ITU History

ITU’s story begins with a dream passed down from generation to generation starting with our Founder’s father, a respected Warlord from China, and continues with his son, a visionary leader determined to change the world.

“Choose the best of each culture. Let everything else go. This is how we create our own culture.”

To fully understand the vision behind this institution, it is necessary to understand the background and impetus of its founder, Professor Shu-Park Chan.

The mission of ITU is to foster excellence in education for students particularly interested in the high-tech entrepreneurial field. All our programs have an applied nature, with an emphasis on specialty areas tailored to the market needs of Silicon Valley companies.

         Institutional Mission

ITU pioneers a modern, industry-focused educational model to deliver education globally. ITU’s educational pedagogy cultivates innovative thinking, ethical leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit through practical, industry relevant curriculum that reflects Silicon Valley’s culture. ITU closes the employment skills gap and empowers people to lead successful, enriching lives as meaningful contributors to the global community. Students are actively encouraged to affiliate or intern with relevant local industry firms from the very beginning of their academic studies as an integral part of ITU’s academic pedagogy.



To empower people and advance global prosperity through inventive, industry-linked Silicon Valley education.

The hallmarks of an ITU education include:

A special focus on practical engineering, business, biotech, and media arts research projects.

Relevant internships integrated into academic programs from the beginning of a student’s tenure.

Multicultural awareness through the international exchange of scholars and students from locations around the globe.

Systemically designed, competency-based courses that utilize innovative instructional methods.

Cross-disciplinary curriculum that encourages students to look beyond their own fields and generate new possibilities.

Programs that meet the high standards of both the ITU Advisory Board, which consists of prominent Silicon Valley industry leaders, and the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)*.

Jitang Chen
General. Chairman. Industrialist.

Dr. Shu-Park Chan was the 10th son of the famous General Jitang Chen, chairman of the government of Guangdong Province (a.k.a. Canton Province) in Southern China (1928-1936). Known as the “King of the Southern Skies” and the “Strategic Adviser of the President” who modernized Southern China, Jitang Chen, one of those rare historical figures celebrated by both Nationalist and Communist regimes, is credited with benefiting common citizens under his rule by successfully attracting foreign investment and technologies – the exact same strategy that present-day developing China has executed to great success, 90 years later.

Building a High-Tech Chinese City
Guangzhou, 1930s Under Chen’s aggressive development during his lifetime, Guangzhou became a city of high-tech advancement and was the model for the modernization of China. Chen worked to improve infrastructure, social services, hospital care, education, and city resources that would ensure safety and prosperity for all citizens living within the city. This period has been coined the “Golden Age of Guangdong Province.”

The Chairman’s Charge
As the political climate changed throughout China, Jitang Chen was not able to reach the second part of his vision – to replicate his high-tech city model throughout and modernize the entire nation. Forced to retreat to Taiwan, Jitang Chen sent his son, Shu-Park Chan, to America, charging him with the task of absorbing the best of the American education system and then returning to China to continue its development.

Dr. Shu-Park Chan:
Silicon Valley Pioneering Educator

In keeping with his father’s charge, Shu-Park Chan studied electrical engineering, getting his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). For the next 30 years, he would serve in Santa Clara University’s EE department, becoming Dean of the Engineering School and the first endowed professor at SCU. Throughout his career, Professor Chan has personally taught over 10,000 students and, learning from his cutting-edge research in the area of graph theory and network topology, bridging both electrical engineering and computer science, his PhD students have gone on to found Cadence, ATMEL, Microelectronics Technologies, Oak Technology, Inc. and many other pillar companies that created the phenomenon known as the Silicon Valley.

Sustaining the Family Dream
Many call Professor Chan the founding father of Silicon Valley hi-tech engineering education. He never forgot his father’s charge and his own dream to infuse China’s infrastructure into the American education system and the developing world.

Global University Network Model
Professor Chan retired from teaching and in 1994, founded ITU to be the world’s first global network university model. Professor Chan believed that engineering education must bridge the “relevance gap” to balance academic theory with practical application.

Core Competency: Industry-Relevant Education
ITU curriculum is intentionally tied to the latest in Silicon Valley hi-tech. ITU had nanotechnology, advanced IC design and quantum device theory courses as regular offerings – all cutting edge areas of Silicon Valley hi-tech development.

The university hires industry professionals as instructors. ITU instructors are comprised of many global leaders in engineering, business, and digital arts. Many instructors not only have PhD or terminal degrees, but many years experience. They are pioneer- ing working managers in Silicon Valley who lead teams of engineers, create innovations and work with advanced technology.

“We are now in the new millennium with the challenge of solving contemporary problems while achieving the unfinished agenda of the future. Modern society must engage in a constant search for the good in its quest for the better.”

~Dr. Shu-Park Chan

Yau-Gene Chan
President and CEO of ITU

The Torch is Passed to a New Generation
In mid-2005, Professor Chan’s son, Yau-Gene Chan, joined ITU as Executive Vice President to run ITU and carry forth the family’s vision. Under Chan’s guidance, in 2006, ITU began its quest for accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of the six private regional accreditation associations, the most prestigious and powerful in theUS. In 2010,Yau-Gene Chan succeeded his father as President and CEO of ITU and will carry forth the family vision as ITU enters its next chapter.

On February 22nd, 2013, ITU attained Accreditation status with WASC, successfully transitioning the University to a new standard of excellence. Sadly, Dr. Shu-Park Chan passed away that same day, after hearing his vision had been realized.

“I grew up in a family of scholars, where education was always a central core value.”

~President Chan

As a Non-Profit University, ITU was founded and built upon a single ideal: to provide students with a high-quality education, closely tied to the trends of the industry. We continue to uphold this ideal today, welcoming a diverse body of students to ITU, all of whom are united by the desire to further their education, and find career success.

Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment (IEA)

The Department of Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment serves the ITU community and external constituents by providing data and analytics related to students, faculty, staff, programs, finances, and policies.

The IEA department conducts research and analysis to obtain data that promotes best practices across the ITU community. This data is officially reported to various state and federal agencies, as well as accreditation agencies and the general public.


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Our five-year plan was created as a blueprint to strengthen ITU’s performance and drive ITU for the next five years. The Strategic Plan is built upon ITU’s mission, vision, and community values and offers an approach to help ITU foster sustainable growth and development in today’s dynamic environment.


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