Flora Chia-I Chang, president of Tamkang University, will be honored at May 21 Commencement

SAN FRANCISCO, April 27, 2011 -- Flora Chia-I Chang, president of Tamkang University, has been named the 2011 alumna of the Year by San Francisco State University. 

Tamkang University (TKU), which serves 28,000 students annually, is known for a global approach to higher education that combines tradition and innovation. Chang will be honored by SF State at the University's 110th Commencement exercises held Saturday, May 21, in Cox Stadium on campus.

Since becoming president of TKU in 2004, Chang has applied her expertise in total quality management and distance learning technology to streamline university operations. In 2009, TKU was the first academic institution in the world to receive international accreditation for its comprehensive information technology data and service management.

Chang's administration has also focused on ensuring that students are prepared for the global workforce. The language of instruction at TKU's pioneering Lanyang Campus in eastern Taiwan is predominantly English. Communications technology and multicultural awareness are required fields of study at all four TKU campuses. Chang has initiated academic partnerships and exchanges for TKU in 28 countries with 110 universities, including SF State.

TKU is consistently ranked among the 50 best universities in Asia. In 2009, the university was awarded its 19th National Quality Award from the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs.

"Dr. Chang's ideas, ideals and innovative spirit make her a leader among leaders," said President Robert A. Corrigan. "She has harnessed modern technology to create global connections among students and scholars, and has contributed greatly to workforce development in Taiwan and beyond."

A native of Taipei City, Chang earned a master’s degree in economics from SF State in 1982 and a master’s degree in education from Stanford University in 1983. Prior to becoming TKU's eighth president, Chang was vice president for administrative affairs and taught banking and finance. After earning a doctor of education degree from Stanford University in 1995, she became an associate professor in TKU's teacher education program and Graduate Institute of Educational Policy and Leadership.

SF State's alumna of the Year award recognizes significant contributions in an alumna's field of work. Previous honorees include environmentalist Randy Hayes; actor Jeffrey Tambor; award-winning filmmaker Arthur Dong; Kenneth Fong, chairman of Kenson Ventures LLC; Manny Mashouf, founder
and chairman of bebe stores, inc.; E-LOAN co-founder/CEO Chris Larsen; actress Annette Bening; former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown; and physician and NASA astronaut Yvonne Cagle.

SF State is the only master's level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The university enrolls more than 30,000 students each year. With nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communications arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies -- the University's more than 180,000 graduates have contributed to the economic cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.