In one of the former provost’s first moves as the chief officer at Temple, Acting President Richard Englert has appointed the former dean of the College of Science and Technology to be the interim provost of the university.
Hai-Lung Dai, a Laura H. Carnell Professor of Chemistry and the former dean of CST, was announced as the interim provost on June 27, while Englert was prepping to take the role of acting president on July 1, and garnered much praise from the Englert.
“Dai not only has a sterling record prior to coming to Temple University, but also an outstanding record of success at Temple University and he is just one our outstanding faculty who is now ready to assume even more responsibilities as provost,” Englert said.
He came to Temple in 2007 as the dean of CST after spending 23 years at the University of Pennsylvania where he served two terms as the chair of the Department of Chemistry from 1996 to 2002, was appointed a Hirschmann-Makineni Professor of Chemistry and served with the Penn Science Teacher Institute.
Dai was born in Taiwan and graduated from National Taiwan University, where he majored in chemistry and minored in physics, when he was just 20 years old.
After serving two years in the military, Dai said he came to the United States for graduate school and received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 1981. He then did three years of post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before going to Penn in 1984.
Dai takes the reigns as interim provost during what he describes as a period of “tremendous growth and improvement” at Temple, and said that he aims to keep the university moving forward.
“The only way that we can come out strong in the future is that we have to continue to improve our academic quality and reputation,” Dai said. “We have to hire excellent teachers, researchers and then give them to best support and the best environment to support their development.”
While Dai has moved up the ranks and assumed more responsibility on an administrative level, he said that he still conducts research and currently has seven Ph.D. students and post-doctoral associates working in his laboratory supported by two grants.
Dai will continue to serve as the senior vice provost for International Affairs and CST announced earlier this month that professor Michael Klein will take his place and serve as the acting dean of CST.
Sean Carlin can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @SeanCarlin84.