The University of Virginia is expanding its operations overseas with the creation of a new representative position in Shanghai, a move Executive Vice President and Provost John Simon says marks a significant step in increasing U.Va.’s presence in China and more broadly, in Asia.
U.Va. is seeking a director to serve as its chief resident representative in China, a position that will report to the provost via Vice Provost for Global Affairs Jeffrey W. Legro.
Simon said he is “very excited” about the move. “It’s a great opportunity and I think there is a lot of potential there. Our alumni and students in the region are very supportive of this effort,” he said.
The position will be based in Shanghai with additional outreach to Beijing, Hong Kong and other cities in China. The director of the Shanghai office will have a range of responsibilities such as:
• Creating new research/educational partnerships and maintain existing ones;
• Supporting advancement, admissions and alumni engagement; and
• Developing internships and contribute to career placement efforts.
The chair of the search committee, Charles Laughlin, director of U.Va.’s East Asia Center, said finding the right person will be a challenge, given the different roles that come with the job.
Laughlin is expecting to receive a lot of applications, especially with the assistance of the Executive Search Group, the University’s internal search firm.
“We are engaging all relevant persons, including alumni and UVaClubs, and are asking for recommendations for potential candidates,” he said. “We are trying to animate the network as much as possible. We want people to know their input and opinions are very valuable to us.”
Legro, who traveled to Asia with Simon in January, noted U.Va. has a variety of ongoing research and study-abroad programs in mainland China and Hong Kong. He said the creation of this new position will greatly enhance the University’s operations there.
“Operating effectively in China requires face time; people want to see you,” he said. “President Sullivan’s trip there last May made it very clear that U.Va. has a lot of potential in the region.
“China is going to be a central fixture in the future for all of our students. Many challenges and opportunities ahead are going to involve China, and it’s important that we increase our engagement in that region.”
Approximately 800 Chinese graduate and undergraduate students currently attend U.Va., and nearly 2,000 alumni and parents live in mainland China and Hong Kong.
The search committee will begin reviewing applications May 1 and hopes to have the position filled by the fall. To view the application, visit Jobs@UVa.