Pericles Lewis, currently the founding president of Yale-NUS College, will assume the combined role of vice president for global strategy and deputy provost for international affairs in the fall of 2017, President Peter Salovey and Provost Ben Polak announced. Lewis will take up the new position at the conclusion of his five-year term in his current post.
This key post within the University Cabinet has been vacant since Linda Lorimer’s retirement in the spring of last year. Lewis’ appointment “will provide renewed and unified focus to a vitally important area of the university,” Salovey and Polak said in letter to Yale faculty and staff announcing the appointment.
“The newly configured dual title of vice president and deputy provost underscores our emphasis on the educational and research missions of the university,” wrote Salovey and Polak. “The position is designed to engage the faculty, ensuring that the broader global initiatives of the university are carried out in service to our academic goals and priorities. Lewis’ charge, first and foremost, will be to sustain and augment Yale’s international presence as a leader in liberal arts education and a world-class research institution. He will work closely with academic colleagues across all of Yale’s schools and provide support and strategic guidance to the many international programs and activities undertaken by our faculty, students, and staff.”
“I am looking forward to working with Pericles, who brings his leadership experience in Singapore to this role,” said Elizabeth Bradley, the Brady-Johnson Professor of Grand Strategy, professor of public health, and faculty director of the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute. “His appointment should help Yale in its endeavors to strengthen liberal arts education globally and engage with international partners throughout the world.”
“A former member of the university community for nearly two decades, Lewis is ideally positioned to take on these responsibilities,” wrote the President and Provost. Lewis joined the Yale faculty in 1998, with appointments in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature, and during his years at Yale was extensively engaged in the academic life of the campus. In addition to departmental administrative duties — as director of undergraduate studies for the literature major, and as director of graduate studies in comparative literature — he served on university committees including the Humanities Degree Committee of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Yale College Committee on Majors, the Humanities Program Executive Committee, and the Advisory Committee on Library Policy. He is widely recognized for his talents and dedication as a teacher (including courses for the Yale in London program and the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, as well as at Yale and Yale-NUS), adviser to students (winning Yale’s Graduate Mentor Award in 2004), and mentor to faculty colleagues — and as an eminent scholar in his field of literary modernism.
His first monograph, “Modernism, Nationalism, and the Novel,” was awarded the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize for outstanding scholarly work by a junior faculty member. He was the founding editor of Yale’s Modernism Lab, an early digital humanities project, and is an editor of The Norton Anthology of World Literature. He earned his B.A. in English literature from McGill University in 1990 and his Ph.D. in comparative literature from Stanford University in 1997.
As founding president of Yale-NUS College — where he also served as professor of humanities, teaching courses on world literature and conducting research on literature and liberal education — Lewis established himself as a respected authority on global arts and sciences education. “Under his leadership, the college developed into the thriving residential liberal arts model envisioned at its inception,” said Salovey and Polak. He oversaw the articulation of the college’s mission, the development of its curriculum, and the recruitment of students, faculty, and staff. Next May, before his departure from Singapore, he will preside at the commencement exercises for Yale-NUS’s first graduating class.
“Pericles Lewis is widely respected by the Yale faculty, and he has accumulated a wealth of knowledge about the global educational and research environments during his time at Yale-NUS. He will be a great addition to the Yale leadership team,” says Ian Shapiro, Sterling Professor of Political Science and the Henry R. Luce Director of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies.
When he returns to New Haven, Lewis will be joined by his wife, Sheila Hayre, a 2002 Yale Law School graduate, and their two children, Siddhartha and Maya — all of whom have lived on the Yale-NUS College campus since 2013.