Xiamen University confers honorary degree on President Harker
UD President Patrick Harker attends a grand ceremony, during which he received an honorary degree from Xiamen University.
UD President Patrick Harker presents a lecture at Xiamen University.
The honorary degree is conferred upon UD President Patrick Harker, right.
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Editor's Note: The University of Delaware has strong ties with Xiamen University, a leading institution in China, with programs of excellence across the academic spectrum. In 2008, UD and Xiamen University established the Joint Institute for Coastal Research and Management, and additional academic and research collaborations are developing. The following report was filed by Xiamen University during UD President Patrick Harker's visit this past week.

5:16 p.m., Oct. 16, 2009----Xiamen University held a grand ceremony to celebrate the Honorary Degree in Management conferred to University of Delaware President Patrick T. Harker on the afternoon of Tuesday, Oct. 13.

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Prof. Zhongshi Zhu, president of Xiamen University and chair of the University Academic Board, conferred the honorary degree to President Harker. Prof. Shinong Wu, vice president of Xiamen University, presided over the ceremony.

This is the second honorary degree that Xiamen University has conferred since it was established in 1921. The first honorary degree was conferred to Lian Zhan, former chairman of the Nationalist Party.
Previously, Harker had been bestowed the titles of Honorary Professor and Counselor Adviser of the Advisory Board of Xiamen University.

According to the academic degree regulations and the provisional stipulations of academic degrees of the People's Republic of China, an honorary degree is to be conferred to outstanding international scholars and scientists who have achieved excellent academic accomplishments, who have enjoyed high reputation in the world, and who have contributed significantly in their particular field of research interests, with that work widely recognized internationally.

Such honorary degrees are also to be conferred to those people whose academic activities or scientific accomplishments have helped promote academic exchange and friendly cooperation between China and other countries.

“I am deeply grateful to receive this Honorary Degree in Management from Xiamen University,” Harker said. “The university rarely confers such awards, and I am humbled to have been given one.

“I look forward to continuing the University of Delaware's close collaborations with Xiamen University -- collaborations that have already benefited both schools enormously -- and to expanding our partnerships in China,” Harker said.

Harker received his B.S.E. and M.S.E. in Civil Engineering in 1981, and an M.A. in Economics and a Ph.D. in Civil and Urban Engineering (Transportation Planning and Economics) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. In 1991, President George H. W. Bush named him a White House Fellow.

In 2000, Harker was appointed dean of the University of Pennsylvania's world-famous Wharton School, and named the Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise.

Harker became the 26th president of the University of Delaware in 2007.

Harker is also an outstanding scholar in service management, operations and information management, electrical and systems engineering, civil engineering, and applied science. He has lectured and conducted research at many prestigious universities in America and around the world, including Stanford University, McGill University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Harker has published or edited nine books and more than 100 professional articles. He has served as the editor of the prestigious journal Operations Research and as associate editor of several other scholarly journals, such as Management Science. He has won many honors and grants from the National Science Foundation and holds several patents.

A representative of Xiamen University said, “Patrick Harker is very friendly to China and has visited China many times at our invitation. He has contributed to China's higher education, particularly management education, with his invaluable experience that is of great value to our university as it aims to become a famous international institution with a world-class school of business. In recent years, Harker has actively promoted exchange and cooperation between the University of Delaware and our university.”

Before the ceremony, Harker presented the lecture “The Rise of the Global Service Sector: Implications for Management and Engineering” to the university audience. The lecture was chaired by Prof. Yifeng Shen, dean of Xiamen University's College of Management.

A report from China on the ceremony is available on the Web.

Article by Zhiqiang Wang of the College of Management of Xiamen University

Translated by Jianguo Chen and Xiao-Hai Yan of the University of Delaware