Date of Interview
Professor of Accounting, 2000--2011
Deputy President, SMU, 1999–2001
Head of start-up team for SMU
Professor Tan Teck Meng was a key player in the conceptualising and formation of Singapore’s third university. In 1997, he was appointed chairman of a task force to look into the feasibility of setting up SMU. Subsequently he became SMU’s first employee and was appointed SMU’s founding deputy president (1999—2001).
After his term in administration, Professor Tan returned to teaching in the School of Accountancy. His main research interests were in the area of corporate governance, entrepreneurship, and financial accounting. He was a highly regarded and dedicated teacher, nominated by The Straits Times as one of six ‘star professors’ of SMU in its Scholar’s Choice series of articles. Professor Tan was also keenly involved in ensuring the welfare of students. To this end he set up the Tan Tee Chee and Tsan Kah Ngooh award, named after his parents, to be given annually to students who have demonstrated excellence in co-curricular activities. The Tan Teck Meng Gold Medal Award is given annually to a top member of the graduating class in the School of Accountancy.
From 1990 to 1998 he served as dean of the School of Accountancy and Business at Nanyang Technological University. Professor Tan also served on the boards of a number of organisations in Singapore, including hospitals, schools and government statutory institutions.
In 1997 he was the first Singaporean to receive the Wilford L White Award, the highest recognition given by the International Council for Small Business to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of small- and medium-sized businesses. He received the Service to Education Award (2007) from the Ministry of Education, and the Public Service Medal (2009) from the Singapore Government.
He earned his bachelor of accountancy at the then University of Singapore and his master of commerce from the University of New South Wales, Australia. In 1996 he was awarded an honorary PhD by Liaoning University, China.
Professor Tan passed away on 7 July 2011.
Higher Education Administration
Audio Visual Source
Tan, Teck Meng, "Conceptualising SMU : The People and Ideas behind the SMU Story, Oral History Interview with Tan Teck Meng (Excerpt with Audio)" (2010). Oral History Collection. Paper 1.