Professor

William C. Kirby

Harvard University
Historian; Educator; Academic administrator
Member Since
2005
William C. Kirby is the T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University and the Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He is a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, and also serves as Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Chairman of the Harvard China Fund. Before coming to Harvard in 1992, he was Professor of History, Director of Asian Studies, and Dean of University College at Washington University in St. Louis. At Harvard, he has served as Chair of the History Department, Director of the Harvard University Asia Center, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Before coming to Harvard in 1992, he was Professor of History, Director of Asian Studies, and Dean of University College at Washington University in St. Louis. At Harvard, he has served as Chair of the History Department, Director of the Harvard University Asia Center, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. As Dean he initiated major reforms in undergraduate education in Harvard College; enhanced Harvard's international studies at home and abroad; increased substantially financial aid in the College and in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; supported the growth of the Division (now School) of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and oversaw the construction of major new buildings in the Life Sciences, Engineering, and the Arts. During his tenure, the Faculty expanded at its most rapid rate since the 1960s. A historian of modern China, Professor Kirby's work examines China's business, economic, and political development in an international context. He has written on the evolution of modern Chinese business (state-owned and private); Chinese corporate law and company structure; the history of freedom in China; the international socialist economy of the 1950s; relations across the Taiwan Strait; and China's relations with Europe and America. He received the A.B. degree from Dartmouth College, and the A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, all in history. He has received honorary degrees from the Free University of Berlin and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Scholar of Asian history.
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