Pacific, from Washington University in St. Louis; a master's in journalism and mass communications from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; a master's in English as a second language from the University of Hawaii at Manoa; and a doctorate in higher education, with a focus on international education and technology in education, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.