SMU to get new dean of students from July 1

After sociologist Paulin Straughan takes over as dean of students, Professor Ong Siow Heng will become SMU's dean of international affairs.
After sociologist Paulin Straughan takes over as dean of students, Professor Ong Siow Heng will become SMU's dean of international affairs.
After sociologist Paulin Straughan takes over as dean of students, Professor Ong Siow Heng will become SMU's dean of international affairs.
After sociologist Paulin Straughan takes over as dean of students, Professor Ong Siow Heng will become SMU's dean of international affairs.

Sociologist Paulin Straughan, who has more than two decades of experience with tertiary students, has been appointed the next dean of students at the Singapore Management University (SMU).

From July 1, she will take over from Professor Ong Siow Heng, 56, who will be appointed to a new role as dean of international affairs.

Associate Professor Straughan, 54, will be leaving the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She was a Nominated Member of Parliament from 2009 to 2011. Prof Straughan, who will concurrently be professor of sociology (practice) at SMU's School of Social Sciences, said: "SMU is a young, vibrant university that is firmly grounded in a very strong student-centric ethos. I am looking forward to getting to know our students and to add value to their tertiary experience."

Prof Ong, the dean of students since 2011, will focus on promoting SMU's global profile and reputation. He said: "I hope to help profile (SMU's) strengths internationally, and represent the exceptional calibre of our faculty's thought leadership and research, as well as the high quality of our students' competencies, values and abilities to impact society positively."

SMU Provost Lily Kong said Prof Ong has "passionately encouraged and supported student empowerment and student life" as dean of students. She also noted that the university will benefit from Prof Straughan's wealth of experience working with students within and outside the classroom.

Calvin Yang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 14, 2017, with the headline 'SMU to get new dean of students from July 1'. Print Edition | Subscribe