December 8th, 2012 | University

NCAC joins AAUP in criticizing Yale-NUS

The Yale-NUS campus design aims to integrate elements of Yale’s collegiate style and traditional Singaporean features.
The Yale-NUS campus design aims to integrate elements of Yale’s collegiate style and traditional Singaporean features. Photo by Yale-NUS.

The National Coalition Against Censorship — an association of over 50 American nonprofit organizations dedicated to upholding freedom of expression — co-signed the American Association of University Professors’ open letter expressing concern that the establishment of Yale-NUS College would undermine the University’s commitment to academic freedom.

In a separate statement entitled “NCAC Supports AAUP’s Concern Over Yale Campus in Singapore” published on NCAC’s website yesterday, the Coalition urges the University to answer “some tough questions” about its plan to found a liberal arts college in an authoritarian state.

AAUP, a member of the coalition, included in its open letter a list of specific questions, such as whether members of the Singaporean college community will be subjected to Singapore’s Internet firewalls and monitoring systems, and whether speakers invited to campus will be affected by restrictions on visitors to Singapore.

“There’s been a lot of double-talk from Yale officials about free speech and academic freedom at [Yale-NUS College],” Joan Bertin, executive director of NCAC and consultant to AAUP’s committee on academic freedom and tenure, said in the statement.

Bertin called statements from Yale officials regarding the Singaporean liberal arts college “simply disingenuous and nonsensical.” If Yale creates a satellite campus that does not “honor the most basic principles of higher education,” Bertin said, other institutions might soon follow in its footsteps.

Yale-NUS President Pericles Lewis has told the News previously that Yale-NUS College is committed to upholding academic freedom. The new college will welcome its inaugural class of roughly 150 in fall 2013.