By Chinami Tajika
Northwest Asian Weekly
Wallace D. Loh, a former dean of the University of Washington (UW) School of Law, was selected as the new president of the University of Maryland (U-Md). Clifford M. Kendall, chair of the University System of Maryland (USM) Board of Regents, announced Loh’s appointment on Aug. 17. Loh will assume presidential responsibilities on Nov. 1.
Loh is currently the executive vice president and provost at the University of Iowa. His previous administrative positions include being dean at the UW’s law school, vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of facilities at the University of Colorado, director of policy for the Office of the Governor for Washington state, and dean at the College of Arts and Sciences at Seattle University.
“He is an outstanding and exceptional individual,” said Sandra E. Madrid. Madrid is the senior adviser to the dean at the UW School of Law and has known Loh for 21 years. “He is a top notch visionary and, in the truest sense, a servant leader.
He brings so much from his own personal experience and enhances the educational thinking and systems that he works in. I’ve always admired his intellect and his commitment to diversity.”
Loh, 65, will serve as a university president for the first time in his career. He will take over the position of President C.D. Mote, Jr., who began his tenure as president of the U-Md in 1998.
“He was the great leader of the academic program in the Seattle University,” said Steven Sundborg, the current president of the Seattle University. “Dr. Wallace Loh served for the Seattle University for nine years as the dean of College of Arts in Sciences. As the excellent leader of the largest college at the University, we can celebrate his appointment at the University of Maryland.”
According to the U-Md’s website, the university enrolls more than 37,000 undergraduate and graduate students in its 13 colleges and schools. The school has attracted more than $500 million in research funding during the 2010 fiscal year.
Loh can speak Chinese and Spanish fluently. He was born in Shanghai in 1945 and emmigrated to Peru with his diplomat father. After he graduated from high school in Lima, he came to the United States by himself.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Grinnell College in Iowa, a Master of Arts in Psychology from Cornell University, a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.
“This new opportunity is not one that I sought,” Loh wrote in a note to the Iowa university community. “The institution and the search consultants recruited me to take part in a relatively quick and confidential search process. I was — and still am — rather stunned, while honored to have been appointed.”
He was elected Outstanding Professor of the Year (1990) by the students of the University of Washington. He also received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Grinnell College and the 1993 National Asian-Pacific American Bar Association’s Trailblazer Award.
“I am thrilled to join the University System of Maryland to work together with the other presidents — under the leadership of the Regents and Chancellor Kirwan — for the advancement of the state’s public higher education system,” said Loh on the U-Md’s website. “I am deeply honored to be entrusted with the stewardship of the flagship institution at College Park. Its rapid ascension to national eminence is truly remarkable, a testament to the accomplishments and dedication of the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and supporters of the university.” ♦
Chinami Tajika can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.