FAS Faculty Leadership (July 1, 2019)
Dear FAS Colleagues,
As we move formally today into the 2019-20 academic year, I write to offer brief update on leadership within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and to provide preliminary information about the outcome of our faculty recruiting efforts.
Later this summer, when we have had the chance to analyze the numbers more fully, I will write with a more detailed update. But I am pleased to report that, as a result of extraordinary efforts across the FAS as a whole, our Fall 2019 ladder faculty headcount will be some 20 higher than our Fall 2018 ladder headcount, with growth distributed roughly equally across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences and engineering. I am grateful to the numerous faculty across the FAS who devoted time and effort to identifying and recruiting these extraordinary new colleagues.
New FAS Faculty Leadership
As the new academic year begins, we welcome three FAS faculty to new leadership roles: Kathryn Lofton, Professor of American Studies, Religious Studies, History and Divinity, will serve as Acting FAS Dean of the Humanities for the 2019-20 academic year; Debra Fisher, Eugene Higgins Professor of Astronomy and Professor of Statistics and Data Science and of Geology and Geophysics, will serve as Dean of Academic Affairs for the FAS; and Ron Breaker, Sterling Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, will serve as Chair of the Biological Science Advisory Committee for the 2019-20 academic year. Later this summer, we will provide an update on leadership of the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
As Acting FAS Dean of Humanities, Katie Lofton will oversee the 20+ departments and programs in the humanities division of the FAS, as well as several cross-divisional programs that bridge the humanities and other divisions, and will serve as chair of the humanities advisory committee (HAC). For the past five years, this role has been held by Amy Hungerford, Bird White Housum Professor of English and Professor of American Studies, who is stepping down to take on the role of executive vice president and dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University in January.
As Dean of Academic Affairs, Debra Fischer will work with departments and programs across the FAS on issues of departmental culture and climate, and serve as a cross-divisional resource for questions about the FAS tenure and promotion process. For the past five years, this role has been held by Jack Dovidio, Carl Iver Hovland Professor of Psychology and Professor in the ISPS and of Epidemiology, who will move into a part-time role as Senior Advisor to the FAS during 2019-20 as he enters phased retirement.
As Chair of the Biological Science Advisory Committee for 2019-20, Ron Breaker will oversee the tenure and promotion cases in the biological sciences, and chair the associated advisory committee. For the past two years, this role has been held by Paul Turner, Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, who also served as FAS Dean of Science for three of those four semesters, and who will be taking a richly deserved leave during Fall 2019.
Continuing FAS Faculty Leadership
I am delighted that the remainder of our FAS faculty leadership team remains in place.
Larry Gladney, Professor of Physics, continues in his role as Phyllis A. Wallace Dean of Diversity and Faculty Development. Alan Gerber, Charles C. & Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of Political Science; Professor of Economics, of Statistics and Data Science, of Health Policy and Management (Public Health), and in the ISPS, continues in his role as FAS Dean of Social Science, overseeing the departments and programs in the social science division of the FAS, as well as several cross-divisional programs, and chairing the social science advisory committee (SSAC). Jeffrey Brock, Professor of Mathematics continues in his role as FAS Dean of Science, overseeing the departments and programs in the biological and physical sciences areas in the FAS. Pieter van Dokkum, Sol Goldman Family Professor of Astronomy and Professor of Physics, continues in his role as Chair of the Physical Science and Engineering Advisory Committee (PSEAC).
I am grateful to all of these colleagues who have chosen to devote their talents and energies to the service of the FAS community. We are all the beneficiaries of their generosity and commitment.
I send my best wishes for the summer, and I look forward to seeing you when we return to campus this fall.
Tamar Szabó Gendler
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Vincent J. Scully Professor of Philosophy
Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science