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Saint Leo University Names Senthil Kumar Vice President for Global Engagement and International Affairs

New position will oversee Saint Leo University international admissions and recruitment, study abroad and international education outreach; development of international programs and partnership agreements; and university's global business operations.

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23 April 2018 - By University Communications
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Dr. William J. Lennox Jr., president of Saint Leo University, announced the appointment of Dr. Senthil Kumar as the university's vice president for the newly created Office of Global Engagement and International Affairs, effective April 16, 2018.

"The creation of the new office represents a positive step in the university's global engagement strategy," Lennox said. "Dr. Kumar's extensive international experience makes him the ideal candidate to serve as the vice president for global engagement and international affairs, and I am confident he will build a strong foundation that will help make Saint Leo University one of the nation's most internationally engaged universities."

Prior to this position at Saint Leo, Kumar served as vice president of enrollment management and dean of international programs at Bay State College (MA) and dean of enrollment management and director of institutional advancement at The National Graduate School of Quality Management (MA). He held several positions in university admissions including as director of international relations at Johnson & Wales University (RI), and he began his international enrollment management career at his alma mater, Oklahoma City University (OK).

Kumar also served as vice president (consultant) of global strategy at Juesheng Education Group (which includes, Juesheng New Education College, and China Education Service Center), in China.

Since joining higher education in 2002, Kumar has led successful internationalization efforts, and is responsible for a historical career enrollment of more than 5,000 international students, managing eight global recruitment offices in China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey, and developing more than 50 global academic partnership programs, including block transfer programs.

"I am truly humbled and honored to have been selected to lead the Office of Global Engagement and International Affairs at Saint Leo University and excited to be an integral part of an outstanding institution of higher education that has a long history and commitment of preparing students for a lifetime of student success, which is so prevalent across campus," Kumar said. "I look forward to collaborating with staff, faculty, and the leadership team to develop a strategic internationalization and global engagement plan to help Saint Leo become a truly global institution, engaging with scholars and students from all nations."

Reporting to Dr. Jeffrey Senese, the provost and senior vice president for Academic and Student Affairs, Kumar is designated as Saint Leo's chief international officer and will serve as a member of the president's leadership team and the Academic Affairs committee. He will ensure the university develops and implements initiatives designed to promote global engagement and international education.

"I am excited that Dr. Kumar is joining Saint Leo, as I have worked with him on several international projects," Senese said. "I have deep respect, trust, and belief in his abilities to positively contribute and lead the newly created Office of Global Engagement and International Affairs, as there are very few people out there with his level of energy and knowledge of international strategies in this space." 

In his new role, Kumar will oversee the key areas of international admissions and recruitment; evaluation and assessment; international student and scholar services; study abroad and international education outreach; development of international programs and partnership agreements; intensive English, bridge, and pathway programs; and the university's global business operations.

In his former positions, Kumar enacted innovative strategies to unify internationalization across the institutions, and his tangible accomplishments were:

  • Maintained an exponential international enrollment growth at a regionally accredited institution that resulted in consistently ranking among the top 10 institutions in the International Educational Exchange Open Doors® Top 40 Master's Colleges & Universities Hosting International Students and made a positive impact on the institution's strategic enrollment objective, which contributed more than $250 million to the state's economy since 2006.
  • Created an exclusive, premier third-party consultant student recruitment program and managed eight global recruitment offices.
  • Developed more than 50 global academic partnership programs, including block transfer programs.
  • Developed pre-master's program to attract outstanding three-year international bachelor's degree holders and offer the opportunity to equate their education to an American joint BS/MBA degree.
  • Generated more than $23 million in funds through sponsored and foreign government grant programs.
  • Developed a DBA Bridge program which includes an international field experience in teaching, dissertation project opportunity, and earning the Lean Six Sigma certifications.
  • Created new and unique international foundation and global pathways program.
  • Created data-driven "sunset, sunshine, and sunrise," global market research and demographic data analysis plan predicting expected international student enrollment growth until 2025.

Kumar earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business and a Master of Business Administration degree finance from the Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University and a Doctor of Business Administration in quality systems management with a specialization in health systems from The National Graduate School of Quality Management.

He and his wife Selvi Kumar, a bariatric surgery nurse practitioner at University Surgical Associates (an affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University) have two children: Theenash, 18, a gifted high school early graduate and a junior biomedical engineering major at Pennsylvania State University, and Trissha, 14, a high school freshman for the upcoming academic year.

About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University ( is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer's worksite, a military base, or an office park. Saint Leo welcomes people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation, and encourages learners of all generations. The university is committed to providing educational opportunities to the nation's armed forces, veterans, and their families. Saint Leo is regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and the faculty and staff guide all students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

The university remains the faithful steward of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where its founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving more than 13,000 students, Saint Leo has expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintains a physical presence in seven states. The university provides highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 90,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.

Media Contact: Mary McCoy, University Writer & Media Relations,, (352) 588-7118 or cell (813) 610-8416