Yale faculty expresses concerns over Yale-NUS
In March 2011 Yale University administration announced the establishment of Yale-NUS. However, the Yale-NUS project, in which Yale University and the National University of Singapore are collaborating to plan a liberal arts college, is currently under debate by Yale faculty. The Yale Daily News reports on the recent Yale College faculty meeting where professors expressed their concerns regarding the Yale-NUS project and introduced a resolution stipulating that the Yale-NUS College protect civil liberties and endorse principles of non-discrimination.
The new resolution—spearheaded by Professor Seyla Benhabib and written on behalf of the Yale College faculty—questions the Singaporean government’s treatment of civil rights and political liberties, and “demands” that Yale-NUS “respect, protect, and further the ideals of civil liberties for all minorities, the principles of non-discrimination and full political freedom.”
Among the concerns raised by faculty members is the political climate in Singapore, including Singapore’s law on homosexuality. Additionally, Singapore is not a signatory to a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization convention that bars the theft of cultural property.
The concerns voiced by faculty members over the Yale-NUS project are valid issues. Last week’s Yale College faculty meeting showed that faculty members are unwilling to compromise their values, particularly when it comes to the protection of academic freedom. The initiative taken by faculty members to address their questions should serve as an example: the protection of civil and political liberties must be upheld; concerns must be voiced and initiative taken to resolve those concerns.
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