SMU to get new law school dean; youngest to hold the post

Associate Professor Goh Yihan will take over as the new Dean for the SMU School of Law from July.
Associate Professor Goh Yihan will take over as the new Dean for the SMU School of Law from July. PHOTO: SINGAPORE MANAGEMENT UNIVERSITY

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Management University (SMU) will get a new Dean for its School of Law from July. Associate Professor Goh Yihan, who is 35 years old, is the youngest individual to hold the post.

The appointment follows an extensive and rigorous global search that started in September 2016, said SMU.

Associate Professor Goh, who is currently the Associate Dean (Research) at the law school, will succeed Professor Yeo Tiong Min S.C. (Hon) as the dean for a five-year term.

Prof Yeo will remain in the law school as Yong Pung How Chair Professor of Law after standing down from his role as dean.

SMU Provost Professor Lily Kong, who led the international search for the new School of Law's dean, thanked Prof Yeo for his "tremendous commitment, able leadership and immense contributions".

"Professor Yeo has been instrumental in developing School of Law into a leading law school in Singapore and in Asia," she said. 

"Besides building the School into one that distinguishes itself in producing excellent graduates who are well sought-after in the market, he 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 in 2014 and 2015 respectively; both of which are set to make significant contribution to legal research in this part of the world."

Prof Kong added that the incoming dean also has an impressive career, who brings "a deep understanding and knowledge of the School and Singapore law, as well as strong networks and familiar ties with the legal community".

"His admirable maturity and conviction, and his passionate commitment to developing legal education will be a great inspiration for his students and colleagues," she said.

"I am confident that Associate Professor Goh will build upon the good work of Professor Yeo to strengthen SMU School of Law's global reputation and advance the School to even greater heights of excellence and contribution."

Prof Goh has published widely in his fields of expertise, such as contract and torts law. He is also the co-editor of the book Singapore Law :50 Years in the Making, which was published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Singapore's independence and was launched by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon in 2015.

In 2013, in recognition of his invaluable contributions to the development and advancement of Singapore law, he became the youngest recipient of the Singapore Academy of Law's Singapore Law Merit Award.

He is also a board member of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education and the Singapore Judicial College, among other things.

Prof Goh said: "It is an honour to succeed Professor Yeo, who has dedicated himself selflessly to the Deanship for the past five years. Indeed, I am privileged to be given the opportunity to lead the SMU School of Law as it enters a pivotal point of its history 10 years after its initial establishment."

An earlier version of this story mentioned Singapore Institute of Legal Education as Singapore Institute of Legal Studies. This has been corrected.