JY Pillay appointed SMU chancellor

Singapore Management University has appointed former top civil servant J Y Pillay as its new chancellor.
Singapore Management University has appointed former top civil servant J Y Pillay as its new chancellor.PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Former top civil servant J Y Pillay has been appointed the chancellor of Singapore Management University (SMU), the university announced on Thursday.

He takes over from Mr Yong Pung How, who was Singapore's chief justice from 1990 to 2006.

Mr Pillay's appointment, made by the Minister for Education, will take effect from Sept 1 for a term of five years.

As chancellor, he will be the key university official who presides over all major formal ceremonies involving the university. He will also the top ceremonial officer at convocation, SMU's inauguration ceremony for freshmen, and commencement.

Formerly the pro-chancellor of SMU, Mr Pillay, 81, has served in the administrative service and was permanent secretary in the finance, defence and national development ministries.

He was the chairman of the Singapore Exchange from 1999 to 2010 and has also served as managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation. Under his leadership, Singapore Airlines became a global player.

In January, Mr Pillay was reappointed as the chairman of the Presidential Council of Advisers by President Tony Tan.

Mr Pillay is also one of the three Members of the university, the others being SMU Board of Trustees chairman Ho Kwon Ping and Lee Foundation's Dr Lee Seng Tee.

The Members are key stakeholders of the university and play an important role in the university's overall governance structure. Their approval is required for any changes to SMU's constitution.

Said SMU's president Arnould De Meyer: "Mr Pillay brings with him deep perspectives and a wealth of knowledge that will help in our efforts to develop SMU as a leading global university centred in Asia."