Follow-up on “Transformative Investments in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences”

February 22, 2022

To: FAS and SEAS faculty

Cc: FAS Dean’s Office, FAS Steering, President’s Office, Provost’s Office, GSAS Dean’s Office, Yale College Dean’s Office, FAS and SEAS staff, Faculty Research Management Services, Human Resources, Office of Development, Office of Faculty Administrative Services, Office of Public Affairs and Communication, University Registrar’s Office, Yale Alumni Association, Yale Alumni Magazine

Dear colleagues: 

Earlier today, you received a message from President Salovey and Provost Strobel describing transformative investments in the FAS and SEAS. We are writing to provide further details on what this announcement means for faculty appointments, undergraduate and graduate education, faculty leadership, and the future of the FAS and SEAS.

New faculty and infrastructure; increased local oversight

Today’s news is an exciting and historic development for Yale. Across the FAS and SEAS, we are gaining 45 new ladder faculty slots. These 45 additional positions will supplement the more than 700 positions historically associated with FAS/SEAS or added in recent years through fundraising initiatives, bringing our combined ladder headcount to above 750. This will enable us to enhance in future years our already robust level of ladder faculty recruitment, building research and teaching strengths for the coming decades. Concomitantly, the university’s continuing investment in spaces, staffing, and infrastructure for research and teaching that will be shared across SEAS and the FAS will enable continued faculty collaboration across departments, divisions, and schools.

In addition to news of faculty growth, today’s announcement brings news of enhanced local oversight of planning and resources: the deans of the FAS and SEAS will oversee the respective operating budgets, faculty salaries, faculty start-up packages, and staffing and facilities costs of their units, giving both the FAS and SEAS a greater degree of faculty-directed autonomy. 

Faculty appointments in SEAS

With SEAS’s new organizational structure comes a corresponding change to the organization of faculty appointments.

SEAS faculty will be members of the School of Engineering & Applied Science rather than the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. They will continue to be full members of the Yale College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) faculties and will continue to serve on Yale College and GSAS committees.  Yale College students majoring in a SEAS area of study, and GSAS students pursuing a SEAS-subject degree, will continue to be students of Yale College or the Graduate School, respectively.

The tenure and appointment process for SEAS ladder faculty will continue as currently constituted, requiring approval by the Physical Sciences and Engineering Tenure and Appointments Committee (PSETAC), made up of both FAS and SEAS faculty members. The Joint Boards of Permanent Officers (JBPO), comprising the faculties of Yale College and GSAS (including both FAS and SEAS faculty) will vote on both SEAS and FAS tenure cases. The PSETAC and JBPO will be chaired by the corresponding dean as cases are considered. It is our hope that the body currently functioning as the FAS Senate will continue to represent both faculty in the FAS and faculty in SEAS, as it does now. 

Graduate and undergraduate education in the FAS and SEAS

The commitments announced today will enable us to build on Yale’s existing strengths in graduate and undergraduate education.  As we implement the change to SEAS’s organizational structure, we will ensure that barriers to collaboration and education across schools and departments are minimal. Indeed, as President Salovey and Provost Strobel wrote, we expect that the changes to SEAS will enable it to expand its partnerships across and beyond Yale. Yale College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences are already home to numerous cross-school and cross-divisional programs and majors. These include GSAS programs such as the joint M.S. offered by SEAS and the School of the Environment, joint M.D./Ph.D., J.D./M.A., J.D./Ph.D., and Ph.D./M.B.A. programs offered in collaboration with professional schools; combined programs in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences; combined programs in African American Studies, Film and Media Studies, Renaissance Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and related fields; and others. In Yale College, majors such as Environmental Studies and Urban Studies draw on the expertise of FAS faculty and that of faculty from the professional schools, while joint majors in Computer Science and Math, Computer Science and Psychology, and Computer Science and Economics, are among those that will continue to bridge the scholarship of SEAS faculty and the FAS. We look forward to the new curricular collaborations that will undoubtedly develop as we welcome new colleagues to the faculties of the FAS and SEAS.

There will be no changes to undergraduate admissions and registration processes. Yale College will continue to use a single admissions process, and students will continue to choose their majors at the end of their sophomore year. Yale College courses, whether they are offered by FAS departments, SEAS departments, or jointly, will continue to be open to all students who meet pre-requisite requirements. The FAS, SEAS, Yale College, and GSAS will continue to consult closely on Teaching Fellow allocations, and work together with staff across these units to provide common support and information. 


In the coming days, Dean Gendler will convene a faculty committee to help identify candidates for the next FAS Dean of Science. The new Dean of Science will work side-by-side with Dean Brock to sustain the longstanding partnerships and community already in place across FAS Science and SEAS, and will nurture the growth of the FAS’s Science departments in the coming years. Both the new FAS Dean of Science and Dean Brock will continue to collaborate with FAS Dean of Humanities Kathryn Lofton, FAS Acting Dean of Social Science Steven Wilkinson, GSAS Dean Lynn Cooley, and Marvin Chun’s successor as Dean of Yale College to foster the ongoing excellence in research and teaching in the FAS and at Yale more broadly. We look forward to sharing more details with you as the search for the next FAS Dean of Science progresses.

In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to provide updates on these changes and their implementation. If you have questions, we encourage faculty to attend the Yale College Faculty Meeting on Thursday, March 3, where a portion of the agenda will be dedicated to this topic. In the near future, there will also be structured opportunities for staff to receive answers to their questions.

With great excitement and warmest wishes,

Tamar and Jeff

Tamar Szabó Gendler
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Jeffrey Brock
Dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science