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Cornell Dean, Distinguished Professor Named Founding Provost of New VinUniversity

Dr. Rohit Verma has been appointed the founding provost of VinUniversity, a newly established non-profit university in Vietnam developed by Vietnamese real estate firm VinGroup in collaboration with Cornell University and other U.S. institutions.

Dr. Rohit VermaDr. Rohit Verma

“Serving as founding provost for [VinUniversity] provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help establish a world-class university in a fast-growing region of the world,” Verma said. “The strong support from two [Ivy] league universities … gives me confidence that VinUni will be able to become successful in establishing high-quality academic programs.”

Currently, Verma serves as dean of external relations at Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business and is the Singapore Tourism Board Distinguished Professor in Asian hospitality management at the School of Hotel Administration. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Utah and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.

Although this new role will be international, Verma will continue to be a faculty member in the hotel school on leave of absence, according to The Cornell Daily Sun.

“I consider myself to be a ‘hotelie-for-life,’” Verma said. “While I am not permanently leaving Cornell … I will most definitely miss my daily interactions with wonderful students, colleagues and friends at Cornell and life at Ithaca.”

VinUniversity is scheduled to open in the fall 2020 semester. The university’s mission is to “make a breakthrough in the quality of higher education in Vietnam, with the aim towards being a world-class university,” VinGroup’s website said.

Cornell began a multiyear contract with VinGroup to oversee the more education-oriented aspects of the institution, such as faculty recruitment, university administration and curriculum development.

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