From East to West : Memoirs of a Finance Professor on Academia, Practice, and Policy
By Cheng-Few Lee
I started teaching at the University of Georgia in the fall of 1973. In the fall of 2016, I finished my 43rd year of teaching. I decided to translate and update my Chinese autobiography, which was originally published in January 2000. Based on the Chinese edition, I updated some of the chapters. I have also added seven new chapters in this English edition of my autobiography. These seven chapters are: Chapter 8, ^Experience in Training Ph.D. Students in Finance and Accounting,” and Chapter 9, “Innovative and Active Approach to Teaching Finance,” which was expanded from Chapter 7 of my Chinese autobiography; Chapter 10, “World Records in Academic Achievements,” Chapter 12, “Editing Journals and Writing Books,” Chapter 15, “Contributions to Taiwan’s Economic and Financial Policies,” Chapter 17, “Forty Three Years of a Challenging and Rewarding Academic Career,” and Chapter 18, “Life Begins at 70.,J These topics present my academic achievements, review my career in academia, and reflect on my life, respectively.
In my original Chinese autobiography, there were three chapters related to the economic policy for Taiwan, China, and the Pacific Basin region; in this version I kept the chapter entitled, “Contributions to Taiwan’s Economic and Financial Policies,” which is related to the economic policies for Taiwan. However, I have updated and expanded some of the other chapters to discuss my academic activities and contributions during the last 43 years.
Since I left Taiwan in 1968,1 have been living in the United States for 48 years and have been teaching here for 43 years. Before taking a teaching position at Rutgers University in 1988,1 taught at the University of Georgia from 1973 to 1976 and before that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1976 to 1988. In 1982,1 was awarded the IBE
distinguished professor of finance at the University of Illinois. After my time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rutgers University hired me as special professor II and set up a department of finance at its New Brunswick campus. At present, I am the distinguished professor of the Department of Finance and Economics at Rutgers University in New Jersey. I am also the chief editor of two internationally known journals and three annual academic journals, and the chairman of three important international conferences. In addition, I also presided over the Foundation of Pacific Basin Financial Research and Development.
During my 43 years of teaching, I have advised more than 100 Ph.D. students, published more than 225 academic papers, and completed more than 26 books. Since 1992, I have also devoted myself to do research concerning the financial markets and policies in Taiwan and the Pacific Basin countries. I am constantly providing my opinions to the government, academic institutes, and the industries.
The main objectives of this autobiography are (i) to share with my readers the stages of my academic training, (ii) to show the growth over my 43-year academic career in research, teaching, and service, and (iii) to share my experience of journal editing and conference organizing.
For the last 43 years, I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to teach at three flagship universities, namely, University of Georgia, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Rutgers University. I would especially like to express my appreciation to the University of Illinois and Rutgers University since they gave me enough resources to create my academic legacy, which includes paper publishing, journal editing, and conference organizing.
Now, I will briefly discuss the overview of this book. There are 18 chapters in this book. The first 17 chapters have been divided into three parts, they are: “Childhood, Education Experience, and Family Life,” which covers Chapters 1 through 6; “Teaching, Service, and Research Activities,” which covers Chapters 7 through 12; and “Contributions to Academia and Policy Making in Taiwan:’ which covers Chapters 13 through 17. The first three chapters cover my early life and education in Taiwan and in the U.S., and my working experience in the Bank of China (BOC). Chapter 4 describes my happy family life. Chapters 5 and 6 explain
my relationship with President Lee Teng-hui and with ex-Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Kuo-shu Liang, and their assistance to me.
Chapter 7 discusses my teaching methods and education philosophy. Chapter 8 talks about my experience in training Ph.D. students in finance and accounting, and Chapter 9 discusses my innovative approach to teaching finance. Overall, these three chapters can be useful for finance and accounting professors in training their undergraduate, master s, and Ph.D. students.
Chapter 10 explains how I achieved world records in academic activities that include the achievements in teaching, research, journal editing, book writing, and international conference organizing.
Chapter 11 illustrates my experience and gains in participating in various organizations as well as teaching and traveling through different countries. Chapter 12 discusses my experiences in writing books and editing journals.
Chapters 13 through 15 describe what I had gone through in researching and teaching Taiwan’s financial markets and policies and in providing my viewpoints to help draft governmental financial policies. Chapter 13 discusses why I joined the democratic movements. Chapter 14 explains my extensive networks in the government, the academic institutitutions, and the industries. It also describes how the Foundation of Pacific Basin Financial Research and Development was founded and its funding principles. Chapter 15 details my contributions and participation in the planning and developing of Taipei as a financial center. In Chapter 16, my influence on the management of education in Taiwan is detailed. In Chapter 17,1 review my 43 years of a challenging and rewarding academic career. Finally, in Chapter 18,1 reflect on my life and discuss my future plans.
I appreciate the comments and suggestions of Governor Fai-nan Perng from the Central Bank of China, R.O.C” Professor Ben Sopranzetti, Rutgers University, Joe Schaffer, Associate Dean of Rutgers Business School and Professor Hong-Yi Chen, National Chengchi University. Finally, I would like to show my great appreciation to Governor Fai-nan Perng, Dean Lei Lei, Professor Richard E. Kihlstrom, Professor Ivan Brick, and Professor Yong Shi for their kind and thoughtful words. I am honored. Finally, I appreciate Natalie Krawczyk for her help in editing and writing this book.
Published in 01/2017
Posted in 07/2017