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KNOXVILLE — Dean Way Kuo of the University of Tennessee College of Engineering (COE) has officially accepted an offer to become the next president of the City University of Hong Kong.

“In my five years as dean of the College of Engineering, we have made great strides in research and teaching,” said Kuo, who came to UT in 2003. “The only thing that could make me leave is an opportunity like this one, taking on the role of president in such a major international university.”

Since Kuo’s appointment as COE dean, the college has seen significant growth. Most recently, ground was broken on the new Min Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building, a $37.5-million, state-of-the-art facility to begin construction soon on The Hill.

Research expenditures in the college have been on the rise. Gifts, grants and contracts to COE totaled $32 million in fiscal year 2006, almost doubling since 2002.

“Having scientists and leaders of Way Kuo’s international caliber means that, on occasion, institutions of a high caliber will come calling as they look for leaders,” said UT Knoxville Interim Chancellor Jan Simek. “While we hate to see him leave, we wish Dr. Kuo and his family all the best as he moves on to this new leadership role.”

Kuo also recently was elected to membership in the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

His tenure as dean saw an increase in the quality of students in COE, with the average incoming ACT score for COE students this year being 28.4, a record high.

In addition, the college has consistently climbed in national rankings. Most recently the college was named the 34th best public undergraduate engineering college in the country, and the graduate program in nuclear engineering was ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News and World Report.

Kuo will remain at UT Knoxville through the end of the spring semester. UT Provost Robert Holub will begin the search for his replacement immediately, beginning with the formation of a search committee in the coming days.


Jay Mayfield (865-974-9409,
Kim Cowart (865-974-0686,