Joseph Sun Named Director of Strategic Initiatives

June 5, 2019 Jennifer Retter

After a national search, Joseph Sun—an educational administration professional, teacher, counselor, and consultant with more than 35 years of higher education experience—joined Arcadia as director of Strategic Initiatives on June 3. Sun will serve as an adviser to President Ajay Nair and his leadership team, facilitating the University’s strategic planning process, strengthening Arcadia’s network and partnerships to meet strategic goals, and managing external reviews and evaluations.  

A leader in academic and student affairs, Sun has held several administrative roles, faculty appointments, and positions related to budget and strategy. Most recently, he served as vice rector (provost) of Forman Christian College University in Lahore, Pakistan, where he oversaw six schools, nine academic support units, 22 academic departments, 300 faculty, and more than 4,000 students.

Sun spent 31 years at the University of Pennsylvania, serving as Penn Engineering’s vice dean for Academic Affairs, Wharton School’s director of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, and the School of Arts and Sciences’ assistant dean. He also held leadership roles in the University Life Division, including Residential Services. At Penn and beyond, he’s taught courses in appropriate technology and development, information and communications technology, social research methods, race and ethnic studies, Asian American studies, Chinese rural development, responsible conduct in research, and leadership.

“Joseph has an in-depth working knowledge of highly complex educational institutions,” said Dr. Nair. “He also brings extensive global program development experience, having represented educational institutions in academic, nonprofit, and political arenas.”

Sun—who is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese—has secured lasting relationships with high-ranking institutions in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America throughout his career. He has spearheaded or overseen numerous inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional educational initiatives.

Sun holds a Master of Science in Appropriate Technology and Energy Management for Development from Penn and a Bachelor of Arts in Design from the UCLA School of Fine Arts. He completed doctoral coursework and qualifying exams in Development Planning at Penn.

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