School officials said offers have already been made to 18 prospective faculty members. Departments in the School of Arts and Sciences are planning to hire as many as 40 new faculty members by the end of the semester, school officials said last week. SAS Dean Samuel Preston said the hirings will be focused mainly in the departments targeted in the SAS Strategic Plan released last spring -- Biology, Economics, English, History, Political Science and Psychology -- with each acquiring as many as four new faculty members, including junior and senior professors. The strategic plan specified these six departments as ones deserving increased faculty appointments and funding. Offers have already been made to 18 prospective faculty members, Preston said, with more expected in the next few weeks. Each candidate must be approved by a series of committees and administrators, with final approval granted by the Provost's Staff Conference, which generally makes decisions through the middle of May. Preston said it is unlikely that all 40 authorized positions will be filled, adding that he would be "very happy" if 32 new professors were hired. The Political Science Department, which has struggled in recent years to recruit senior faculty members, is working to recruit as many as four senior professors and one junior professor this year, according to Chairman Ian Lustick. "We're recruiting in many areas, but primarily in American politics and political theory this year," he said. "In every one of our sub-fields, we want to add strength." He said the department is making an offer to an "outstanding" junior professor in political theory. And Preston added that the department is "pursuing vigorously three senior faculty members," still noting that ultimately they may hire "as many as four and as few as zero." The small size of Penn's Political Science faculty -- with fewer than two dozen professors -- makes it difficult to recruit senior professors who are looking to join faculties with many colleagues in their own area of specialization, Lustick said. "We have been very successful in recruiting people at the junior level," he noted. He said he hoped to get more junior-level authorizations in the future to build on this strength. The Political Science Department hired three new faculty members last year, including two senior professors. Last week, JosZ Antonio Cheibub, a junior professor, announced he would leave for Yale University this fall. Cheibub said the department was not recruiting enough new faculty in his specialty -- comparative politics -- while Yale has brought in several new professors over the past few years. The Chemistry Department, which until last year had faced difficulties in recruiting senior professors, is recruiting one senior faculty member and no junior professors this year. Chemistry Chairman Hai-Lung Dai said the department, which has 32 faculty members, currently has one candidate under serious consideration, adding, "We are not at the stage of offers yet." The department hired two senior and two junior professors last year and has not lost any of its faculty members to other universities in the past three years, Dai said. The Economics Department is looking to recruit as many as five faculty members this year, though Acting Economics Department Chairman Kenneth Wolpin noted that tough competition for senior professors with other schools may mean that fewer than five will be hired. "We currently have three senior offers out," he said. "All of the senior people we have offers out to have offers from other institutions." Two offers have been made for junior professorships, and one has been accepted by a recent doctoral graduate from the University of Wisconsin specializing in international trade. The Economics Department will not see any faculty departures this year, though it almost lost Professor Frank Diebold, a senior faculty member, to New York University's Stern School of Business earlier this year. After initially accepting an offer from NYU, Diebold decided to stay at Penn. And History Department Chairwoman Lynn Hollen Lees said her department is planning to recruit as many as two junior and two senior professors this year, some in conjunction with other SAS departments. The department has already made a long-term arrangement for Roger Chartier, a professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etude en Sciences Sociales in Paris, to be the Annenberg Visiting Professor of History starting next year. Chartier, an expert in early-modern French cultural history, will divide his time between Paris and Philadelphia for the first few years of his appointment.Comments powered by Disqus
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