“I want to return to ... the marriage of physics, biology and biomedicine,” Chu told The Stanford Daily, which first reported on his planned return to the university. “That is a very exciting frontier.”
Chu, when announcing Feb. 1 that he planned to leave the Energy Department, said at the time that he wanted to return to the West Coast and academic life, but didn’t lay out specific plans.
Chu told the The Stanford Daily that choosing between a return to Stanford or Berkeley was tough, but the paper reports that “the presence of four of Chu’s grandchildren in Palo Alto proved to be a critical factor.”
“They’re both great universities, but I’m very happy to be coming back to Stanford,” Chu told the paper.
Henry Kissinger’s famous quip about academic politics notwithstanding, Chu will likely find Stanford more hospitable in some ways than Washington, D.C.
He has been the target of frequent GOP attacks over the failure of some Energy Department-backed green energy companies.
Chu has not set a date for when he will leave the Energy Department.
He noted in his resignation announcement that he would remain at least until the end of February, and perhaps beyond “so that I can leave the Department in the hands of the new Secretary.”
President Obama has not yet nominated a successor to Chu, but Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Ernest Moniz is believed to be the top candidate.