April 6, 2012
By Michael McDonald
YALE University professors approved a resolution urging that a planned joint campus
with the National University of Singapore respect and support human rights and
Yale, one of the world’s wealthiest universities, is preparing to open the overseas campus, the first in its 300-year history, next year. About 200 faculty members of the New Haven, Connecticut-based college attended the meeting late Thursday, April 5, Yale
said in an e-mailed statement.
Professors have expressed concern about human rights in Singapore and the faculty’s
exclusion from the planning of the venture. Singapore’s government censors the media
and uses the courts to silence criticism of the regime, according to Human Rights Watch, a New York-based group. New York University and Duke University are among other US colleges developing campuses in East Asia.
“This is a great day for Yale,” Christopher Miller, a professor of African-American
studies and French, said in an e- mail after the vote. The resolution was approved after a weaker version of it that he called “pablum” was defeated.
Yale-NUS College is scheduled to open in August 2013 with 150 undergraduate students
and will grow to about 1000, according to Yale. Its board includes Richard Levin,
Yale’s president, and members appointed by both Yale and NUS. Last year, Levin said he
was confident that Yale’s faculty in Singapore could teach and publish without restrictions.
“I value the engagement of my colleagues and their commitment to important principles, even though I opposed the resolution because it did not capture the mutual respect that has characterized the Yale-NUS collaboration from the beginning,” Levin, who attended last night’s meeting, said in the statement.
Yale, a member of the Ivy League of eight private US universities, was founded in
1701. As of June 30, 2011, the school’s $19.4 billion endowment was second only to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to an annual report from the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the Commonfund Institute.