Calm down everyone: Yale-NUS appoints new deans

A lot of fuss over not very much news?

I must admit to being both amazed and slightly peeved at the level of publicity generated by the Yale-NUS development in Singapore which is still a year from opening. It is also fascinating how much money seems to be being poured in and the kind of staff being appointed in advance of the first intake of students. An earlier post noted some previous news about the new College.

The latest update comes courtesy of Yale Daily News which reports that Yale-NUS has appointed some new deans and gives us some diverting information about their family circumstances:

Former Jonathan Edwards College Dean Kyle Farley will serve as the inaugural dean of students at Yale-NUS College, the school announced Thursday evening.

Farley left Yale in fall 2011 to work at Academies Australasia, an educational group that serves international students studying in Australia. At the time, Farley said his move was partly motivated by his wife’s desire to return to Australia, where her family lives. The day before Wednesday’s announcement, Yale-NUS President Pericles Lewis said the new dean of students will be expected make decisions about how to address Singapore’s restrictions on political parties and public protests, and address any “gray areas” that might be found in Singaporean law.

Yale-NUS also announced Thursday that Anastasia Vrachnos — former executive director of the Princeton in Asia program, which Lewis compared to the University’s Yale-China Association — will serve as the college’s dean of international and professional experience.

During her tenure at Princeton in Asia, the program doubled its endowment, tripled its participants and started programs in 12 new countries.

“Being dean of international and professional experience, it’s really about outreach and placing people off campus,” Lewis said. “She’s placed a whole lot of Princeton students in very good situations that have been very valuable to them.”

In addition to Farley and Vrachno, Yale-NUS has two other appointed deans: Dean of Faculty Charles Bailyn and Dean of Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan.

In other news the Vision and Mission of the new College is pretty ambitious:


A community of learning,

Founded by two great universities,

In Asia, for the world.


Yale-NUS College, a residential college located in Singapore, aims to redefine liberal arts and science education for a complex, interconnected world.

Modest enough I guess. Further details of the venture can be found at its website here.

There has been an awful lot of fuss over the new College and it is undoubtedly one of the more high profile international campus developments for US or European universities. But it still seems a striking level of coverage when the first intake, which will only be 150 students, is a year off and the total student population is likely to be around 1,000. On the other hand many of the staff, from the President downwards, do have great names.

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