Uncategorized | 6:44 pm | September 23, 2010 | By The Yale Daily News

Prof. takes issue with Yale-NUS partnership

Though only about 25 Yale professors attended a meeting Wednesday where they could air their concerns about the proposed Yale-NUS College, some faculty are skeptical of the venture.

Mark Oppenheimer, the coordinator of the Yale Journalism Initiative and a lecturer in political science, uploaded a video of a person being caned by authorities in Singapore onto his blog Thursday. In the post, titled “Yale in Bed With Authoritarian Regime?,” he questioned whether Yale should be involved with a country that bans books and limits freedom of speech.

Oppenheimer said he had written Levin and Yale College Dean Mary Miller to ask about their opinions on caning.

“Let’s be frank: I believe they oppose caning,” he wrote. “But if they cannot say so, or if they think it rude to say so while Yale is negotiating with Singapore, then something has been lost.”

Classics Professor Victor Bers also expressed concerns about the partnership while attending the Wednesday meeting. He talked about a book that is not available in libraries in Singapore. The book, “To catch a Tartar: a dissident in Lee Kuan Yew’s prison,” was published by Yale. It is the autobiography of Singapore’s former solicitor general, who was imprisoned for dissenting with the government and is now in political exile in the United States.

Comments
  • miranker

    I have yet to see any reason offered as to why Yale is doing this — other than platitudes.

    BTW: When you de-plane at Singapore Changi Airport, the very first thing you see is a large poster stating: “Possession or use of Drugs is punishable by Death”.

    Welcome to Singapore.

    GSM ’75

  • leyden

    > He talked about a book that is not
    > available in libraries in Singapore.
    > The book, “To catch a Tartar: a
    > dissident in Lee Kuan Yew’s prison,”
    > was published by Yale.

    A quick search on its online catalogue — available, one hopes, even from Yale! — shows that the book is available in NUS’s Central Library. Strange that someone would go out in the public making bold assertions without even bothering to check. (Sure, sure, it’s your First Amendment right and everything…) Professors used to complain that students mistook online searches for proper research — now it appears professors can’t even be bothered to do an online search…

  • Wowbagger

    NUS owns the book but it cannot be checked out.

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