HKUST Council Chairman Dr Marvin Cheung (middle) with President Prof Paul Chu (left) and President-Designate Prof Tony Chan
Prof Chan greets HKUST staff and students
Prof Chan meets the media
The Council of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) today (Monday) approved unanimously the appointment of Prof Tony Chan as the next President with effect from 1 September 2009, succeeding Prof Paul Chu who is retiring from HKUST in August this year.
Prof Chan is currently Assistant Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in charge of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate, which is the largest directorate at NSF. In this position, he guides and manages research funding of almost HK$10 billion a year in astronomy, physics, chemistry, mathematical science, material science, and multidisciplinary activities.
Prof Chan has been in this position since October 2006 upon taking temporary leave from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was the Dean of Physical Sciences from July 2001.
Announcing the appointment, which is for a term of five years, HKUST Council Chairman Dr Marvin Cheung said the University is most delighted to have Prof Chan at the helm as the University enters a new and crucial stage of its development.
“Prof Chan is a rare breed among academics: he is a visionary leader, a pre-eminent scholar and scientist, and a world-class administrator,” Dr Cheung said.
“I’m sure Prof Chan will build on the solid foundation laid down by our founding President Prof Chia-Wei Woo and incumbent President Prof Paul Chu, and make the future of HKUST even more remarkable than its past,” Dr Cheung added.
Also welcoming the appointment, President Paul Chu said that with outstanding achievements in forging collaborations between mathematics and other branches of sciences and engineering, and with the sterling record at NSF, the innovative and far-sighted Prof Tony Chan is exactly the leader HKUST needs to reach the next level of excellence.
Prof Chan received his BS and MS degrees in Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and his PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University. He pursued postdoctoral research at Caltech, and taught Computer Science at Yale University before joining UCLA as Professor of Mathematics in 1986.
Born and brought up in Hong Kong, Prof Chan studied in the Salesian English School and Queen’s College before leaving Hong Kong to study at Caltech.
Prof Chan’s biography
Prof Chan, suited up and studious (back row, 6th from left) at Queen’s College in 1970, before leaving for studies in the US.
Prof Chan (bespectacled) and Prof Hoi-Sing Kwok (now Chair Professor at HKUST), both looking smart in suits at point of departure for the US.
Prof Chan, the gleefully injured volleyball player at Stanford University.