Following his appointment as UMass Dartmouth’s new provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs in the summer of 2022, Dr. Hanchen Huang says he looks forward to “listening tours” in the coming months where he will meet and learn from stakeholders to prioritize his areas of focus.
“UMassD has great growth potential. This year’s reversal of the freshman enrollment decline is a promising first step in the right direction. With excellent faculty and staff dedicated to working together to better the lives of our students, I see tremendous potential for our university.”
In announcing Huang’s appointment, Chancellor Mark Fuller said Huang “brings dynamic academic leadership and demonstrated experience in growing enrollment programs, and research activity to the SouthCoast’s only research university. Dr. Huang is not only an accomplished researcher and educator, he is also deeply committed to providing opportunities to students from all backgrounds.”
As a first-generation college graduate, Dr. Huang is deeply committed to UMass Dartmouth’s educational access and social mobility mission. His students have recognized him for his successful efforts to expand diversity and inclusion at Northeastern University and the American Society for Engineering Education at the University of North Texas. He has prioritized mentoring and advising programs for students throughout his career.
“Education lifts people up. As a first-generation college graduate, I have benefited from higher education in multiple ways, including the opportunity to further my career. As an educator and academic leader, I work to enable our students to gain the same benefits.”
As dean of the College of Engineering and Lupe Murchison Foundation Chair Professor at the University of North Texas, an R1 research university and Hispanic-Serving Institution, Huang significantly increased the college’s enrollment, grew the number of full-time faculty positions, improved the college’s national rankings, led successful fundraising campaigns, and expanded research activity. He is returning to the Commonwealth, having served as a faculty member and department chair of mechanical & industrial engineering at Northeastern University in Boston.
Initial priorities include supporting faculty success
While Huang is still meeting with colleagues across campus to learn more about areas of opportunity, his initial priorities include increasing graduate enrollment, undergraduate retention, and acknowledging and supporting faculty success.
“Our faculty have incredible accomplishments in their fields. They are cutting-edge researchers, highly published, and continuously earning accolades like Fulbrights and NSF CAREER awards. Yet what really makes UMass Dartmouth special is that our faculty are still in the classroom teaching students. That is special in American higher education.”
Huang knows what it’s like to be a researcher, teacher, and mentor simultaneously. He has mentored more than 40 PhD and post-doctoral students and numerous master’s and bachelor’s degree students. Some of them are faculty members at universities across the world, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Science and Technology of China, and Universidad Nacional de Ingeniera (Peru). Together with two of his former PhD students, Huang has patented a technology for metallic glue and co-founded MesoGlue Inc. to commercialize this technology.
Huang has authored more than 200 publications, including more than 150 referenced journal papers. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society for Materials, and the Society of Engineering Sciences. He earned a PhD in nuclear engineering from UCLA, a BS in physics from Hebei Normal University, and an MS in theoretical nuclear physics from the Institute of Atomic Energy/Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China. Dr. Huang was a post-doctoral fellow in computational mechanics and materials at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Born and raised in China, Huang arrived in the United States as a graduate student in 1990. He and his wife, Yanping, are the parents of two sons. He enjoys jogging for physical exercise and playing poker for mental acuity.
The campus community will have the opportunity to meet Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Hanchen Huang on Thursday afternoon, September 15, from 4-6 pm at a reception in the former Marketplace dining hall.