Ohio University scholar to become dean of WMU's education college

Contact: Cheryl Roland
Photo of Dr. Ming .


KALAMAZOO—An experienced academic administrator with a track record in strategic planning, program development and international education has been selected to become the new dean of Western Michigan University's College of Education and Human Development, effective Sept. 1.

Following a nationwide search, Dr. Ming Li, interim executive director of the Center for International Studies at Ohio University, will take the reins of programs now part of WMU's original academic discipline. He brings a 10-year history of academic management to the task. Li replaces Dr. Walter Burt, who has served as dean on an interim basis since October 2012.

"Dr. Li's wide-ranging experience in higher education has given him a perspective and set of skills that dovetail beautifully with this University's mission and values," says Dr. Timothy J. Greene, WMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. "As dean of our education college, he will have the opportunity to use all of those skills as he guides our education disciplines into the future and helps build an even stronger reputation and international profile for some of our foundational programs." 

Dr. Ming Li

Li has been interim executive director of the Center for International Studies at OU since 2012, serving as that university's senior international officer. He also has filled a wide range of other administrative posts at the university. He was the inaugural chair of the Department of Sports Administration in OU's College of Business for two years, acting associate dean for academic affairs for the College of Health and Human Services for a year, director of the School of Recreation and Sport Sciences from 2002 to 2010, and director of the master's program in athletic administration in the School of Recreation and Sport Sciences from 2003 to 2010.

Prior to joining the Ohio University administration, Li taught at Georgia Southern University for 11 years and was graduate coordinator of sport management and undergraduate coordinator of sport management in GSU's Department of Sport Management. He earned a bachelor's degree from Guangzhou Sport University in China in 1983, a master's from China's Hangzhou University in 1986, and a doctoral degree from the University of Kansas in 1992.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next dean of the College of Education and Human Development and extremely pleased to be part of the Western Michigan University family," Li says. "The college has established a distinguished record of accomplishment and national reputation, and is well positioned for the future challenges. I am excited to lead the college in its next phase of growth”.

Li is active with a number of national and international professional organizations. He finished his three-year term on the board of the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation in 2012. Currently, Li serves as president of the Alliance for Sport Business, an international professional organization for sport management programs that are housed in business schools. Li served as president of the North American Society for Sport Management, and in 1996, he worked as an Olympic envoy for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. In November 2011, he worked as a consultant for the sports department of the Organizing Committee for the Asian Games.

His research interests include the economics of sports, financial management in sport, comparative sport management, and research design in sport management. He serves on the editorial board of Sport Marketing Quarterly and recently played a similar role with the Journal of Sport Management.