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Wei new Princeton dean

By Brian Rosenberg

Princeton University announced yesterday that it has chosen MIT Professor of Chemical Engineering James Wei SM '54 to head its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Wei's appointment becomes effective July 1.

Wei, formerly head of the chemical engineering department, said he has "very mixed emotions" about leaving MIT. "When I came here in 1977, I thought it would be the last move I made. I have a lot of friends here, and a lot of pride in bringing the department to its number one position," he said.

"At the same time, Princeton offers a great challenge, and a chance to broaden my horizons, which is very exciting," Wei added.

A statement released by Princeton President Harold Shapiro said Wei's "success in bringing the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT to its position of preeminence clearly demonstrates his leadership ability. We welcome his arrival at Princeton."

Robert A. Brown, current head of the chemical engineering department, could not be reached for comment.

Wei said he plans to focus on "the environment, industrial productivity, biology and telecommunications" during his term as dean, which he sees as posing the "greatest challenges to engineering today."

Wei was notified of his appointment on April 24.