School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean Timothy Tong will leave the University this spring to become the next president of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Tong unexpectedly resigned this November after eight years at GW, without giving a public reason for stepping down. He declined to comment to The Hatchet about whether he resigned because of this new position.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University found Tong through a search team created to find a new president. A "PolyU" news release states that the team was impressed with Tong's vision for the school and his "enthusiasm to contribute to the development of the higher education sector in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland."
Donald Lehman, the executive vice president for academic affairs, said in a news release that Tong helped grow a diverse range of academic programs.
"I appreciate his dedication and leadership and congratulate him on his new role as president of Hong Kong Polytechnic University," Lehman said.
While Tong's replacement has not been chosen, the search committee has narrowed its candidates down and will likely choose one by late May. SEAS has contracted a search firm, Academic Search Inc., to help the committee sort through more than 60 applicants for the school's top position. Academic Search Inc. is the same search firm that was used to find and hire University President Steven Knapp last year.
During the eight years Tong served as dean, the number of faculty members and students in the school has expanded to more than 230 full-time and part-time professors, and about 2,500 students, according to the news releases. In 2004, SEAS ranked 16th nationally in the number of master's degrees awarded in engineering.
Also under Tong's deanship, former SEAS professor Nabih Bedewi embezzled $80,000 of federal aid money through the Virginia campus. In 2007, Bedewi was sentenced to five months in federal prison.
Tong, who was born and raised in Hong Kong, will start as president of Hong Kong Polytechnic University Jan. 1, 2009.
Correction: April 28
The Hatchet reported that Executive Vice President Don Lehman would not speak to The Hatchet about Tong's appointment. He commented in a University news release.