Goh Yihan will be youngest dean to head SMU law school from July

Associate Professor Goh Yihan (above), who has won six teaching awards in his eight-year teaching career and was the top law graduate at NUS in 2006, will succeed Professor Yeo Tiong Min as dean and serve a five-year term.
Associate Professor Goh Yihan (above), who has won six teaching awards in his eight-year teaching career and was the top law graduate at NUS in 2006, will succeed Professor Yeo Tiong Min as dean and serve a five-year term.PHOTO: SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

Prof Goh, 35, was also the youngest recipient of the Singapore Law Merit Award in 2013

The new head of the Singapore Management University's School of Law, at age 35, is the youngest to hold the post.

Associate Professor Goh Yihan will succeed Professor Yeo Tiong Min as dean in July.

Prof Yeo will continue as Yong Pung How Chair Professor of Law at the law school.

Prof Goh, who is currently the Associate Dean (Research), was appointed after an "extensive and rigorous" global head-hunting search that began in September, and will serve a five-year term, said SMU yesterday.

SMU Provost Lily Kong noted the impressive career and background of the incoming dean. "In Associate Professor Goh, we have a new dean who brings a deep understanding and knowledge of the school and Singapore law, as well as strong networks and familiarities with the legal community," she said.

LEADING WITH GRACE

I am privileged to be given the opportunity to lead the school... I will approach the deanship in the way I have done so in my career thus far: focused on doing my level best and being of service to others."

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR GOH YIHAN, on his new appointment.

Professor Kong also lauded Prof Yeo "for his tremendous commitment, able leadership and immense contributions."

She said he was instrumental in building up the law school, a leading faculty in Singapore and Asia.

Prof Yeo also spearheaded the establishment of the Centre for Cross-Border Business Law in Asia and the Applied Research Centre for Intellectual Assets and the Law in Asia, both contributing to law research in this region.

As a well-recognised and active expert in the legal profession, Prof Goh brings to his new role a blend of academic and research achievements and legal experience.

He is also a prolific researcher, having published widely in his fields of expertise. He co-edited Singapore Law: 50 Years In The Making, launched by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon in 2015.

In 2013, the Singapore Academy of Law made him the youngest recipient of the Singapore Law Merit Award for his contributions.

Besides stellar academic success, which includes being the top law graduate in 2006 from the National University of Singapore, he also bagged six teaching awards in his eight-year teaching career.

He said yesterday he felt "honoured" to succeed Prof Yeo, who had dedicated himself selflessly to the post for the last five years.

"I am privileged to be given the opportunity to lead the school at a pivotal point of its history, 10 years after it started," he added.

"I will approach the deanship in the way I have done so in my career thus far: focused on doing my level best and being of service to others. Ultimately, no one, whatever his age, can do this alone. It is a team effort, and I am confident that, with the support of colleagues, students, alumni and stakeholders, we will pursue exciting opportunities for the school."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2017, with the headline 'Youngest dean to head SMU law school from July'. Print Edition | Subscribe