3 September 2019

CUHK Appoints Professor Chan Kam-leung, Alan as Provost



The Council of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has approved the appointment of Professor Chan Kam-leung, Alan as Provost for five years from January 2020, succeeding Professor Benjamin W. Wah who will complete his term at the end of December 2019. The University Council is deeply grateful to Professor Wah for his exemplary leadership in the academic and research development of the University in the last decade. 

As the deputy to the Vice-Chancellor and President, and the chief academic officer of the University, Professor Alan Chan will work closely with the Vice-Chancellor and President in proposing the University’s future teaching and research plan, leading its implementation and evaluation, as well as strengthening the development of scholarly and applied research. He will provide leadership in academic staff recruitment and development, and will be responsible for formulating resource allocation plans for the academic enterprise.

Professor Alan Chan is Toh Puan Mahani Idris Daim Chair Professor of Humanities at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) of Singapore. He joined NTU as Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, and Professor of Philosophy in 2009. In January 2018, Professor Chan was appointed Vice President of NTU, responsible for alumni engagement, university advancement and international relations.

Professor Chan was born in Hong Kong and completed his secondary school education here. He then pursued his higher education in Canada. He received his BA from the University of Winnipeg, MA from the University of Manitoba, and PhD in religious studies from the University of Toronto. Professor Chan began his academic career as an assistant professor at the University of Manitoba. He then joined the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1991, where he held several leadership roles, including the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 1998 to 2006, and Associate Provost (Undergraduate Education) from 2007 to 2009. While at NUS, Professor Chan twice received the Teaching Excellence Award.

Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK said, “We are thrilled to welcome Alan to CUHK as the new Provost. Alan is an outstanding academic with rich leadership and administrative experience. I am certain that his extensive knowledge of regional and international education landscape, and dedication to excellence will energize CUHK to a new level of achievement. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Ben, who has served in the role of Provost for the last 10 years, for his dedicated service and significant contributions to the University.”

Professor Chan said, “I am deeply honoured to be appointed as the Provost of CUHK and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to education and research in Hong Kong. Having been away for so long, it is wonderful to be able to come home. CUHK is a leading global university, with rich and proud traditions, and I look forward to working with President Tuan and colleagues to bring it to even greater heights. Pressing global challenges such as climate change, demographic shifts, rapid urbanization, and the disruptions brought about by advances in technology now confront all societies. CUHK can make a substantial contribution to knowledge creation, sustainable development and the future economy. We also need to ensure that our students are well prepared for both the challenges and opportunities that await them in the future.”

Professor Chan has held visiting professorships and fellowships in North America, Asia and Greater China, through which he has developed a broad understanding and experience of the higher education sector in a global context. Professor Chan’s relationship with CUHK began 14 years ago when he was invited to visit the Research Institute for the Humanities for an academic term in early 2005.

Professor Chan’s areas of research specialisation cover Chinese philosophy and religion, and hermeneutics and critical theory. He is a member of various international boards, including the Social Science Research Council of Singapore, the Governing Council of International Confucian Association, China, the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes, USA, and the editorial boards of the Journal of Daoist Studies and Oxford Bibliographies in Chinese Studies. He has published widely with output in over 100 books, journal articles, conference presentations and public addresses. He has recently developed an online course on “Explorations in Confucian Philosophy”, which has drawn close to 10,000 learners on Coursera.

Worldwide Search for Provost

The Search Committee was established by the Council of CUHK in January 2018, with a view to identifying a suitable candidate to succeed Professor Benjamin W. Wah as the next Provost. A global search was launched in June 2018, inviting nominations and applications from overseas and local academic leaders including members of the University, and engaging a professional search consultancy firm. After careful review and deliberation, the Search Committee unanimously recommended Professor Alan Chan as the next Provost. On the advice of the Committee, the Vice-Chancellor and President nominated Professor Chan to the Council for appointment as Provost of the University.

Professor Chan Kam-leung, Alan
Professor Chan Kam-leung, Alan