College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Mark Chen Named Chair of Public Policy Leadership

International lecturer and author sets high goals for UM program to become nationally prominent

Weixing “Mark” Chen joins the faculty of the University of Mississippi this fall as the new chair of the Department of Public Policy Leadership.

He brings to the department experience with university administration, establishing international partnerships and educational programs, and his teaching and research specializations in public policy, international relations and Chinese politics, with an emphasis on Chinese leadership.

“The public policy leadership is a unique program,” Chen said. “My goal is to make it a primary undergraduate program in the South and the nation that attracts and educates/trains future leaders, and one that provides a public forum in partnership with the Lott Leadership Institute for public policy leadership issues.”

Rich Forgette, senior associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and a professor of political science, praised Chen’s experience and insights.

“Professor Mark Chen brings a wealth of administrative, academic and international experience to the University of Mississippi,” Forgette said. “Professor Chen served as a department chair at his former institution. He has also written and taught extensively about leadership from a global perspective. We are excited to have him lead our Department of Public Policy Leadership in new directions.”

Before coming to UM, Chen was professor of political science and chair of the Department of Political Science, International Affairs and Public Administration at East Tennessee State University, where he was honored with the ETSU Distinguished Faculty Award for Research. He also has served as a visiting professor or lecturer at six universities in Asia.

Chen earned a bachelor’s degree in English and literature in 1982 from Shandong University in China, a master’s in international relations in 1986 from the College of International Relations in Beijing and a doctorate in political science in 1992 from Northern Illinois University.

The Department of Public Policy Leadership at UM provides an interdisciplinary curriculum that incorporates geography, political science, economics, philosophy, psychology and history. The program emphasizes the global nature of responsible decision making, the ethical imperatives of leadership, critical thinking and communication skills, and the quantitative skills necessary for careful policy analysis.

The Trent Lott Leadership Institute at UM identifies talented young people and prepare them for leadership positions in the state and nation.