International Affairs director will return to teaching

Marissa Mendel

In a letter to Vice Provost Steve Michael at the end of March, Kenneth Cushner announced his resignation as executive director of the Office of International Affairs.

Effective May 1, Cushner will return to his faculty position in the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

“From the administrative side, I’ve probably taken this unit as far as I can, and sometimes the time is right for someone else to step in and take it to its next level,” he said.

Michael said there are currently no prospective replacements for Cushner and he will serve as interim director until someone new is appointed.

Cushner said one of the tensions of switching from a faculty member to an administrator is the loss of time for academic and research work.

“I’ve been too far away from my scholarship, and there’s a draw to come back to that,” he said.

In addition to teaching courses in intercultural education and social studies education, Cushner has had recent interest in his intercultural education and intercultural teacher education work and will be

beginning new projects.

“I will not be leaving this work,” Cushner said. “I will just be leaving this role.”

He has been given the Senior Fulbright Specialist Award and will leave to spend five weeks at Gotland University in Sweden on May 4 to begin the first phase of developing cross-cultural opportunities among the nine countries that border the Baltic Sea.

Cushner said the U.S. military has also asked for his guidance in helping trainers be more sensitive to the cultural differences between themselves and the Afghans and Iraqis they are working to train.

“There’s an extremely hardworking and dedicated staff in this office. The president and the provost have made international a priority,” Cushner said. “I hope the appropriate resource base will be directed toward this office so that the staff here can achieve all that they are capable of doing.”

Cushner will be missed within the office said Sandy Baker, program manager for the Office of International Affairs.

“We’re all really, really sorry to see him go,” Baker said. “We wish him all the best, and we’re glad that he’s still going to be here at Kent State.”

Contact international affairs reporter Marissa Mendel at [email protected].