NUS names Prof Lionel Wee as new dean of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Professor Lionel Wee (left) will take over from Professor Robbie Goh.
Professor Lionel Wee (left) will take over from Professor Robbie Goh.PHOTO: NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - He started as a teaching assistant in 1988 at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and, come Oct 1, Professor Lionel Wee will become its 18th dean.

The university said on Friday (Aug 13) that he will take over from Professor Robbie Goh, who is also co-dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences.

During Prof Goh's four-year-plus tenure, he was key in the setting up of the college. It offers an enhanced undergraduate experience for students of the FASS and Faculty of Science, starting from August this year.

Prof Goh, 56, will be taking leave of absence from the NUS as he takes on the role of provost at the Singapore University of Social Sciences from October.

Said Prof Goh: "It has been a privilege and honour to serve as dean of one of Singapore's largest and most historied faculties. I am grateful to my talented colleagues for all their hard work. I believe that together, we have brought the faculty to new heights of excellence in teaching, research and service."

Prof Wee, 58, who is currently vice-dean of research and a professor of linguistics in the Department of English Language and Literature, has been a faculty member at the FASS since 1988.

He headed the department from 2010 to 2014 before becoming vice-dean in 2014.

In July 2017, he was also designated Provost's Chair Professor for his outstanding scholarly achievements.

Said the university's president, Professor Tan Eng Chye: "NUS is pleased that after a rigorous global search, Prof Lionel Wee has been selected to be the next dean."

He noted that Prof Wee is passionate about high-quality education and research, and has served in many "leadership roles at the department, faculty and university levels".

A linguist, Prof Wee has published widely in international and local journals and will concurrently hold the position of co-dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences.

On his appointment, he said that having spent more than three decades at FASS, both as a student and a faculty member, he has "experienced first-hand the selfless commitment" of his colleagues. He lauded the "impressive insights our students bring to the study of the arts, humanities and social sciences".

"I am confident... we can continue to make significant contributions to society while enhancing our faculty's standing as one of the leading humanities and social sciences faculties in the world."