December 5th, 2011 | University

Levin refutes plans for India campus

Yale will not build a campus in India, Levin says.
Yale will not build a campus in India, Levin says. Photo by James Lu.

According to an interview with Forbes India published today, University President Richard Levin wants to open a campus in India “in the next five years,” so long as certain conditions are met.

But in a Monday night interview with the News, Levin claimed many of his quotes in the Forbes India interview were doctored, and that he has no intentions of opening a degree-granting campus in India.

“All these conclusionary remarks simply aren’t mine,” Levin said. “I don’t speak like that — I’ve never had this happen before.”

Levin’s biggest objection was to his alleged first response. In response to a question about whether Yale might open a campus in India, Forbes India reported that Levin said Yale may consider building a campus in India in the next five years if Yale-NUS is successful and if the Indian Parliament passes its Foreign Universities Bill, which would allow degree-granting institutions from foreign nations to set up campuses in India. He said that the University had such no intentions in the foreseeable future.

In his second response in the interview, Levin allegedly told Forbes that “making more relevant syllabi or courses is so difficult [in India]” because of excessive government regulation. Levin told the News while he did speak about over-regulation, he did not comment on the government’s intrusion on syllabi and courses and that he had no information to suggest that is happening.

Levin said that his actual comments on over-regulation addressed the lack of salary differentiation for Indian professors. He added that his statements in the interview on China’s ability to pay “star faculty” were accurate.

Levin also disputed the last sentence of his penultimate response, in which he allegedly claimed that allowing for-profit universities to come into India would make it “possible for guys to set up campuses without focusing on the quality of education.”

“That sentence is made up,” Levin said. “That doesn’t even sound like me.”

Finally, Levin said the alleged response to the final question was “complete fabrication,” again reiterating that he did not have any information on whether the government was over-regulating syllabi and faculty appointments.