HISTORIAN Tan Tai Yong has been named the new president of the Yale-NUS College.
Prof Tan (pic), 56, who is currently the college’s executive vice-president for academic affairs, will assume office on July 1. He will take over from current president Pericles Lewis, who has helmed the liberal arts college - a collaboration between Yale University and the National University of Singapore (NUS) - since its establishment in 2011.
Yale-NUS’ governing board met and unanimously elected Prof Tan following an “extensive global search” which took seven months, and considered 80 to 100 initial candidates.
In his current role, Prof Tan, a former nominated Member of Parliament, worked with Yale-NUS students, staff and faculty to improve the college’s academic programmes and educational experience.
He holds a doctorate in history from the University of Cambridge and taught at NUS before joining Yale-NUS in 2014. He was dean of NUS’ Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 2004 to 2009 and vice-provost for student life from 2010 to 2014.
NUS president Tan Chorh Chuan, who helped lead the search for Yale-NUS’ new president, said: “In Tai Yong, I think we find somebody really experienced, with the knowledge, with the ability, but also with the deep passion, the deep commitment to this form of education.”
Yale University president Peter Salovey said his institution and Yale-NUS plan to strengthen links. For instance, more Yale-NUS students will spend a semester at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut. Currently, there are 24 slots per year. Yale-NUS has a student body of more than 700.
Prof Tan said he plans to review all the college’s major programmes to enhance, refine and possibly expand some of them. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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