RIT names Yong “Tai” Wang as dean of College of Health Sciences and Technology

Wang joins RIT in January from University of Texas at Tyler

RIT has named Yong “Tai” Wang as dean of the College of Health Sciences and Technology.

Rochester Institute of Technology has named Yong “Tai” Wang as dean of the College of Health Sciences and Technology.

Wang currently is dean and endowed chair professor of the Drs. Lee Roy and Lucy Mathis College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Texas at Tyler, a role he has held since 2014. He was chosen for the RIT dean following a national search, and will begin his new leadership role in January.

“Dr. Wang brings to RIT deep academic experience and an active research portfolio that dovetails with RIT’s signature research in personalized health care technology,” said Ellen Granberg, RIT provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “I look forward to working with him and to continue to grow the College of Health Sciences and Technology.”

Wang’s research focuses on rehabilitative biomechanics related to wheelchair locomotion and Tai Chi exercise.

“RIT is strong in engineering, and I look forward to exploring opportunities between biomedical engineering and health science programs,” Wang said. “I’m looking forward to being at a university where we can build on synergies and create new partnerships.”

Wang’s research program is supported by approximately $1 million in funding, including from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the American Association of Retired Persons, among other private foundations.

During his tenure at UT Tyler, Wang focused on both faculty and student success by increasing scholarships and research awards. He also helped the university grow its health career portfolio with six new health degree programs. Wang led or contributed to the development of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, Master of Occupational Therapy program, communication sciences and disorders program, master’s in nursing healthcare informatics program, master’s in psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program, and BA in wellness. He also helped establish the Institute for Integrated Healthcare.

Prior to his time at UT Tyler, Wang served as director and assistant dean for the School of Health Professions in the Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions at Georgia State University (GSU). Before that role, he was the interim head of the department of physical therapy in the School of Health Professions at GSU.

Wang holds a doctorate in rehabilitative biomechanics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Illinois, and an MA in biomechanics at Ball State University. He also earned an MS and BS in exercise science from Wuhan Sports University in Wuhan, China.

Health and fitness are important to the new RIT dean, who also teaches Tai Chi.

“My hobby is exercise and finding effective exercises for elderly populations,” Wang said. “I design exercise programs and enjoy playing basketball.”

Wang and his wife, Wei Shi, will relocate to Rochester later this year. They have two adult sons who live in Atlanta, Ga.

Wang succeeds Dr. Daniel Ornt, who had served as dean of the College of Health Sciences and Technology since 2011. Ornt will take a year’s sabbatical and return to the college faculty in Fall 2021.

“I’d like to thank Dr. Ornt for his commitment to the college’s mission during his time as dean,” Granberg said. “We look forward to welcoming him back next year to teach our students. Also, our sincere thanks to Dr. Richard Doolittle for serving as interim dean during the search. We are very grateful to both for their service to RIT.”

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