Some of you may wonder what a Provost is. In short, the Provost is the Chief Academic Officer. Just as technology firms have chief information officers and hospitals have chief medical officers, universities also typically appoint someone to take overall charge of academic matters. Let me contextualize this to the NUS. Our university is organized along similar lines to that of many other established universities. We have departments, such as History, or Chemistry, which are led by Department Heads. Departments belong to Faculties or Schools. The NUS comprises 12 Faculties and Schools, each of which is led by a Dean. The Deans in turn, report to the Provost.
My day to day work scope can be broadly categorized in 3 areas, namely education, student life and academic personnel. Education encompasses the entire spectrum spanning admissions, scholarships and financial aid, graduation, teaching quality and curricular requirements for all undergraduate and graduate degree courses that the NUS offers. Vice Provosts Prof Bernard Tan and Prof Ashraf Kassim, as well as Associate Provosts Prof Chng Huang Hoon and Prof Erle Lim assist me for undergraduate education matters, and Vice Provost Prof Brenda Yeoh helps me with graduate education matters. For student life, I work with Vice Provost Prof Bernard Tan and Associate Provost Prof Florence Ling to oversee student housing and welfare, non-curricular activities, and the new University Town project. Lastly, I am also in charge of all personnel matters relating to academic staff, from appointments, promotions to development and performance management. Vice Provost Prof Phoon Kok Kwang helps me in this area.