Provost appoints new vice provost for international education and global affairs

Madhusudhan “Madhu” Govindaraju to begin duties June 1, 2020

Madhusudhan Govindaraju, seen here in the classroom a few years ago, has been appointed vice provost for international education and global affairs at Binghamton University, effective June 1, 2020. Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen.
Madhusudhan Govindaraju, seen here in the classroom a few years ago, has been appointed vice provost for international education and global affairs at Binghamton University, effective June 1, 2020.
Madhusudhan Govindaraju, seen here in the classroom a few years ago, has been appointed vice provost for international education and global affairs at Binghamton University, effective June 1, 2020. Photography: Jonathan Cohen.

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Donald Nieman announces that Madhusudhan “Madhu” Govindaraju, professor, associate chair and graduate director for the Department of Computer Science, has been appointed vice provost for international education and global affairs, effective June 1, 2020.

Govindaraju will replace Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari, who has held the position as executive vice provost since it was established in June 2015.

“Madhu has enjoyed success as a teacher, scholar, graduate director and leader within his department,” Nieman noted. “He has enjoyed great success in international recruitment efforts, is deeply committed to students, embraces cultural diversity and believes in the imperative of internationalizing our campus. I know that faculty, deans and staff in International Education and Global Affairs will enjoy working with him.”

In his new role, Govindaraju will oversee international recruitment efforts, as well as provide guidance and oversight to the International Student and Scholar Services Office (ISSS), education abroad and student exchange initiatives.

“It’s an honor and a responsibility,” said Govindaraju. “I am deeply appreciative of the work that Watson and other campus leaders have already put in to build the reputation and global impact of Binghamton University.

“I hope to continue the work to enhance the University’s global footprint,” he said.

Govindaraju will work with colleagues in ISSS, the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives (IEGI) and the Office of Graduate Recruitment (OGR) moving forward.

“The next six months, I plan to meet and learn from them,” Govindaraju said. “They already do excellent work. I want to understand their challenges and work together to develop practical, long-term solutions.”

For Srihari, the most gratifying part of working on international initiatives has been working with students, faculty and staff to advance Binghamton University’s academic objectives — not just through recruitment of students but also through our faculty who are now comfortable teaching in places like China, through education abroad programs and our research centers, and through our many international collaborations.

He sees Govindaraju’s new role as a strategic one, just as it has been for him. “First, we must provide strategy and direction for the campus for our international initiatives that are in line with the overall academic goals for the campus,” Srihari said. “Second, how do we bring more of an international flavor to our campus? With 115 countries represented here, we are very diverse from an international perspective, which is wonderful. It improves the academic discourse on our campus.

“What we’re looking at is how do we improve our campus footprint in different geographies to meet and surpass our goals by bringing in students from Europe, India, Mexico, South America — from all over the globe? How do we work toward Binghamton’s goals from an internationalization perspective?

“It’s by working with the campus leadership, the deans and vice presidents, and with faculty, staff and students,” Srihari said. “I hope we’ve made strides. The vice provost can’t take credit, but helps in any way he can.”

The team approach is what has resonated for Srihari, as everyone comes together to support strong outreach efforts in countries including India, South Korea, Jordan, Turkey, China and others.

“The strength of our strategy is the involvement of numerous faculty, staff and students in our efforts, including student ambassadors and lots of faculty and staff,” he said. “It’s not one person, it’s a lot of people helping to move Binghamton forward. It sets us apart and is unique to Binghamton.”

“I want to thank Hari for taking on this responsibility, which he did in addition to his work as dean of the Watson School, and for bringing his boundless energy, strategic vision, collaborative spirit, and deep knowledge of and respect for cultural diversity to the position,” Nieman said. “Because of his efforts we are a national leader in campus internationalization.”

Govindaraju, who plans to meet with deans and other campus leaders to better understand their vision and needs, expects to remain current with his research and teach as opportunities arise, but his new role is one he is ready to tackle.

“Working with the Watson team has provided invaluable experience. It takes a sustained effort to develop a globalized campus, build international collaborations and attract the best students,” Govindaraju said. “We need to constantly evolve and learn from the past year, understand what succeeded and why, and accordingly plan initiatives for the following year.

“Each discipline is different and so may require a customized approach,” he added. “I hope to draw on my Watson experience to work with other campus units by helping to facilitate, not replace, their own initiatives.”