Dr. John A. Bernbaum
The Founder and President of the Russian-American Christian University is Dr. John A. Bernbaum. Dr. Bernbaum completed his doctorate in European and Russian History at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, in 1972, and then went to work at the Department of State for four years. In 1976 Dr. Bernbaum was asked to join the staff of the Christian College Consortium and Coalition to develop its new American Studies Program. From 1976 through 1995, Dr. Bernbaum worked in the field of higher education, eventually serving as Executive Vice President of the Coalition and as Vice President for International Programs.
Beginning in 1990, Dr. Bernbaum was asked to provide leadership for the coalition's educational programs and exchanges in the former Soviet Union; this became a full-time responsibility in July 1993. In the spring of 1992, Dr. Bernbaum and his wife, Margery, spent a semester on sabbatical leave teaching at Nizhni Novgorod State University.
In July 1995, Dr. Bernbaum left the Coalition in order to provide full-time leadership for the development of the Russian-American Christian University. A not-for-profit corporation was created in the United States as a legal platform for raising support for RACU, and Russian registration was secured for RACU as a non-state educational institution in Russia. Dr. Bernbaum serves as President of both the Russian and American legal entities.
Dr. Larry V. Ort
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Executive Vice President
Dr. Larry Ort began his leadership role at RACU beginning July 1, 2000, after having served as a visiting professor for the University in Spring of the same year. At that time he was on sabbatical from his Spring Arbor College position as Associate Professor of Business and Philosophy. Dr. Ort brings a variety of skills to his new position as chief administrator in Moscow. After receiving his B.A. in Philosophy and Religion at Spring Arbor, he earned an M.A. in College Student Personnel at Michigan State University, followed by a Ph.D. in Philosophy. In addition to his 18 years teaching at the university level, Dr. Ort also worked in the corporate world as a personnel manager for several years, and served as a Captain in the United States Air Force.
Previous to his RACU VPAA appointment, Larry had traveled to Russia on six occasions, including two semesters teaching Russian university students. In 1994 he was named "Honorary Professor" at St. Petersburg State Technological University of Plant Polymers in St. Petersburg. Dr. Ort feels that the leadership challenges and opportunities that RACU offers, in combination with his love for the Russian people and culture, are a perfect match. We agree!
Larry is married to Judy, who also brings considerable experience in higher education to the University. Since coming to RACU, she has implemented the Learning Resource Center to assist students to improve their speaking, writing and research skills. Mrs. Ort serves as Director of the Center, and is greatly enjoying her work with RACU students--and they with her.
Dr. Vladimir Obrovets
Vice President for External Relations, RACU
Dr. Vladimir Obrovets is a native of Belarus and is currently employed both as RACU's Vice President for External Relations and as Pastor at the Second Baptist Church in Moscow. Dr. Obrovets has a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the Leningrad Electrical Engineering Institute as well as a Doctorate in Engineering Sciences with a specialty in Radio Engineering.
Among other things, Dr. Obrovets has been Laboratory Director at the Scientific Research Institute, Senior Lecturer at the Moscow Institute of Radioelectronics and Automation and author of 70 research papers and several inventions.