Former AIT director becomes vice president at Taiwan’s National Yang-Ming University

There was speculation William Stanton’s departure from National Taiwan University was due to his outspoken criticism of China

William Stanton (left) and National Yang-Ming University President Steve Kuo (NYMU photo)

William Stanton (left) and National Yang-Ming University President Steve Kuo (NYMU photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director William Stanton will assume the role of vice president at National Yang-Ming University starting Aug. 16, according to a NYMU press release.

NYMU, a research university in Taipei that specializes in medicine and biotechnology, noted the reason for recruiting the former U.S. diplomat was to draw on his experience of international affairs as global challenges in public health arise. Stanton will be tasked with both administrative and educational work, conducting classes in English, the statement said.

Following his retirement, Stanton served as director for the Center for Asia Policy at National Tsing Hua University (NTHU). In 2018, he became a visiting professor at National Taiwan University (NTU), which decided not to renew his contract in July.

There was speculation the move was politically motivated as the academic has been outspoken in his criticism of China. The allegation has been refuted by NTU officials, who said visiting professors are usually short-term and the school is shifting to a more science-oriented focus.

A veteran diplomat, Stanton had previously been posted to Australia, South Korea, and China before taking office as AIT director, from 2009 to 2012. He was NTHU’s senior vice president for global affairs from October 2014 to January 2016.