Welcome to our new FAS ladder faculty (August 24, 2020)

[Summary: This message welcomes the 30 new ladder faculty will join the FAS in the 2020-21 academic year, and provides an update on FAS ladder faculty headcount and demographics.]

Dear FAS Faculty,

As we begin a new academic year, I am delighted to introduce you to the newest members of our ladder faculty. A total of 30 new ladder colleagues will join us this year: 27 this fall, and 3 more in January. I hope you will join me in welcoming these extraordinary new colleagues to the Yale community.

A full list of our new ladder colleagues can be found here. You will find Egyptologists and economists, anthropologists and applied physicists, molecular biologists and mathematicians, and much between. Some join us fresh from graduate school; others come to Yale after long and distinguished careers. All are engaged in field-shaping research that expands the horizons of their disciplines, committed to outstanding teaching within and beyond the classroom, and eager to join the work of faculty governance that sustains the university.

While we ordinarily wait until October to provide an update on faculty demographics and headcount (the record-keeping systems that we use to track such data close their books on October 1), because of unusual efforts during this unusual summer, we are in the unusual position of already having provisional data.  

So, with the proviso that the numbers below may shift by one or two in the final headcount, I am happy to share with you the report below.

Welcoming New FAS Ladder Faculty

The number of ladder faculty in the FAS has shown net growth for the third consecutive year: we begin the Fall 2020 semester with 692 ladder faculty (vs. 683 in Fall 2019 and 659 in 2018).

In total, 30 ladder faculty have joined or will be joining the FAS during the 2020-2021 academic year, including 10 new faculty in the Humanities, 11 in Social Science, and 9 in Science and the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). Of these, 27 joined the FAS rolls in July 2020; 3 of our 9 new colleagues in Science and SEAS will join us in January 2021. An additional 10 faculty have already committed to joining the FAS in July 2021, including 6 in Humanities, 2 in Social Science, and 2 in Science and SEAS.

Of the 30 ladder faculty who joined or will join the FAS in 2020-21, 12 are tenured (11 Full Professors, 1 Associate Professor with Tenure), and 18 are untenured (1 Associate Professor on Term, 17 Assistant Professors). Of the additional 10 faculty who have already committed to joining the FAS in July 2021, 3 are tenured at the Full Professor level and 7 are untenured Assistant Professors.

Departing FAS Ladder Faculty

During the 2019-2020 academic year, 27 ladder faculty departed the FAS through death (2), retirement (13), resignation (4), or conclusion of their term appointment (8). These included 13 in Humanities, 6 in Social Science, and 8 in Science and SEAS.  

Of the 27 ladder faculty who departed the FAS since July 2019, 19 were Full Professors, 3 were Associate Professors on Term, and 5 were Assistant Professors.

[How, you may ask, did the faculty size grow by 9 if we had 27 departures and 30 arrivals? Because the 27 departures are measured from July 2019 to July 2020, whereas the 30 arrivals are measured from January 2020 to January 2021. If we look at arrivals July to July, there are 36: 9 faculty who joined us at the beginning last semester (in January 2020), and 27 who have just joined us this fall (in July 2020.)]

Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Faculty

The FAS remains committed to advancing excellence in research and teaching by recruiting and retaining faculty who bring excellence and diversity to our community. I am pleased to report that over the last seven years, the FAS has shown growth along a number of key dimensions.  

Since Fall 2014, the FAS has seen net increases in the number of ladder faculty who self-identify as non-white or as a member of an underrepresented minority (URM): net totals of 13 URM faculty and 40 non-URM non-white faculty have joined our ranks since then. Fall 2020 has seen the largest net increase in both groups to date. We begin the academic year with net increases of 8 URM faculty and 10 non-URM non-white faculty. These numbers account for all arrivals and departures since Fall 2019; among the cohort of new faculty who joined us on July 1, 2020, 25% (8) identify as URM, and 25% (8) identify as non-URM non-white.  

Since Fall 2014, the FAS faculty has seen a net increase of 32 faculty members who identify as female or gender non-conforming. Gender distribution among cohorts of incoming faculty has approached parity in recent years: in 5 of the past 7 years, the ratio has been between 45/55 and 55/45.

Building a diverse and excellent faculty requires engagement and involvement by many members of the community: department chairs, search committee members, and those who have served on the advisory committees that have helped identify and implement best practices. Particular credit is due to Larry Gladney, Phyllis A. Wallace Dean of Diversity and Faculty Development in the FAS, who oversees efforts to ensure that all FAS faculty searches draw diverse candidate pools.


As we welcome our new ladder faculty colleagues to the community, I am grateful again to all of you for your efforts as we prepare for the fall semester.  

I look forward to our work together in the months ahead.

With gratitude,


Tamar Szabó Gendler
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Vincent J. Scully Professor of Philosophy
Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science