March 29, 2004

Hunter named president of Singapore school

By Michael Terrazas

Former interim Provost and law school Dean Woody Hunter has been named president of Singapore Management University (SMU), a 4-year-old business school home to 2,200 students that already has established ties with renowned institutions in the United States, the school announced March 24. The appointment is effective Sept. 1.

Hunter, currently visiting professor of law at the University of Sydney in Australia, said he and his wife, Susan, will make Singapore their principal residence beginning in January 2005. He also said that SMU, despite its youth, is poised for great things.

"It is unusual to have a chance to be part of the creation of a new institution--especially one that has the enthusiastic, full backing of the government and the private sector," Hunter said via e-mail from Australia. "SMU is very well funded and will have a striking new campus in the middle of one of the most dynamic cities in the world."

Currently located in Singapore's historic Bukit Timah district, SMU will move into new facilities in the city's downtown area in late 2005. The school will graduate its first class this year and plans to increase its enrollment to about 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students (up from its current 2,200) and triple its faculty to more than 300, Hunter said.

The school already has ties with well-respected U.S. business and management institutions, including the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Chicago. Might SMU's next president explore opportunities with Emory?

"We shall see," Hunter said. "There have been some connections between SMU and Emory already. Perhaps there will be chances for more."

SMU's current president is Ronald Frank, who served as dean of Goizueta Business School from 1989-98, and Frank welcomed a former colleague to take over the school's helm.

"I could not be more delighted to pass the baton [to Hunter]," Frank said. "I have known him for more than a decade. He has both my trust and support to undertake this position. I also have the utmost confidence that his extensive academic and management experience at Emory, coupled with his wide international perspective, will be invaluable to SMU in its next phase of growth and development."

Hunter served as interim provost from 2001-03, stepping down last September. He joined the Emory faculty in 1976 and became dean of the School of Law in 1989, serving for 12 years. Though he looks forward to the challenges SMU presents him in this next phase of his career, Hunter's new appointment also is bittersweet.

"I have been a member of the Emory community for almost half my life, and I will never fully 'leave' Emory because it has been too much a part of me," he said. "The years at Emory have been filled with interest, challenges, good friends and good times, and I look forward to continuing to be in contact with my friends and colleagues. In fact, many of the experiences I have had at Emory have helped prepare me for this next opportunity--especially those that have involved education at the international level."