UA Professor Appointed Honorary Dean to Henan University in China

Feb. 13, 2019

Professor David W. Galbraith will oversee the School of Life Sciences at HENU

Honorary Dean David W. Galbraith

President ChungPeng Song at an official appointment ceremony with Professor David W. Galbraith.
President ChungPeng Song appointing Professor David W. Galbraith on December 28, 2018.

KAIFENG, CHINA—On December 28th, Professor David W. Galbraith, faculty member in the School of Plant Sciences, was appointed as Honorary Dean at Henan University (HENU) in Kaifeng, Henan Province, China by Henan University’s President ChungPeng Song. After working with HENU for the last two years, Professor Galbraith will oversee the School of Life Sciences at HENU from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2021. In HENU’s long history as one of the oldest universities in China, Professor Galbraith is the first to be appointed Honorary Dean and looks forward to building an even stronger relationship between HENU and the UA.

Among the many goals for his tenure as honorary dean, Professor Galbraith hopes to work with President Song to help redefine HENU’s status as a historical institution into a more modern, relevant establishment with the ability to compete with flagship institutions across China, such as in Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong. “China is investing heavily in research infrastructure,” states Professor Galbraith. “Their goals and accompanying metrics are well-defined: young faculty are expected to publish in the best scientific journals and are rewarded when they do. They are also not rewarded when they fail. Chinese scientists have, in 2018, out-published US scientists in Plant Cell and Plant Physiology and are not far behind in Science, Nature, and Cell research.”

His goal of transforming HENU into a competitive flagship university is directly correlated with making new opportunities for HENU’s students. Professor Galbraith elaborates, stating, “The major needs of HENU are to improve the abilities of their Chinese students to read, comprehend, write, speak, and otherwise communicate in scientific English. Through facilitating the establishment of reciprocal scientific cooperation activities in teaching and research, I hope to allow advances in research activities of direct relevance to the UA and the Henan Province.”

Beyond assisting HENU to become a more competitive university in the scientific field, Professor Galbraith hopes to tackle a mutual obstacle of both the UA and HENU: how to sustainably provide food for the estimated world population of 2050 (10 billion people) while combatting associated issues such decreasing access to water and increasing temperatures. “Only through cooperation can we manipulate agriculture using advances in plant biotechnology, breed ing and genetics, and genome engineering, to achieve this goal,” states Professor Galbraith. In the next two years, he hopes to bring HENU and UA closer together to confront this global issue and aid in the on-going fight to overcome Earth’s most pressing problem.

Congratulations to Professor Galbraith on such a prestigious achievement! To learn more about Professor Galbraith visit his profile. To learn more about his appointment and Henan University, visit The School of Life Sciences’s News Article.