Franken-Yale: Overseas Expansion by Pelli Clarke Pelli Draws Criticism

Eavesdroplet, International
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
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Pelli Clarke Pelli's design for Yale's new campus in Singapore. (Courtesy Yale-NUS)

Pelli Clarke Pelli’s design for Yale’s new campus in Singapore. (Courtesy Yale-NUS)

Yale University is under fire from its own faculty for a new collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS). Pelli Clarke Pelli is designing the campus of what will be a four-year liberal arts college based in Singapore. A recent Reuters article reported that the project has “stirred sharp criticism from faculty and human-rights advocates who say it is impossible to build an elite college dedicated to free inquiry in an authoritarian nation with heavy restrictions on public speech and assembly.”

Degrees issued by the Singapore-based college, called Yale-NUS, won’t be Yale degrees and technically it’s not considered a Yale branch campus. Yet is Yale guilty of selling out its values—the school’s motto is lux et veritas, “light and truth”—to extend its brand? As Reuters reported, “Christopher Miller, a professor of French and African American studies, has dubbed the venture ‘Frankenyale.’” The faculty began to voice their objections last spring, but may have been too slow on the draw—the new campus is well under construction and set to open this summer.

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