UAB Welcomes New Director for the English Language Institute

Dr. Murali Venugopalan has accepted the position of Director of the English Language Institute (ELI) at UAB. The ELI is a professional resource for English language learning and cross-cultural training in the Birmingham metropolitan area.

Murali Venugopalan. Murali comes to us from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where he served as the Director of the English Language Program and Assistant Professor in the university’s Global Education Office. In his role at VCU, Murali oversaw the English Language Program (ELP), which includes more than 400 ESL students and 47 faculty and staff. Murali’s achievements at VCU include developing and implementing a strategic plan for the ELP, which led to restructuring the program, reassessing the placement test, devising and revising courses and curricula, and establishing a tutoring center and computer lab. Enhanced courses he developed for advanced students include Business ESL, Engineering for ESL Learners, Critical Thinking Skills, GRE and TOEFL Preparation, and Health Sciences ESL.

Murali received his B.A. in 1990 from the University of Illinois, Urbana in Economics and International Relations/Political Science. He completed an M.S. in International Relations from Illinois State University in 1995 and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in ESL from The University of Kansas in 2000. He has been an ESL instructor since 1995, when he taught at the Seojin Language Institute in Seoul, South Korea.

His professional career has taken him to Western Illinois University and Stephen F. Austin State University, where he directed ESL and International Program offices, and to numerous national and international conferences at which he has presented on topics ranging from ESL pedagogy to international relations. Murali has also led teams and workshops on accreditation, grant writing and management, and leadership. His focus areas are assessment, intensive English program development, comparative global education, and U.S. education policy.

Murali is published in both American and international journals and is a member of The American International Education Association, The Commission on English Language Program Accreditation, and TESOL. He also enjoys writing, and his first novel, iKill (a mystery/thriller), was published in November of last year to critical acclaim.

Please join the College of Arts and Sciences in welcoming Dr. Venugopalan to UAB.