Center searches for new director

Dan Berglund

The University’s China Center will begin the final stage of its search for a new director this week, when the first of three finalists arrives on campus.
Hong Yang, a research associate professor at North Carolina State University-Raleigh, will give a public presentation Thursday at 1 p.m. in 15 Humphrey Center. Yang will share his background, research and professional interests, as well as how his interests relate to his vision for the future of the China Center.
Similar presentations are planned at the Humphrey Center for the remaining two candidates, Anthony Kane and Hong Liu, on March 13 and 14.
Joseph Galaskiewicz, a sociology professor serving on the director search committee, said public presentations are unusual at this point in the search process, but will help the candidates get acquainted with the University’s environment.
“This has been different because the candidates are getting to know the campus as well as the position,” said Galaskiewicz, “It would be difficult for them to articulate their goals without coming here.”
Normally, candidates would not acquaint themselves with the University until after receiving the position.
Yang, who works in North Carolina State University’s Department of Chemistry, received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Chengdu University of Science and Technology in 1982. He went on to receive his doctorate in chemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1990.
Kane, the second candidate, is the executive director of the Coordinating Council for International Education in Washington, D.C. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard in 1971, a master’s degree in Chinese studies in 1973 and a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan in 1982.
Liu, the final candidate, is a lecturer in marketing and director of the China Business Center at Manchester University in England. Liu earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering at Beijing University of Science and Technology in 1982, his master’s in industrial economics at the People’s University of China in 1987 and his doctorate from Warwick Business School in 1991.
A fourth candidate, Denis Fred Simon, withdrew from the search last month to accept a position at the University of Massachusetts.
Galaskiewicz said he expects the new director to be selected by the middle of the month, however, he expects the transition to take several more months.
The China Center, established at the University in 1979, is a national and statewide support service for faculty members, students and scholars from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The four University campuses are home to 1,300 Chinese students, the largest population of any university in the United States.
The director position has been vacant since Dec. 15, 1998, when David Pui, a Department of Mechanical Engineering researcher, stepped down to resume full-time teaching and research.

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