Vice Provost for International Education Stephen Dunnett to step down in September

Dunnett will stay on to direct various programs through August 2019


After 47 years at the university, nearly 30 of which were spent leading UB’s international programs, Stephen Dunnett announced he will be stepping down from the position Sept. 1, according to a UB press release.

The university named John Wood, currently the senior associate vice provost in the department, as the interim vice provost once Dunnett officially steps down in September. Wood said, if offered the position permanently, he would "certainly be interested in considering it."

Dunnett said there would need to be "a period of transition" before his full retirement on Sept. 1, 2019, where he will "focus on the delicate and complex institutional relationships" with the Singapore Institute of Management, Chinese Culture University in Taiwan and Konan University in Japan. Dunnett said he will "steward" the relationships to prepare both UB and those institutions for future partnerships without his involvement.

During his long career at UB, Dunnett established the first U.S. school of management in the Baltics in 1989 toward the end of the Cold War, founded the English Language Institute and helped create the first educational exchange programs between American and Chinese universities. He also helped in bringing the Dalai Lama to UB in 2006, according to UBNow.

One of UB's major strengths, Dunnett said, is its multiculturalism.

"Education must be international in the sense it assumes a global perspective," Dunnett said in an email. "International education should involve a real encounter with other cultures and languages, with persons of very different beliefs and experiences." 

Looking back on his career, Dunnett said it's been "extremely gratifying and rewarding" to lead the international programs and that President Satish Tripathi and Provost Charles Zukoski have "recognized the importance of international education."

Wood, Dunnett’s replacement, has been the senior associate vice provost for international education since 2003 and supervises the Study Abroad Programs office.

Wood, who worked with Dunnett for over 30 years, said it was a privilege to work with Dunnett and "watch [his] extraordinary career up close."

"To the extremely impressive list of Stephen's accomplishments should be added his enormous impact in mentoring countless colleagues and students at UB, many of whom have gone on to outstanding careers of their own at institutions around the world," Wood said in an email. "In addition to the many students who benefited from his teaching and advisement as a faculty member in the [English Language Institute] and GSE are the hundreds of faculty and staff colleagues whose careers and professional development benefited so much from Stephen’s positive influence. "

Both Dunnett and Wood are UB alum; Dunnett with a Ph.D in higher education in 1977 and Wood with a Ph.D in English in 2016. 

Dan McKeon is a co-managing editor and can be reached at