India's first AI university appoints award-winning American professor as VC | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

India's first AI university appoints award-winning American professor as VC

Jun 25, 2024 12:21 PM IST

Simon Mak, who brings experience from Silicon Valley startups and academia, will work closely with Tarundeep Singh Anand, the university's chancellor

Mumbai: Universal AI University (UAIU), India's pioneering institution dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, has named Simon Mak, an international strategist and award-winning professor, as its vice chancellor. This appointment marks a significant milestone, as Mak becomes the first foreign national to helm an Indian university as founding vice chancellor.

Simon Mak is a strategist and award-winning professor
Simon Mak is a strategist and award-winning professor

Mak, who brings experience from Silicon Valley startups and academia, will work closely with Prof Tarundeep Singh Anand, the university's chancellor. His primary focus will be on elevating UAIU's global standing through an innovative AI-driven curriculum while maintaining ethical standards in education.

"Being well-acquainted with the strategic and entrepreneurial landscape, Dr Mak recognises that UAIU is distinctively unique and excellent, providing the finest blend of multilateral AI-led education in various streams to create global corporate leaders of the future," said Chancellor Anand.

Mak's impressive credentials include a B.Tech degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an MBA and Ph.D. from the SMU Cox School of Business. His previous role as executive director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at SMU Cox saw him pioneering research in blockchain technology and developing an MBA course on Blockchain Entrepreneurship.

"It is one of the finest opportunities to be at India's first AI university in this capacity, especially when the country is at the crossroads of becoming a global economic power by producing talented leaders and managers to lead world businesses and startups," Mak said, expressing his enthusiasm for the new role.

He added, "I would like to bring the highest ethical standards to university education in India as I have personally experienced the entrepreneurial mindset needed to grow a world-class business school."

Mak's appointment comes at a crucial time for India's higher education sector, which is increasingly focusing on emerging technologies and global competitiveness. His extensive international experience, including research on blockchain startups in various global tech hubs, is expected to bring a fresh perspective to UAIU's academic approach.

The university aims to leverage Mak's expertise in areas such as rankings, accreditation, curriculum design, executive education development, and community service programmes. This strategic move aligns with India's broader ambitions to establish itself as a leader in AI education and innovation.

As UAIU embarks on this new chapter, the academic community will be watching closely to see how Mak's entrepreneurial mindset and global experience shape the future of AI education in India. The appointment not only highlights the university's commitment to international standards but also signals India's openness to global talent in shaping its educational institutions.

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