Global Liberal Arts

Dr. Penprase is actively studying how the liberal arts and sciences are being re-envisioned in a global context. He is currently Dean of Faculty at Soka University of America, in Aliso Viejo, and has been working with leading liberal arts programs across the world to create new programs and models of globalized liberal arts. This work most recently resulted in a conference at Soka University of America in June 2018, entitled “Globalizing the Liberal Arts” that featured leaders from over 44 liberal arts colleges in 12 countries to engage in discussions about the latest developments in liberal arts in 2018.  The work follows previous efforts in Singapore at Yale-NUS College and in India to develop and study liberal arts in Asia. During January 2014, he co-organized the “Future of Liberal Arts and Sciences in India” conference in January 2014. For more information about the event, please visit the conference website here. A sequel to this meeting in March of 2015 brought together leaders from across India and North America to the campuses of Ashoka University, O.P. Jindal Global University, and to the University of Chicago center in New Delhi. The web site for that conference is A third “Future of Liberal Arts and Sciences in India was hosted at Symbiosis University in Pune, India, and the web site for that meeting is at . Our Fourth Future of Liberal Arts and Sciences in India conference is tentatively planned to be hosted by Raman Research Institute in Bangalore in January 2019.

Previously, Dr. Penprase was a Professor of Science (Physics and Astrophysics) at Yale-NUS College, Singapore, and the founding Director of the Yale-NUS College Centre for Teaching and Learning. Dr. Penprase co-authored the Yale-NUS College curriculum report, which outlined the basis for the Yale-NUS College common curriculum as a member of the inaugural curriculum committee at Yale-NUS College in 2012-2013.

While at Yale-NUS, Dr. Penprase worked to develop global liberal arts conferences, and to develop an agenda to help link Yale-NUS and Yale University with new initiatives in teaching and learning and in research. One effort was to construct a web site with a map of global liberal arts initiatives at One of the first steps in this effort was a Symposium and Workshop on Innovative Liberal Arts at Yale University on June 6-9, 2016. This meeting was entitled “Globalizing the Liberal Arts” and was co-sponsored by the Luce and Teagle Foundations.  During the 2016-17 academic year, an Asian meeting on liberal arts and sciences and teaching and learning will be developed for Yale-NUS College for March of 2017.

Some of his other work includes two essays – one on India and its higher education system, and another on the founding of Yale-NUS College. During the Shanghai Harvard Center meeting entitled a “Global Dialog on Liberal Arts and Science Education” on May 20-21, 2015, I presented a talk on Indian liberal arts and sciences, and the STEM education at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. This talk has been converted into a written piece entitled “New Liberal Arts and Science Institutions in India and Singapore – the role of STEM Education” which will be published in The Liberal Arts and Science Education Dialogue across Continents: Experiences and Perspectives from the USA, Europe, and Asia, Palgrave Macmillan. Here is the link to that paper: