Wen-Hui Tsai (1968)

Professor of Sociology, Indiana-Purdue University At Fort Wayne

I met Professor Wolfram Eberhard in Taiwan in 1967who offered me a research assistantship to study with him. For the next 6 years, I focused my study mainly on comparative sociology under Professors Eberhard, Smelser, and Swanson. It was not an easy time during the late 60s and early 70s for a student like me coming from a different country; Berkeley was a normless community.

When I got my Ph.D. in 1974, the economy was in terrible shape and there were very few job openings. Fortunately, I was able to land a teaching position at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, Indiana (also known as IPFW). I remember I asked Professor Swanson what kind of reputation IPFW had before I went for interview. Prof. Swanson told me that if I published anything while at IPFW, I would not be accused of stealing research work from someone else. Well, I have been here for 27 years and I have published 20 some books and 60+ journal articles on comparative and cross-cultural studies. I have also been elected as President of American Association of Chinese Studies and President of Association of Chinese Social Scientists in North America.

I valued my years at Berkeley and have talked about what I had experienced as a graduate students to students in my classes. Most of all, it is the drive to carry out research and find publications which was the core of the spirit of Berkeley graduate program that has made my career a successful one. In 2 years, I will retire. But I am confident that I will continue to do research and write after my retirement.

Dissertation Title: 
Patterns of Political Elite Mobility in Modern China, 1912-1949
Dissertation Book Title: 
Patterns of political elite mobility in modern China, 1912-1949