story Annie Wang, Contributing Reporter, and Scott Currie, Staff Writer

Tenure - Photograph by David Zhang-1

The inaugural faculty of Yale-NUS will undergo their third-year review this semester. (David Zhang)


Within three years of opening its doors to the Class of 2017, Yale-NUS College has completed the third-year review for most of the inaugural faculty members. The criteria not only place equal emphasis on teaching and research, but also take into consideration the faculty member’s service to the institution.

Offering tenure to professors gives them the assurance of salary, stability and more freedom in carrying out their research. The acquisition of tenure follows a strict and lengthy process of assessment  to ensure that the best choices are made. The criteria by which faculty members are judged will determine who will remain and the kind of students Yale-NUS will produce.

This process of the third-year review occurs three years into faculty’s initial four-year contract, and determines whether or not they get a second contract that lasts for three years. Two years into their second contract and six years after the initial hire, the faculty member undergoes a final tenure review. Records of their research, teaching and services conducted at the college will be submitted during these two reviews.

If the second review is successful, faculty will be offered a tenure contract, which allows them to remain for an indefinite period of time. If they fail to secure a second contract or tenure, they will have one year to find employment elsewhere, as there is no third contract. Members who are tenured at Yale-NUS will also receive tenure at the National University of Singapore, according to President Pericles Lewis. Each tenured appointment must also be given final approval by the Provosts of both Yale University and NUS, although Yale-NUS has “standards [that are] somewhat different from those of our parents because we are a different kind of institution,” according to Dean of Faculty Charles Bailyn.

The tenure review takes three elements into consideration: research, teaching and service. The research and teaching criteria are given equal weight and will be considered flexibly by the Appointments Committee, which is responsible for recommending individuals for tenure. The service element consists of activities such as student advising or service on committees. While it is important, the service component is weighted less than the other two, according to Mr. Lewis.

Hunter Cuming Shaw ’18 said he believes that greater consideration should be given to those who are “integral to the Yale-NUS community”, otherwise the school risks losing “great, charismatic professors”.

However, Mr. Lewis stated that although faculty will not “get tenure because [they are] good citizens”, it could be a “factor in a borderline case”.

It is important to note that the particularity of Yale-NUS as a new institution also affects its review and tenure process. The teaching load is heavier than in other schools as it includes curriculum development.

“The expectation for research has to be modified given the amount of teaching,” Mr. Bailyn said. He said that although quantity may be impacted, the quality is expected to remain. While the committee reads the faculty’s work themselves, , it also sends for external review letters to better evaluate the impact of faculty’s work. These are letters from professionals outside of Yale-NUS in the same field as the faculty member.

As a residential liberal arts college and not a research university, Yale-NUS takes great pride in being “really available to students” and committed to teaching, which makes the school unlikely to produce the same amount of research as a research university, said Assistant Professor in Social Sciences (Sociology) Anju Mary Paul.

Third year review for the inaugural faculty members is expected to be completed by the end of the semester.

Correction: A previous version of the article misstated that tenure and contract renewal will be implemented for the first time. In fact, most of the inaugural batch of faculty members have already undergone their third year review. The article has been updated to reflect this change. The article was updated on Sept. 15 at 11.17 pm.

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