USC presidential finalist is vice president, dean at Purdue, according to report

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A Purdue University vice president and engineering dean appears to be the leading candidate to become the University of South Carolina’s next president.

Dr. Mung Chiang, who also is a former professor at Princeton University, is the finalist to replace former president Robert Caslen, the Post and Courier reported Saturday. Chiang would still have to be approved by USC’s board of trustees.

State Rep. Rita Allison, R-Spartanburg, chair of the House education committee, said she has heard that Chiang is USC’s presidential finalist.

The State has reached out to board of trustee members, search committee members and USC about Chiang.

Chiang is Purdue’s executive vice president for strategic initiatives. He received his doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford in 2003, according to his biography. He became one of the youngest endowed chair professors at Princeton University and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014. At Purdue, he became a dean in 2017 and a vice president in 2021. Chiang has patented 20 inventions, his biography says.

If affirmed, Chiang will succeed Caslen, who resigned in May after plagiarizing part of his commencement address. Harris Pastides is the school’s interim president.

Dr. Mung Chiang is the University of South Carolina presidential finalist, according to a report.
Dr. Mung Chiang is the University of South Carolina presidential finalist, according to a report.
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