Rush will lead not only the university’s traditional international education programs, such as study abroad, but also the continuing implementation of its strategic initiative for global learning, including the infusion of international topics across W&L’s curriculum, disciplines and schools.
He will succeed Laurent Boetsch, the current director of international education, professor of romance languages and a W&L graduate, who will retire at the end of the academic year.
“I am very pleased that Mark has accepted this position because of the experience that he brings to the role. I can’t think of a better qualified person to lead our comprehensive efforts to infuse global learning into our students’ experiences,”said W&L Provost Daniel Wubah.
Rush said his goal is to make Washington and Lee a regular destination for global scholars, while also promoting the university to the world. He will draw upon more than two decades of teaching, research and administration at Washington and Lee and three years’ serving in academic administration in the United Arab Emirates. Rush says that his overseas experience broadened his perspective about global education and deepened his appreciation for liberal education and, in particular, Washington and Lee’s unique educational model.
“While there continues to be great debate in the U.S. about the future of the liberal arts, the world is eager to embrace the American model of higher education. But, in many ways, the model remains a bit of a puzzle in many parts of the world. I believe that W&L’s unique combination of arts and sciences, schools of journalism and commerce and a graduate program in law makes us a particularly attractive model of liberal learning,” he said.
Rush will begin his new position as construction of the university’s new $13.5 million Center for Global Learning continues. The facility will combine 8,600-square-feet of renovated duPont Hall with 17,700-square-feet in a new building. Along with classrooms, seminar rooms and instructional labs, the center will feature an atrium, garden, courtyard and international tea shop, all designed to encourage student-faculty interaction. A gallery also will provide space for special events and exhibits.