The University of Macau (UM) has appointed Prof. Fan Xitao, a world-renowned scholar, educator and chair professor at UM, as the new dean of its Faculty of Education (FED), with a term of three years, through international recruitment. Prof. Fan took up office on 15 July 2011. He said that he plans to launch a series of initiatives to elevate the faculty’s academic and research quality.
Prof. Fan expressed that being appointed dean of FED at UM presents a big challenge to his academic career. He noted that UM’s FED has already acquired a good foundation in terms of teaching and community service, he plans to launch a series of initiatives to enhance the faculty’s academic and research quality, with focus on helping more research personnel to enhance their teaching and research.
UM Rector Wei Zhao said that UM decided to appoint Prof. Fan as the new dean of FED because of Prof. Fan’s impressive achievement, leadership role and rich experience in the field of education. He added that it is the firm belief of everyone at UM that with Prof. Fan at the helm, FED will be able to further strengthen its academic ties with the international education circle, reach international standards in academic and research realms, and become an important centre for teachers’ training, teachers’ development and educational research in China, Asia and even the world.
Prof. Fan received his bachelor’s degree in English Language and Teaching, master’s degree in Teaching English as Second Language, and PhD degree in Educational Psychology, from Kunming Institute of Technology (mainland China, current name Kunming University of Science and Technology), Brigham Young University (USA), and Texas A&M University (USA), respectively. After obtaining his PhD degree, he successively served as assistant professor and tenured associate professor at Utah State University, and as tenured associate, full and endowed chair professor at the University of Virginia. He is an esteemed authority on educational research methodology and quantitative (especially multivariate) methods. So far he has
published seventy-one journal papers, four book chapters, and four academic monographs. His outstanding academic achievements earned him the position of editor of Educational and Psychological Measurement for two terms. The fact that he was the first scholar from mainland China to be appointed editor of a major academic journal in the field of education in USA is testament to his internationally recognized academic status. In 2010, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Texas A&M University, in recognition of his academic achievements and his outstanding contributions to enhancing the university’s reputation.
If a university is to enhance the overall teaching and research quality and produce top-notch graduates, it must first obtain a group of high-quality teaching staff, and that is exactly why in recent years UM has stepped up efforts to internationally recruit high-calibre teaching staff, especially chair professors. Chair professor is the highest professional rank a professor can achieve. Only world-renowned academic with leading status in their fields will be considered for this position. So far UM has recruited nine chair professors, considerably strengthening its faculty team.