Since earning his Ph.D. in English at the University of Oregon in 1998, Luchen Li has had a rich and varied career as an administrator and scholar of John Steinbeck and American literature and cultural studies. He recently accepted the title of Associate Provost for International Programs at the University of New Hampshire, where he will oversee all international efforts on UNH’s three campuses, Durham, Manchester, and Concord Law School. Prior to his move to UNH, he was the first Associate Dean of Global Programs at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, with a faculty appointment as Professor of American Literature and Cultural Studies. Prior to this, Li served Kettering University as Director of International Programs where he also had a faculty position progressively as Assistant, Associate, and full Professor in Humanities from 2000 to 2011.
While at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, he created and coordinated university-wide operations for international education ranging from international recruitment, dual degrees, international student and scholar services, ESL, curriculum innovation with global components, collaborative research, partnership building, and study abroad. He played important roles in establishing and strengthening strategic ties with domestic and international partners, including academic institutions, industries, and governments, for student learning, faculty research, commercialization of knowledge, entrepreneurship, and institutions’ financial well-being. Such partnerships include the State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany; the Brazilian government; Chongqing Municipal Government in China, GM Wuling, CATARC (China Automotive Technology and Research Center), Delphi Corporation, and Eli Lilly, to name a few.
Dr. Li helped both Rose-Hulman and Kettering establish policies and procedures to institute operations for international education and counselled Indiana University– Kokomo to regenerate its global initiatives. Consolidating the regional resources and advocating for cross-campus collaboration, Li initiated and organized the Wabash Valley International Consortium, which engaged five institutions. With in-depth knowledge in international studies, he serves as Assistant Editor for the Journal of International Students.
Dr. Li wrote his UO English dissertation, “Between Society and Nature: A Rhetoric of John Steinbeck’s Aesthetics,” under the directorship of Professor John Gage. He has gone on to publish John Steinbeck: A Documentary Volume (2005), Critical companion to John Steinbeck: A Literary Reference to his Life and Work (2005), and numerous articles. His article “A Heart Enshrouded in the Landscape: An Impressionist Reading of ‘Big Two-Hearted River'” won the Midwest Literature Association’s best essay Heritage Prize in 2004. He has served as President of the International Society for Steinbeck Scholars, and has lectured internationally on education, literature, and cross-cultural studies.
Prior to his doctoral work at Oregon, Li held an MA from Suzhou University and a BA from Hebei Teachers University in China. After leaving Oregon, he also graduated from Management and Leadership in Education at Harvard University (MLE, 2011).