Former Jonathan Edwards College Dean Kyle Farley will serve as the inaugural dean of students at Yale-NUS College, the school announced Thursday evening.
Farley left Yale in fall 2011 to work at Academies Australasia, an educational group that serves international students studying in Australia. At the time, Farley said his move was partly motivated by his wife’s desire to return to Australia, where her family lives. The day before Wednesday’s announcement, Yale-NUS President Pericles Lewis said the new dean of students will be expected make decisions about how to address Singapore’s restrictions on political parties and public protests, and address any “gray areas” that might be found in Singaporean law.
“He’s been very successful with conflict resolution,” Lewis said of Farley. “The job of any residential college dean is representing students when they go to the Executive Committee, so he’s quite good at representing students and helping them with their needs and so forth.”
JE Master Penelope Laurans also said Farley’s experiences as a residential college dean have prepared him to represent and mentor students “in the midst of crisis,” such as involvement with illegal activities.
Farley said in a Thursday email that he is studying Singaporean history to better understands the country’s laws, and also plans to consult with other U.S. universities with programs in the city-state.
Yale College Deputy Dean Joseph Gordon, who worked with Lewis and Farley on Yale’s Committee on Majors, said Farley has strong “people skills” and has a history of working well with Lewis.
“[I] was impressed by how their collaboration led to the smooth operation of the work of the committee,” Gordon said in a Thursday email. “I saw them develop an easy rhythm of partnership and a deep mutual respect.”
Farley said he could not pass up Yale-NUS’s offer, despite his previous intention to live in Sydney, Australia with his wife and children. He said his family will move with him to Singapore in January.
“We have loved our time here [in Australia], but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at Yale-NUS College: to build a university from the ground up, to bring the liberal arts to Asia and to create a global curriculum,” Farley said in a Thursday email.
Yale-NUS also announced Thursday that Anastasia Vrachnos — former executive director of the Princeton in Asia program, which Lewis compared to the University’s Yale-China Association — will serve as the college’s dean of international and professional experience.
During her tenure at Princeton in Asia, the program doubled its endowment, tripled its participants and started programs in 12 new countries.
“Being dean of international and professional experience, it’s really about outreach and placing people off campus,” Lewis said. “She’s placed a whole lot of Princeton students in very good situations that have been very valuable to them.”
In addition to Farley and Vrachnos, Yale-NUS has two other appointed deans: Dean of Faculty Charles Bailyn and Dean of Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan.
Correction: Oct. 4
A previous version of this article misspelled the name of Yale-NUS Dean of International and Professional Experience Anastasia Vrachnos.