Lee Ryder

Photo of Lee Ryder
Lee Ryder
Senior Director
(269) 387-5873
(269) 387-5899
3110 Faunce Student Services, Mail Stop 5246
Mailing address: 
International Student and Scholar Services
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5246 USA
  • J.D., Western Michigan University Cooley Law School
  • B.S., Paralegal Studies, Rivier College

Lee Ryder serves as the Western Michigan University's designated immigration officer for faculty and staff immigration actions and the liaison with University departments concerning visa and immigration matters. She processes H-1B, J, lawful permanent residency and adjustment of status petitions, along with other faculty and staff-related immigration actions. She serves as a liaison to and a resource for WMU academic units on all immigration issues. Her responsibilities as immigration officer include managing the Immigration Services unit, which provides immigration advising and services to currently enrolled international students, visiting scholars, foreign-national faculty and staff, and their WMU hosting or sponsoring departments.

Ryder joined WMU's Haenicke Institute for Global Education in October 2008. She serves as both the Responsible Officer for the WMU Exchange Visitor Program designated by the United States Department of State and as WMU's Principal Designated School Official for WMU, a university certified to enroll international students by the U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

Ryder was admitted in 2008 to the State Bar of Michigan and the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Michigan. In 2012, she was admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Association of College and University Attorneys. She has more than a decade of combined experience in the legal field, including her previous work as a paralegal at Ryan & Ryan in Kalamazoo, Michigan, prior to joining the Haenicke Institute staff. Ryder's primary areas of interest include international education and immigration law.

Ryder holds a Juris Doctor degree from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where she graduated with magna cum laude distinction and served as an associate editor of the Cooley Law Review. Ryder earned a B.S. degree in paralegal studies with magna cum laude distinction from Rivier College in Nashua, New Hampshire.

As director of Immigration Services, Ryder's primary responsibilities include:

  • Serves as Principal Designated School Official reporting to U.S. Department of Homeland Security) and Responsible Officer reporting to U.S. Department of State
  • Directs, supervises and trains the University’s 10 DSOs and AROs for F and J visa programs
  • Advises the University on immigration law in consultation with General Counsel and Provost’s offices
  • Prepares legal petitions for the University related to employment visa sponsorship and international program offerings, serves as liaison between outside counsel and academic departments for permanent residency matters