University Provost’s Senior Faculty Hiring Initiative

May 14th, 2012

From: Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Outstanding faculty are at the heart of a great university, and the expansion of our already strong faculty is central to our goal of enhancing the quality and stature of Boston University. In order to accelerate our progress and allow us to develop rapidly in new directions, I am announcing the availability of central funds to enable the hiring of exceptional senior faculty who will bring distinction to BU, and who will substantially enhance the University’s standing in core disciplines and important interdisciplinary fields. These recruitments will be an important addition to our regular planned searches as we work to advance the strategic mission of Boston University.

The Senior Faculty Hiring Initiative will support the recruitment of up to 15 extraordinary new faculty members. The expectation is that these appointments will be made at the full professor level, although in exceptional cases, appointments at the associate professor level will be considered. The faculty hired through this initiative must clearly demonstrate a sustained record of excellence and achievement, as well as represent the potential to serve a transformative role at Boston University.

Individuals from all fields, representing the full range of the University’s disciplinary breadth on both the Charles River and Medical Campus, are eligible for consideration. Primary appointments will be on the Charles River Campus with joint appointments on the Medical Campus, where appropriate. Successful interdisciplinary candidates will normally have joint appointments in more than one school or college, and should demonstrate the capacity to make substantive contributions in those affiliated academic units. Candidates who bring diversity to the University may be especially transformative.

Nominations for compelling candidates will be considered on a rolling basis and may be submitted by individual faculty, groups of faculty, departments, centers or institutes, and academic deans. Nominations should include: 1) a 1-2 page description of the major contributions that the individual has made to research and scholarship in his/her field and a thoughtful articulation of the ways in which the individual would expand our capabilities and advance the University’s standing; 2) the CV of the nominee; and 3) a brief statement from the relevant dean(s) regarding the nomination. Nominations should be submitted in electronic format to the Office of Provost at

To guide the process of selecting promising nominations to move forward for serious consideration, I have established a committee of faculty leaders from a wide array of disciplines. I am grateful to the faculty members who have agreed to serve on the Senior Faculty Hiring Initiative Advisory Committee for their willingness to play a crucial role in guiding this important initiative. The list of committee members is below.

The committee will review all nominations and will be asked to provide me with 1) an assessment of whether the nominee meets the high standard of distinction that is required for appointment through this initiative, and 2) an assessment of the nominee’s potential to advance the University’s standing in strategically significant ways. If after careful review, I conclude that further consideration of the nomination is appropriate, I will initiate discussions with the appropriate dean(s) to develop a recruitment plan. All candidates will be subject to the normal review process for senior faculty appointments from outside the University.

The highly selective recruitment of distinguished senior faculty is an important component of our efforts to grow and sustain a rich intellectual environment for students, support the development of junior faculty, and enhance the national and international reputation of Boston University.

Senior Faculty Hiring Initiative Advisory Committee

  • Lynne Allen, Professor and Director, School of Visual Arts, College of Fine Arts
  • Margrit Betke, Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Computer Science, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Matt Cartmill, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Anthropology, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Jim Collins, William F. Warren Distinguished Professor, University Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Barbara Corkey, Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry, Zoltan Kohn Professor of Medicine, Vice Chair for Research, Department of Gastroenterology, School of Medicine
  • Wendy Gordon, Professor of Law, William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor, School of Law
  • Gene Jarrett, Professor and Chair, Department of English, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Dana Robert, Professor, Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission, Director of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission, School of Theology
  • Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Venkat Venkatraman, David J. McGrath, Jr. Professor in Management, Department of Information Systems, School of Management

University Provost’s Senior Faculty Hiring Initiative – 5.14.12

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