Yale-NUS looks to seniors for fellowship

Yale-NUS is now accepting applications from Yale seniors interested in becoming dean’s fellows at the college.

The dean’s fellows will serve as student counselors in the Singaporean liberal arts college and live in the Yale-NUS residential colleges along with students. Yale-NUS Dean of Students Kyle Farley said students with American liberal arts college backgrounds will fill five of the 10 dean’s fellowships, and Singaporeans will fill the remaining five positions. Though Farley said most of the fellowships reserved for students graduating from U.S. institutions will be awarded to Yale alumni, he added that he hopes a few will be filled by alumni of small liberal arts colleges.

“It would be nice to have some Yale graduates for the sake of continuity, so that some of the things we do successfully here at Yale can also be done at Yale-NUS,” Yale-NUS President Pericles Lewis said. “For instance, the sense of the residential colleges as a place where students have a lasting community, and the college as one of the hubs of extracurricular life on campus are some aspects we would like to preserve.”

The job advertisement for the position, posted to a Singaporean job search website, lists mentoring and counseling Yale-NUS students, organizing extracurricular activities and serving as special assistant to an office at Yale-NUS as the duties of a dean’s fellow. The posting also states that Yale-NUS will prefer candidates with experience in community service, athletics, extracurricular activities or other areas of student affairs.

Lewis and Farley said the dean’s fellows who graduated from Yale will not be hired in order to replicate Yale culture on the Singaporean college’s campus but are rather intended to facilitate the creation of a new campus culture that will share some aspects of Yale’s culture, such as the residential college lifestyle.

Marvin Chun, chair of the Yale-NUS Advisory Committee, said administrators at the college decided to establish the dean’s fellowship in part because of the success of the freshman counselor program at Yale.

At an information session about the position in the Yale-NUS office on York Street Office Tuesday evening, Chun told an audience of roughly 30 students that the dean’s fellows are going be trained next June following a program similar to that of the freshman counselors. He added that Farley will lead the training program.

Chun stressed that the dean’s fellowship will be a full-time job, unlike the freshman counselor position at Yale.

“The [dean’s fellowship] basically consists of being a freshman counselor half the time and doing very exciting office work the rest,” he said.

Chun said the dean’s fellows, to be hired for a one-year term with the possibility of an extension, will receive free room and board and a stipend. Though Chun said he cannot give an estimate for the amount of the stipend yet, the Yale-NUS administration is aiming to make the position “competitive with comparable positions.”

Chun told the News that he expects the application process to be “quite competitive” given student turnout at the information session. Farley said he has already received plenty of applications and letters of interest from current Yale students, recent alumni, Princeton-in-Asia alumni and Singaporeans.

During a Q-and-A session following Tuesday night’s presentation, some attendees addressed the controversy surrounding students’ rights on the Yale-NUS campus.

“What is very clear is that freedom of expression is very strongly protected and enhanced by the charter of the institution,” Chun said, adding that students will not be able to form groups that “promote religious strife” or branches of existing political parties in Singapore.

Kirie Stromberg ’13, who was at the session, said she is considering the position in part because “East Asia is the place to be right now.”

“It was interesting to hear that there would be more freedom on campus than in Singapore at large,” she said. “It seems like it will be a special zone. I don’t know if that would or wouldn’t work, but it’s attractive to me.”

The dean’s fellows will begin their positions on June 1, 2013.

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