April 1, 2021

Fulbright University Vietnam Appoints New Provost

April 1, 2021

Professor Jay S. Siegel will join Fulbright University Vietnam as Provost effective Summer 2021. “With a proven record of success as a university leader and as a world-leading scholar, Professor Siegel will play a critical role in charting the institution’s strategic course to academic excellence at the highest international standard.” — Fulbright President Dam Bich Thuy.

The Fulbright Governing Board announced its selection of Professor Jay S. Siegel this week.  The board recognized the great work done by the search committee of university administrators, scholars, and stakeholders to review the pool of international candidates, from which Professor Siegel was chosen.

Professor Jay S. Siegel

“We were extremely impressed with the breadth of Professor Siegel’s leadership experience, his profound commitment to excellence in teaching and research, and most of all his deep appreciation for the unique opportunities and challenges associated with building a world-class university in an emerging country like Vietnam,” said Fulbright President Dam Bich Thuy, speaking on behalf of the board.  “With a proven record of success as a university leader and as a world-leading scholar, Professor Siegel will play a critical role in charting our strategic course to academic excellence at the highest international standard,”.

Professor Siegel’s career has followed parallel tracks of scholarly research and professional administration. In addition to earning a reputation as an international expert in Molecular Design and Chemical Synthesis, he has succeeded in building diverse academic institutions by creating progressive liberal education curricula, establishing state-of-the-art instrumentation platforms, and designing world-class research laboratories. “In this regard, Professor Siegel’s 35 years of personal experiences as a leading scholar in top institutions on three continents harmonizes well with Fulbright’s aspirations to be a leading house for higher education in Vietnam for ASEAN and the world”, added President Thuy.

Professor Siegel joins Fulbright University Vietnam after nine years at Tianjin University where he was the first western-born Dean of a major school (Health Science Platform) in a Chinese public university. In Tianjin, he successfully restructured the schools to be highly international and culturally integrated. As a result, the PRC Ministry of Education (MoE) and State Association on Foreign Experts Authority (SAFEA) selected his program as a charter National International Center of Excellence (NICE), and designating it a “model program” for the internationalization of higher education in China. His accomplishments earned him the Chinese National Friendship award and he was named one of the 40 most influential foreign experts in China’s 40 years of opening.

Prior moving to China, he held a Chaired Professorship of Chemistry from 2003-2013 and was Dean of Studies for the Faculty of Sciences at University of Zurich (Switzerland). However, his academic career began in 1986, after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Strasbourg, France.  Professor Siegel was chosen as a US-NSF Presidential Young Investigator while an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of California at San Diego. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1992, and to Full Professor in 1996.

“Professor Siegel has spent his professional career in academic positions on three continents,” President Thuy observed. “He is comfortable in international settings and has a deep appreciation and respect for other countries and culture. We believe his commitment to diversity will serve him well to lead the development of Fulbright University that is deeply rooted in Vietnam but well connected to the global community.”

“I am thrilled at this unique opportunity to build an apex university like Fulbright that was inspired by an American tradition in liberal education. President Thuy and I share a deep conviction that liberal education universities must spearhead society’s perpetual progress by empowering socially responsible individuals, but also must offer society a fount of cultural and intellectual life and discourse. I look forward to engaging Fulbright faculty and students as part of such challenging but meaningful journey”, said Professor Siegel.

Professor Siegel obtained a BSc in Chemistry from California State University, Northridge, was a Fulbright exchange student at ETH-Zurich, and earned his Ph. D. from Princeton University. He was visiting professor at Caltech, University of Basel, the Weizmann Institute, and Tokyo Institute of Technology. He has led scholarly societies, foundations, and journal advisory boards; and, he has run grant panels and award programs around the globe.  He is a fellow of the American and Royal Societies of Chemistry, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Alexander von Humboldt Society.


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