CSU, Chico News

Belle W. Y. Wei Named Provost at California State University, Chico

Date: 05-31-2012

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

Belle W. Y. Wei, Don Beall Dean of Engineering at San Jose State University’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, has been named provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at California State University, Chico.

Wei will start in her new position Aug. 1. Phyllis Fernlund, former dean of the College of Communication and Education, has served as interim vice president for Academic Affairs since February.

Wei has been a dean at San Jose State since 2002. She did her undergraduate work in biophysics at UC Berkeley before earning an M.S. in engineering at Harvard and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley.

“We attracted a deep and impressive pool of candidates for the provost position,” said CSU, Chico President Paul Zingg, in a message to campus today. “This was a gratifying affirmation of what we are accomplishing at our university, as these candidates very much wanted to become part of our story and future. An excellent search committee, headed by Professor Charles Zartman, guided the process swiftly and successfully. I am very grateful to his leadership and the work of his colleagues on the committee.

“These factors, and the enthusiastic response of the campus community to all of our finalists, enabled us to conclude the search with our first choice, Belle Wei, joining us.

Dr. Wei brings us an extraordinarily successful track record, but most importantly, a high level of energy and enthusiasm for the challenges ahead of us. If high performance is the consequence of high expectations, we can expect engaged and effective leadership from our new provost. I could not be more pleased with the outcome of this search or more confident about what Dr. Wei will accomplish with us,” said Zingg.

"I am excited about joining CSU, Chico because your leadership and vision in student success, diversity and sustainability resonate with me deeply,” said Wei. “I look forward to supporting President Zingg and all sectors of the Chico State communities with great enthusiasm. Thank you for your trust in me, and I am ready to join you, to grow and succeed together in building a great university of regional and global prominence in our new century."

Prior to becoming the engineering dean at San Jose State, Wei was chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1998 to 2002. She has been a professor of electrical engineering at San Jose State since 1987.

Wei has also served as a visiting associate professor at Stanford University and worked as a network engineer for Ford Aerospace and Communication Corporation in Palo Alto from 1980 to 1982.

Among the honors Wei has received are the 2011 Silicon Valley YWCA Tribute to Women Award, the 2010 Silicon Valley’s Women of Influence Award by Silicon Valley Business Journal, the 2008 UC Berkeley Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna Award in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and the 2007 Electrical Engineering (EE) Times Educator of the Year Award.

Wei is a member of the Executive Board of the Engineering Deans Council, American Society for Engineering Education, and chair of its Diversity Committee. She is also the former president of the Chinese Institute of Engineers, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. Earlier this year she was invited to the White House by The President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness for the 10,000 Engineers Initiative.

Zartman, chair of the search committee and director of the Center for Bilingual/Multicultural Studies, said, “Dean Wei articulated a clear goal of focusing on student success. She will be a champion of faculty and staff excellence, not as an end goal, but rather as a means of realizing her stated emphasis on student success. I believe she will have a significant and lasting influence on this campus. Her intellect, capacity for work, and vision will propel this institution forward in meaningful ways."