Earlier this year, Vincent Wei-cheng Wang, PhD, was named dean of Adelphi University's College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). He began his tenure at Adelphi on July 1, 2019.
Earlier this year, Vincent Wei-cheng Wang, PhD, was named dean of Adelphi University’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). He began his tenure at Adelphi on July 1, 2019.
Dr. Wang comes to the University from Ithaca College, where he was professor of politics and dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences and worked to expand the mentorship and Summer Scholars programs. Dr. Wang was previously associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Richmond, where he coordinated the International Studies Program and chaired the Department of Political Science.
Here, he shares with us his background, what brought him to Adelphi and his goals as the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
What are your initial thoughts in taking on the role of dean of the Adelphi University College of Arts and Sciences?
The College of Arts and Sciences boasts a rich array of academic programs and accomplished teachers/scholars/artists that form the foundation of a great university. The College’s traditional strengths in liberal arts and sciences, innovative spirit and the University’s geographic advantages offer exciting opportunities. I am fortunate to work at CAS and Adelphi at this time.
What accomplishments are you most proud of during your time as dean of Ithaca College’s School of Humanities and Sciences?
Expanding student opportunities—undergraduate research, internships, conference travels—through high-impact practices as a way to advance diversity and inclusion; leading the School’s first strategic plan in 17 years through an inclusive and collaborative process; significantly increasing the number and disciplinary reach of talented faculty of color; and meeting or exceeding annual enrollment goals for a highly tuition-dependent institution.
What are your first priorities at Adelphi? What do you hope to accomplish?
I will devote the first few months to getting to know this community as quickly and deeply as possible, by focusing on learning about the strengths of each program and the achievements of faculty and students. I hope to make CAS an attractive destination for more arts and sciences majors and the liberal arts and sciences the core of a comprehensive and well-connected university, garnering us greater national and global renown.
What unique skills or assets do you bring to the job?
I am a long-time faculty member and experienced administrator, familiar with the key trends in higher education, and I’ve done much work in shared governance. I have studied and worked in two cultures. I am also a social scientist with good listening and observation skills.
What are the College’s greatest assets?
The rich array of academic programs, accomplished faculty and our unwavering commitment to the students.
What inspired you to pursue a career in academia?
I was a first-generation and international student who benefited from education. I was born and raised in Taiwan, a society that values education. I was the first one in the family to go to college and to study abroad. I got my BA from National Taiwan University, my MA from Johns Hopkins University and PhD from The University of Chicago.
In my own experience as a student, a professor and an administrator, I have been inspired by many gifted and dedicated teachers and professors. They taught me that education is a noble profession. I believe in the power of education and the possibilities it unleashes.
Adelphi has a strong commitment to doing everything we can for our international students, and we have more students from more places around the world coming to us every year. Why, in your estimation, is it important to have a strong international presence on campus?
Having a strong international presence on campus enriches our intellectual and cultural lives. It also better prepares all students for an increasingly globalized world. Being in Long Island, New York, and offering quality programs, Adelphi University can be a very attractive choice for international students. A great university is necessarily a global university, a point recognized in our strategic plan, Momentum. Higher education is a strength of the United States and it attracts the best minds from around the world.
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