Florence "Flo" Lebois has been named the new director of international programs at University of the Ozarks.
A native of France, Lebois has served as director of international advancement at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., since 2012. She began her new duties at Ozarks on June 8.
"I am honored and excited to be a part of the University of the Ozarks community," said Lebois. "I came here in March to do an audit and loved the people, the ambiance and the dynamism at the university. My first reaction was, ‘What a perfect place and a wonderful environment to build a global bridge.’ I have so many ideas and I know it will be possible to be creative and to make things happen. I believe that at U of O, ‘international’ will soon be a part of everyone’s life and a core element of our mission. I just can’t wait to get started."
Florence "Flo" Lebois has been named the new director of international programs at U of O.
Prior to working at Millikin, Lebois was an administrator at the CEFAM international business school in Lyon, France. She served as director of development at the school from 2005-2007 and dean from 2007-2012. At Millikin, Lebois directed the university’s efforts in international recruiting and developed and expanded the exchange and study-abroad programs. She also led the building of relationships and partnerships with universities abroad.
Lebois has a bachelor’s degree in communication and media relations as well as a master’s degree in political science, both from the University of Lyon.
She said she was attracted to Ozarks for the "opportunities to build a global learning environment."
"I wanted to work with leaders and colleagues who share the same ideas, principles and values that I do and I have found it here," she said. "I believe in international education as a life-changing experience and a way to make a better world. I believe like Kofi Anaan, who said that "international understanding is essential to world peace---understanding between faiths, between nations, between cultures.’ I was an international scholar myself in the United States and every student today should have the opportunity to study abroad and experience another culture, language and philosophy. I hope it will be a reality one day at Ozarks."
Lebois said she wants to articulate an international vision and commitment at Ozarks.
"That entertains a full range of internationalization possibilities, from recruiting more international students and scholars, to helping more U.S. students go abroad, to developing strategic partnerships with institutions outside of the United States," she said. "We want to take a strategic approach to this. We do not want to go too fast. We want to make our globalization a success by making sure the campus is ready and everybody is involved."
One of her first priorities at Ozarks will be to facilitate faculty and curriculum integration through such methods as developing international partnerships with other institutions.
"I’d like to provide incentives for faculty to get involved at all levels in making ‘international’ part of what they do and what they teach," she said. "I’d also like to see Ozarks develop agreements with universities abroad that build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships and initiatives, such as joint and double degree programs. These types of relationships can benefit all members of the academic community."
Lebois, and her husband, Gil, have two children, Marie, who will be a junior at Ozarks in the fall, and Jean, 10.