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Chairman Kao-Huei Cheng
Kao-Huei Cheng
       Chairman Cheng Kao-huei was born in Tainan city in 1931. As the eldest son, he chose to attend a vocational school to reduce the financial burden of his parents. After graduating from Tainan Vocational School of Commerce, he was put in charge of the family business, Tsung-ming Quilt Factory. He immediately took action to improve the workflow and marketing strategy of the clothes-making business. With his quick insight and creativity, he soon hit upon a mass production model in which the sewing work of suit and apparel of various sizes were distributed among many skilled workers. The new model helped his home-based six-machine factory quickly expand to a full-scale factory with more than a hundred machines. In 1962, a new family business, Tsung-tai Cloth Shop, was set up. And in 1966, another business, Tsung-ta Industrial Co. was founded to streamline the family’s various businesses. At that time, Mr. Cheng was commonly known as the youngest and the most capable clothing business owner in his field.

       In 1967, Mr. Cheng was invited by Mr. Kao Chin-yen, the former Chairman of Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology (STUST), and Mr. Wu Hsiu-chi to found Uni-President Corporation. The three were often referred to as the three giants of the corporation. In 1971, Mr. Cheng joined Tainan Textile Co. Ltd, to serve on the board and as the vice president of the company. In 1989, Mr. Cheng was promoted to be the vice Chairman and the president of Tainan Textile Co. In 1993, at the age of sixty he declined the president’s position but remained to be the vice chairman of the spinning company and the chairman of the Nan-fan Group. Mr. Cheng has served as the Chairman of Tainan Textile Co. since 2004.

       Since taking charge of Tainan Textile Co., Mr. Cheng has endeavored to improve the management and performance of the company. With his good business sense and quick maneuvers, he was able to drive the company’s products from Taitzulong, a strong, non-shrinking, crease resistant fabric, to another peak in the market, and turned the textile firm around from deficit into profit. Mr. Cheng was exceptionally good at numbers and financial analysis. He was also a very hardworking person who often brought work home and worked late into night. His unreserved devotion and defensive approach has helped the company sustain major global recessions.

       In the 1970’s, the outstanding exporting performance of Tainan Textile brought the company many awards. From 1973 to 1976, for four consecutive years, the company’s export exceeded $10,000,000 in value and was honored by the premier of the Executive Yuan in recognition of its contribution to the national economy. Similar awards were presented again in 1976, 1978 and 1982. More importantly, far-sighted Chairman Cheng led Tainan Textile into the international arena in 1995 when the company established a new spinning plant in Vietnam, the largest of its kind in the quickly developing country. Chairman Cheng’s talent in management had been highly recognized in the manufacture sector, and in 1975 he was elected to be the first president of the newly formed Tainan Industry Association, for which he was re-elected in 1978.

       As an alumnus of Tainan Vocational School of Commerce, Mr. Cheng maintained a close tie with his alma mater. In 1973, he initiated a cooperative education program between the vocational school and the textile company. The cooperative program not only secured a stable source of manpower for the expanding company but also provided a work-and-study education option for economically disadvantaged junior high graduates. Through the innovative program, the needs of the industry and the youth were both met.

       Mr. Cheng’s tie with STUST started in 1989, when he was elected to sit on the board. Mr. Cheng firmly believes in the importance of self-discipline, sublimity, and selfless devotion in education; and with such beliefs, he thinks it is only proper for the board to maintain its tradition of re-investing all the university’s revenue into the university itself, so that its long-term development and growth can be sustained. On January 14, 2014, Mr. Cheng was elected by the STUST Board to be the chairman so his exceptional leadership and management talent can further benefit the university. In the past decades, many outstanding accomplishments have been achieved by the previous board, faculty and staff, and alumni and students of the university. To build on those important accomplishments, Chairman Cheng, undergirded by the belief that education is a conscientious enterprise, will continue to uphold the educational ideal of the founders and guide the university into a new era of excellence and glory.

       The educational environment of Taiwan has changed dramatically. In facing the new challenges and threats, Chairman Cheng will continue to guide and inspire the STUST family with his entrepreneurship and insight, so STUST, with the concerted effort of its faculty and staff, can grow into an industry-friendly, top-ranking higher education institution in Taiwan and the world.