Vice provost eyes CMU’s global impact

What will Carnegie Mellon be like 20 or 30 years from now? A matter of increasing interest and significance in light of today’s rapidly evolving world, this question was raised by one of the university community’s newest members as food for thought during a recent strategic planning town hall meeting.

Dr. K. Jimmy Hsia, the new vice provost for international programs and strategy as of Jan. 1, is a man with a vision to increase the university’s global footprint. Though he’s only been on campus for a short period of time, Dr. Hsia, who is also a professor of biomedical and mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, seems to be having no trouble integrating himself into the Carnegie Mellon community.

Hsia received his Bachelor of Science from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He is a fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and was the W. Grafton and Lillian B. Wilkins Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

During his time at UIUC, Dr. Hsia worked to develop worldwide opportunities in research and education for faculty and students in a number of countries in the Asian continent. He has served as chair of the UIUC-Zhejiang University Joint Institute Working Group. In addition to playing a role in nurturing global partnerships, he also aided students and faculty members in establishing dynamic relationships with other educational institutions and corporations across China.

Additionally, Dr. Hsia served as founding director of the Nano and Bio Mechanics Program at the National Science Foundation from 2005–07, associate dean of the Graduate College at UIUC from 2009–10, and associate vice chancellor for research for new initiatives at UIUC from 2011–13.

To Dr. Hsia, “having an international strategy is not a luxury, it is survival,” as he said at the recent town hall, adding that, in recent years, the university has done well in establishing its footprints internationally.

Dr. Hsia believes that the core of international strategy lies with the students, faculty and staff. In his words, “These are the people doing international things — faculty students and staff. Without them, there is no international strategy.”

Moving forward, Dr. Hsia intends to work toward maintaining the university’s high quality of education while simultaneously preparing students for future worldwide challenges. He ultimately aims for the university to become a global hub of knowledge, culture, and technology, all the while upholding a position amongst the world’s top educational institutions. Moreover, he aims to achieve results through a collective effort, with individuals across the Carnegie Mellon community coming together and working as one.

So, what will Carnegie Mellon be like 20 or 30 years from now?

For Dr. Jimmy Hsia, a school with an even larger international footprint is in reach.