Basic Life Sciences Faculty Hiring Initiative: Joint Charles River Campus-School of Medicine Faculty Recruitment Opportunity

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

Request for Proposals: Joint Faculty Hiring in the Basic Life Sciences in the Medical School, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Engineering

This hiring initiative builds upon the recommendations of the Committee on the Basic Life Sciences. This is a new opportunity to identify, recruit and hire outstanding faculty members who can contribute simultaneously to the research and teaching mission of the School of Medicine, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the College of Engineering in the fields of the basic life sciences. Proposals are due by May 1, 2019.

Faculty recruited through this initiative will have:

  • Primary laboratory space at the School of Medicine;
  • A faculty office on both campuses;
  • A true joint appointment which would include tenure or a tenure-track appointment in a department on the Charles River Campus and a rolling faculty appointment in the Medical School; and
  • Ongoing teaching expectations on both campuses.

To facilitate these recruitments, the University Provost will provide:

  • A new faculty “slot” for the Charles River Campus College to accommodate the recruitment;
  • Substantial start-up funding; and
  • Funding for lab renovations as necessary at the School of Medicine.

Level of potential hires:

  • Assistant Professor level hires will be given preference
  • Proposals for outstanding senior level searches (Associate Professor/Professor) will be considered
  • “Open level” searches will not be approved; the individuals identified through an approved search must match the level at which the search was approved

Process for submitting a proposal:

  1. Faculty members and/or Department Chairs in one of the Basic Life Sciences departments in the Medical School (Anatomy & Neurobiology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, or Physiology & Biophysics) and one (or more) of the relevant departments in the College of Arts & Sciences and/or the College of Engineering should first identify a strategic rationale for this particular form of joint appointment and determine how it will benefit the units on both campuses. A possible hire should only be proposed through this initiative when it presents a unique opportunity to foster collaborative work across campuses that extends well beyond the individual who is to be recruited.
  2. The joint proposers from the two campuses should develop a rationale for a faculty search in memo form, addressed to the University Provost, that includes:
    • The strategic benefits of the proposed faculty hire;
    • The expected teaching responsibilities;
    • A mentoring plan to provide support for what could be a challenging situation, especially for an Assistant Professor;
    • A plan, developed in consultation with the Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion and/or with other local experts, to conduct an inclusive search that describes how a diverse applicant and interview pool will be built;
    • An approximation of the one-time start-up costs;
    • Identification of proposed laboratory and office space; and
    • Initial estimates of renovation costs for the space developed with the assistance of Amy Barrett, Assistant Provost for Space Planning.

    The memo should be no more than 5 pages long, using 12-point font. The completed memo should be submitted by email to Laura Jenks, Chief of Staff to the Provost, at

  3. “Cluster” hires:  We recognize the benefits of recruiting faculty into these new types of positions in a cohort or cluster model. Therefore, proposals for simultaneous recruitment of up to three faculty members will be considered. However, because of the prodigious costs of three simultaneous recruitments in the basic life sciences, the strategic rationale must be truly extraordinary and a significant cost share with the recruiting units will be required.
  4. The search proposal should be developed in consultation with the relevant deans who will work with the proposers in an iterative fashion to help craft strong, realistic proposals, in line with the hiring priorities of the school or college.
  5. Proposals that are supported by the deans on both campuses will be reviewed by a small cross-campus team of experienced senior faculty, chaired by the University Provost, to determine which ones have highest priority and likelihood of success in a given search cycle.
  6. It is likely that these searches, once approved, may run for more than one year, given the complexities of this joint recruitment mechanism. We do not anticipate having more than three such searches active at any one time.
  7. Final approval to commence a search under this mechanism will be made in late August, in coordination with the approval of regular CRC faculty searches.
  8. Because of the significant central support provided, the final decision to approve a faculty search under this mechanism resides with the University Provost.
  9. Julie Sandell, Senior Associate Provost, is available to answer any questions throughout the proposal process.

Basic Life Sciences Faculty Hiring Initiative – Joint Charles River Campus-School of Medicine Faculty Recruitment Opportunity – 2.20.19

Report and Findings of the Task Force on Evaluating Teaching

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer,
Dr. Beth Loizeaux, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs,
and Dr. Daniel Kleinman, Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs

In May 2017, we announced the formation of a task force of dedicated faculty and staff leaders, charged with examining the University’s approach to student course evaluations and considering their place in the overall assessment of both undergraduate and graduate teaching. Chaired by Assistant Provost for Academic Assessment Gillian Pierce, the Task Force on Evaluating Teaching was asked specifically to look at BU’s existing practices – particularly in the context of current national conversations and widely used practices at peer institutions – with the objective of designing a system for teaching evaluation that provides a comprehensive, fair, and accurate picture and useful information to improve teaching.   In response to concerns from faculty nationally about bias in student course evaluations, the Task Force designed a new student feedback survey and explored systematic ways to include feedback about teaching from multiple sources in the overall evaluation of teaching at Boston University.  The Task Force has submitted its findings and recommendations to us, and we are pleased to share its report with you.

Excellent teaching is at the heart of our mission and success as an institution. As a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), BU is committed to providing the highest quality academic environment for both faculty and students. A responsible system of holistic teaching evaluation allows faculty at all career stages to receive ongoing, timely feedback that, combined with support and mentorship, assist them in growing into even stronger teachers. Evaluations are also a vital component of the evidence considered in the promotions, tenure, and contract renewal processes.

The work undertaken by the Task Force over the last 18 months was extensive, consultative, and exceptionally thoughtful. The recommendations of the Task Force, we believe, lay the groundwork for a system of ongoing, collaborative, and transparent feedback about teaching quality that will ultimately contribute to improved teaching across the University. Those recommendations include:

  1. Adopting a brief University-wide online student feedback survey with both standard and customizable questions;
  2. Adopting standard guidelines for administering online course feedback forms designed to ensure maximum response rates;
  3. Requiring multiple measures, including peer evaluation and teaching portfolios, when considering personnel decisions;
  4. Making midterm course feedback surveys available to all faculty in all courses;
  5. Disclosing the results of end-of-semester feedback surveys to the student body, while providing faculty and staff a process for redacting comments that include inappropriate language or content; and
  6. Continuing to keep pace with initiatives at peer institutions to better evaluate teaching and emphasize its value in faculty reward systems.

Again, we invite you to read the Task Force’s full report, which has been posted on its website, and to provide feedback of your own on its findings and recommendations.

We want to extend our gratitude to the members of the Task Force for their outstanding work and for the many hours they devoted to carrying out their important charge. We likewise want to thank you for your participation and input throughout the process and for your ongoing commitment to advancing excellence in teaching at Boston University.

Task Force on Evaluating Teaching

Gillian Pierce, Assistant Provost for Academic Assessment, Office of the Provost

Suzanne Chapin, Professor of Mathematics Education, School of Education

Terry Everson, Associate Professor of Music, College of Fine Arts

Ray Fisman, Slater Family Professor in Behavioral Economics, College of Arts & Sciences

Christopher Gill, Associate Professor of Global Health, School of Public Health

Daryl Healea, Assistant Dean for Curriculum & Enrollment Services, College of Arts & Sciences

Roland Jaeckel, Director, Educational Technology, Office of Digital Learning & Innovation

Deborah Jaramillo, Associate Professor of Film & Television Studies, College of Communication

Rebecca Kinraide, Master Lecturer, Arts & Sciences Writing Program, College of Arts & Sciences

Chris Paal, Assistant Vice President and University Registrar

Michael Smith, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering, College of Engineering

Matthew Trevett-Smith, Director, Center for Teaching & Learning

Report and Findings of the Task Force on Evaluating Teaching – 2.7.19

Promotions to Full Professor on the Charles River Campus

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

I am delighted to announce the promotion of five members of our Charles River Campus faculty to the rank of Full Professor at Boston University.

At the heart of a successful research institution are exceptional faculty. The individuals we recognize today have emerged as leaders, both in their respective areas of research and in their classrooms. They are bridging disciplines and discovering solutions to some of our most pressing challenges, authoring foundational texts that help advance our understanding of the world, and working to inspire a new generation of young scholars and professionals to shape the future. In doing so, they exemplify each day the depth and excellence of Boston University’s talented academic community. We are proud to count them as members of our faculty and are excited to see them reach this significant milestone here at BU:

Japonica Brown-Saracino, CAS, Sociology, studies the social dynamics of cities and community life, focusing on questions of gentrification, culture, sexualities, and identities. Recognized among the leading and most creative voices in her field, she has published extensively in premier sociology journals and authored three acclaimed books, including, most recently, How Places Make Us: Novel LBQ Identities in Four Small Cities (2017). In 2016, she received the Jane Addams Best Article Award from the American Sociological Association, while an earlier work, A Neighborhood that Never Changes: Gentrification, Social Preservation, and the Search for Authenticity (2009), garnered the Urban Affairs Association Best Book Award.

Wiebke Denecke, CAS, East Asian and Comparative Literature, specializes in premodern Asian literature, exploring early thought traditions of philosophy, poetic and court cultures, the development of literary traditions in multiliterate environments, and views of ancient East Asian traditions in the global present. A past recipient of a New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, she has published two major volumes, including 2014’s Classical World Literatures: Sino-Japanese and Greco-Roman Comparisons, and has served as an editor on numerous Norton Anthology, Oxford Handbook, and Wiley-Blackwell Companion projects. Her current research investigates early Japanese literature’s relationship to China and Korea, as well as visions for the global transformation of the humanities.

Adela Pineda Franco, CAS, Romance Studies, researches modern Spanish American literature, culture, and film and their relationship with political history – particularly that of Mexico. A leading scholar of transnational cultural phenomena and the 19th/20th century modernismo movement, she is Director of Latin American Studies in the Pardee School of Global Studies and has published 16 book chapters and two widely cited books, including 2018’sSteinbeck y México: Una mirada cinematográfica en la era de la hegemonía estadounidense, which received the Mexican government’s Malcolm Lowry Fine Arts Literary Essay Award. A forthcoming book explores Hollywood’s depiction of the Mexican revolution.

Amie Grills, Wheelock, Counseling Psychology, specializes in the treatment of child and youth anxiety in school settings, as well as the resiliency factors in individuals of all ages following traumatic events. A frequent presenter at national conferences, she is a past recipient of BU’s United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award, is supported by significant grant funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and has published two books, nearly 40 papers in high-tier, refereed journals, and 17 book chapters or encyclopedia entries. The most recent book she co-edited, Critical Issues in School Mental Health: Evidence-Based Research, Practice, and Interventions(2015), received Choice Magazine‘s Outstanding Academic Title Award.

Katherine Zhang, ENG, Mechanical Engineering, studies the mechanical behavior of soft biological tissues and composites across multiple scales using experimental techniques and computational modeling – research with translational implications for the diagnosis and treatment of vascular disease. Supported by numerous major grants through NIH and the National Science Foundation (NSF), she is a past NSF CAREER Award winner, a past Clare Boothe Luce Professor, an elected fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the author of dozens of widely cited papers in premier biomedical and biomechanical journals.

Please join me in congratulating these wonderfully talented colleagues on their recent promotions and in wishing them success in their new ranks. It is thanks in large part to their hard work and to yours that Boston University upholds its tradition of excellence and is on track to remain a research and teaching leader for many years to come.

Promotions to Full Professor on the Charles River Campus – 1.24.19

Scheduling of Final Exams

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

As we begin a new semester, I would like to remind everyone that, per University policy, the final examination for a course must be given only during its scheduled exam period and not during a regular class meeting or on a reading day, even if the faculty member and all students in a course agree to such a change. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that our students have the appropriate time and space to prepare for finals during the designated study period.

For further information regarding the scheduling of final exams, please see the website of the University Registrar (

I want to thank you in advance for your cooperation with this effort and to wish everyone a productive and successful spring semester ahead.

Scheduling of Final Exams – 1.22.19

Retirement of Vita Paladino, Director of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center

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

Vita Paladino, Director of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, has announced that she plans to step down from her position at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 academic year, and will retire from the University as of June 30, 2019.

First instituted in 1963 as Special Collections, the Gotlieb Center is an internationally respected repository of personal documents belonging to contemporary public figures, historical documents, and over 140,000 rare books. The collection provides significant resources for researchers, historians, biographers, students, and other members of the BU community. Highlights include the Martin Luther King, Jr. collection, the Richards collection of American literary history, the Partisan Review papers, the History of Nursing Archives, and outstanding collections in the areas of performing arts, journalism and broadcasting, African-American literature, science fiction, and espionage.

Vita has been instrumental in the Gotlieb Center’s growth over the past four decades, particularly in her role as Director of the Center since 2006. Vita joined the Gotlieb Center in 1976 and for 29 years worked closely with founding director Howard Gotlieb, for whom the Center was renamed in 2003. Throughout Vita’s tenure at BU, she has been a driving force behind expanding the Gotlieb Center’s collection, developing extensive programs around the collection, and ensuring the Center’s continued relevance.

The University is fortunate to have benefited from Vita’s passion, dedication, and persistence for the last 40 years; she has left a lasting mark on the Gotlieb Center through the cultivation and preservation of a world-class collection of historical documents. An event will be held this spring to celebrate and honor Vita’s many contributions to Boston University and to the Gotlieb Center.

In conjunction with Vita’s retirement, the Gotlieb Center will be incorporated as a part of the Boston University Library, reporting to University Librarian K. Matthew Dames. Matthew will work with leaders from the Gotlieb Center and the Library to develop the appropriate administrative structure to ensure the continued success of the Gotlieb Center. We are grateful to Matthew for his leadership throughout this transition.

Please join me in acknowledging Vita’s many contributions to the Gotlieb Center and Boston University over the last four decades and in wishing her well in her retirement.

Retirement of Vita Paladino, Director of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center – 1.17.19

Appointment of Six New Data Science Faculty Fellows at Boston University

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

I am delighted to announce the appointment of six new Data Science Faculty Fellows through BU’s Data Science Initiative (DSI).

Launched in 2017, the Data Science Faculty Fellows program brings together uniquely talented faculty whose expertise transcends the field’s traditional boundaries of Computer Science, Statistics, and Electrical & Computer Engineering to enable fundamental advances across the entire academic landscape. Those chosen for this distinction are expected to play a leading role in steering the DSI, based out of the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science and Engineering, and in helping to build on BU’s vision for research and education in this strategically important area.

Last year, we appointed our first three Data Science Faculty Fellows, Professor John Byers of the Department of Computer Science, Professor Ahmed Ghappour of the School of Law, and Professor Adam Smith of the Department of Computer Science. As with Professors Byers, Ghappour, and Smith, this year’s Fellows emerged from a rigorous selection process and represent a host of diverse disciplines. All have been cited for exceptional contributions to their areas of study and for the versatility, multidisciplinary scope, and tremendous potential of their research to yield new innovations and breakthroughs.

This year’s Data Science Faculty Fellows are:

  • Margrit Betke
    Professor of Computer Science, College of Arts & Sciences
    Professor Betke has been a member of BU’s Computer Science faculty since 2000 and co-leads the Image and Video Computing Research Group in her department and the AI Research Initiative at the Hariri Institute for Computing. Her current work applies machine learning and computer vision to such areas as medical imaging, interfaces for people with disabilities, assessing home-based physical therapy, quantifying political bias in the news, and analyzing online product availability and pricing in relation to world events. A senior member of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), she has published extensively in premier journals and is supported by several major grants from the National Science Foundation and Google. She holds a PhD and MS in electrical engineering and computer science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Christine Cheng
    Assistant Professor of Biology, College of Arts & Sciences
    A member of the BU faculty since 2016, Christine Cheng integrates cell and molecular biology with computational approaches to help identify new genetic links to diseases including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV infection, and opioid addiction. Her current projects are focused on massively-parallel single-cell transcriptomic and epigenetic profiling. She is a past recipient of the NIH’s Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Fellowship and has published numerous articles in top journals including Nature Communications, Science Signaling, and Cell Systems. She is a graduate of National Taiwan University and holds a PhD in bioinformatics and systems biology from University of California, San Diego and an MS in computer science from Stanford University.
  • Erik Kolaczyk
    Professor of Mathematics & Statistics, College of Arts & Sciences
    Eric Kolaczyk has been a member of the Mathematics & Statistics faculty since 1998 and is director of the department’s Program in Statistics. He is an internationally recognized leader in statistics at its interface with multi-scale and network analysis, whose applied work has had broad implications in areas including bioinformatics, computational neuroscience, computer network traffic analysis, and social work. The author of three books and dozens of widely cited journal articles, he is a senior member of IEEE and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, the American Statistical Association, and the International Statistical Institute. He is a graduate of The University of Chicago and holds a PhD and MS in statistics from Stanford University.
  • Elaine Nsoesie
    Assistant Professor of Global Health, School of Public Health
    Elaine Nsoesie joined Boston University in fall 2018 and specializes in global health data science. Her previous research has centered on the modeling of infectious diseases, using statistical and computational approaches to better understand the spread of disease (including Ebola and Zika) and improve public health practice. She is currently focused on machine learning frameworks for monitoring foodborne illness reports using social media data and on quantifying and addressing bias in digital data used in public health research. She has published extensively in premier health, technology, and informatics journals and received significant grant support from NIH and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is a graduate of University of Maryland College Park and holds a PhD in genetics, bioinformatics, and computational biology and an MS in statistics, both from Virginia Tech.
  • Francesco Orabona
    Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, College of Engineering
    Francesco Orabona joined the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering in 2018, where he leads the Optimization and Machine Learning Lab. His research bridges the mathematical foundations of learning theory and data science, with applications to scientific, societal, and real-world engineering problems. It has led to the development of autonomous online learning algorithms that require minimal human supervision – first-of-its-kind work that is now part of Microsoft’s Machine Learning toolkit. The author of more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, he is a graduate of University of Naples (Italy), where he additionally earned his MS in electrical engineering. He holds a PhD in electrical engineering from University of Genoa.
  • Yannis Paschalidis
    Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Systems Engineering
    Yannis Paschalidis has been a College of Engineering faculty member since 1996 and is director of the BU-based Center for Information and Systems Engineering. An internationally-recognized leader in systems and control, networks, decision theory, optimization, and operations research, he is currently developing predictive analytics with applications to a number of areas with significant impact on society, including computational biology, digital health, smart cities, and transportation systems. He is a fellow of IEEE, the founding editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems, and has published extensively in top scientific and engineering journals. A graduate of National Technical University of Athens (Greece), he holds a PhD and MS in electrical engineering and computer science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professors Betke, Cheng, Kolaczyk, Nsoesie, Orabona, and Paschalidis began their appointments this fall as Data Science Faculty Fellows. All bring enormous talent and potential through their unique interdisciplinary portfolios to advance BU’s data science capabilities, and we are excited for what the future holds for them and their research. We look forward to their contributions in the years ahead to further develop excellence and innovation in data science as part of our vibrant academic community.

Thank you for your assistance throughout this process in identifying and nominating the talented candidates we considered for these fellowships. Thanks are also due to DSI Chair, Hariri Institute Director, and William Fairfield Warren Professor Azer Bestavros for his continued leadership on this important initiative.

Appointment of Six New Data Science Faculty Fellows at Boston University – 11.27.18

Appointment of Dr. Jorge Delva as Director, Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health (CISWH)

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

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jorge Delva, Dean of the School of Social Work (SSW), as Director of the BU Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health (CISWH). Dr. Delva has led CISWH in an interim role since September 19, following former director Dr. Sally Bachman’s departure to become Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. As the new, permanent Director of the Center (in addition to his decanal duties at SSW), Dean Delva is the holder of the Paul Farmer Professorship. His appointment became effective November 6.

A national leader in his field, Dr. Delva was appointed Dean and Professor of Social Work in January 2018. His multi- and trans-disciplinary research seeks to reduce health disparities and improve the lives of low-income and racial and ethnic minority populations. His scholarship has made substantial contributions to advancing our understanding of psychosocial-cultural mechanisms associated with substance-using behaviors among racial and ethnic minority populations, as well as with populations in Latin America. Dr. Delva is an elected Fellow of the Society for Social Work Research and of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. He has received significant, continuous grant support from federal agencies and private foundations for his research, and he is a past Editor-in-Chief of Social Work, the flagship publication of the National Association of Social Work.

In the CISWH, Dr. Delva leads one of the nation’s premier interdisciplinary centers for social work and healthcare scholarship and practice. Since opening in 2017, the CISWH has worked to expand the impact of social work and social workers in healthcare delivery, public health, and global health – an effort targeted at reducing costs, improving outcomes, improving patient experience, promoting population health, and stimulating health equity nationally and globally. Overseen by the School of Social Work and working in partnership with public health, medicine, health economics, technology, and other relevant disciplines, the Center promotes social work leadership in health through inter-professional and trans-disciplinary collaboration. It accomplishes its mission through outcomes-oriented research, community partnerships, policy development, education, and training activities and through collaborations among BU faculty, particularly those in the Schools of Social Work and Public Health, and institutions nationally. 

Please join me in congratulating Dean Delva on his appointment to this additional leadership role as he works to advance the Center’s mission of finding innovative solutions that improve healthcare for vulnerable populations. 

Appointment of Dr. Jorge Delva as Director, Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health (CISWH) – 11.13.18

Announcement of the Search Advisory Committee for the Dean of the BU College of Arts & Sciences

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

As I described in my memo of September 10, the process of selecting the next Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences begins with constitution of the Search Advisory Committee. The BU Faculty Handbook specifies that: “the advisory committee shall consist of three faculty members elected by the faculty of the School for which a dean is to be selected, two faculty members elected by the Faculty Council from other Schools, and as many as three members designated by the provost.” In addition, the provost appoints the Chair of the committee.

I am pleased to announce that we have completed this step, and the membership of the Search Advisory Committee for the Dean of the Boston University College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) is listed at the end of this memo. I thank the CAS faculty and the University’s Faculty Council for their efforts to elect members to serve on this critical committee. I would also like to thank, in advance, the members of the Search Advisory Committee for their service, and give special acknowledgement to Professor Helen Tager-Flusberg, who has agreed to serve as Chair.

In the coming days I will charge the Committee and they will begin the work of consulting with constituencies throughout the College to learn more about the aspirations of the community for the next dean. At the same time, the committee will be actively engaged in building a deep and diverse pool of applicants with the demonstrated strengths and capacities to lead what is by far the largest academic unit on the Charles River campus. In the meantime, nominations of potential candidates are welcome at any time and may be submitted in confidence to We will consider both internal and external candidates as we seek to identify the best person to lead the college that is, in many ways, at the heart of our academic mission.

The selection of a new dean is among the most important decisions we make. I look forward to working with the Search Advisory Committee to identify and recruit an outstanding faculty leader to serve as the next Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

Search Advisory Committee for the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences


Helen Tager-Flusberg, Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences; Director, Center for Autism Research Excellence, College of Arts & Sciences (elected by the College of Arts & Sciences)


David Carballo, Associate Professor of Archaeology, Anthropology, and Latin American Studies; Director, Archaeology Program, College of Arts & Sciences (elected by the College of Arts & Sciences)

Louis Chude-Sokei, Professor of English; George and Joyce Wein Chair in African American Studies; Director, African American Studies Program, College of Arts & Sciences (selected by the University Provost)

Swathi Kiran, Associate Dean for Research; Professor of Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences, College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College (elected by the Faculty Council) 

Susan Mizruchi, William Arrowsmith Professor in the Humanities; Director, Boston University Center for the Humanities, College of Arts & Sciences (elected by the College of Arts & Sciences)

Catherine O’Connor, Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies; Professor of Education & Linguistics, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development (selected by the University Provost)

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Dean, School of Law (selected by the University Provost)

Matthew Parfitt, Associate Professor of Rhetoric, College of General Studies (elected by the Faculty Council)

Announcement of the Search Advisory Committee for the Dean of the BU College of Arts & Sciences – 11.13.18

Announcement of the Task Force on LGBTQIA+ Faculty and Staff

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer
and Gary Nicksa, Senior Vice President, Operations

We write to announce the appointment of a new University-wide task force focused on improving the workplace experience of employees who are LGBTQIA+.

It is vital to Boston University’s impact and relevance as a global research institution and major regional employer that all of our faculty and staff enjoy a supportive work environment that is consistent with our stated principles of employees’ feeling valued and respected. To help accelerate our progress in this area, we are launching a Task Force on LGBTQIA+ Faculty and Staff – a multi-faceted effort that considers the current environment, as well as new approaches to programming, recruitment, retention, professional development and support, and network-building.

The Task Force will be charged with facilitating a set of University-wide discussions about how Boston University can become a more LGBTQIA+ inclusive community for faculty and staff and with developing recommendations to help us meet this objective. While this Task Force will focus its attention on faculty and staff, we encourage those interested in the student experience to work through Student Government and the Office of the Dean of Students to advance concerns and recommendations for changes. Where necessary, however, this Task Force can point to possible areas of overlap and/or opportunities for future exploration.

The charge to the Task Force will include the following:

  1. Gather information about effective practices from other major research universities that are also focused on improving the working environment for LGBTQIA+ faculty, including recruitment, retention, and, when and if appropriate, promotion. Likewise, gather information about effective practices from other major research universities and/or corporations that have successfully developed programs and interventions to improve the quality of life for LGBTQIA+ non-faculty staff members. In particular, the Task Force’s recommendations should be sensitive to the differences in rank and type of employee at the University to ensure that recommendations and strategies are as inclusive as possible.
  2. Suggest specific ways we can elevate the importance of and relationship between LGBTQIA+ and intersectional identities (race, nationality, religion, ability, etc.), and inclusiveness at Boston University, including recommending strategies to implement promising approaches toward enhancing our culture of holistic inclusiveness.
  3. Gather information about any current formal and informal activities at the University – both on the Charles River and Medical campuses-that are focused on LGBTQIA+ faculty and staff. Suggest ways to integrate or expand current activities that may be siloed and/or nascent.
  4. Suggest specific ways Boston University can create stronger ties with Boston-based and regional LGBTQIA+ groups and networks.
  5. Given the historical complexities regarding the collection and maintenance of identifying lists, gather information about effective intra-group and organization-wide communication practices at other large organizations. Additionally, suggest multi-faceted ways we can develop effective communication strategies with LGBTQIA+ faculty and staff that are sensitive to the limited use of University-wide communications.

We realize that the efforts of the Task Force will undertake are complex and will involve faculty and staff from across the entire University. We would like to thank, in advance, the members of the Task Force for their service and give special acknowledgment to Karen Warkentin, Professor of Biology and Professor of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Judi Burgess, Director of Labor Relations, who have agreed to serve as co-chairs. Crystal Williams, Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion will provide administrative leadership from the Office of the Provost. More information on the Task Force and its work can be found on its new You may additionally contact the co-chairs with any questions at

It is our hope to have a set of interim recommendations from the Task Force by February 1, 2019, an update at the Faculty Assembly at its spring meeting in 2019, and a full report to the Provost and the Senior Vice President for Operations by May 2019. We look forward to working with the Task Force and want to thank you, as well, for your participation in this important effort and for your commitment to an inclusive community at Boston University.

Task Force on LGBTQ Faculty and Staff


Judi Burgess, Director of Labor Relations

Karen Warkentin, Professor of Biology and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, College of Arts & Sciences


Willow Burke, Financial Analyst, Disability Services

Derek Howe, Vice President, Budget & Capital Planning

Terence Keane, Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, School of Medicine

Steve Marois, Director of Faculty Actions, Office of the Provost

Merav Opher, Associate Professor of Astronomy, College of Arts & Sciences

Anthony Petro, Assistant Professor of Religion and Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies, College of Arts & Sciences

Michelle Porche, Clinical Associate Professor of Applied Human Development, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development

Stacy Ulrich, Director of Student Programs and Leadership, College of Arts & Sciences

Robert Volk, Associate Professor of Legal Writing; Director, Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy Program, School of Law

Jacob Vukelich, IT Systems Administrator II, College of Arts & Sciences

William Waters, Associate Professor of German & Comparative Literature; Associate Director, Center for the Study of Europe, College of Arts & Sciences; Executive Director and Founder, Project GO-BU

Ann Zumwalt, Associate Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology, School of Medicine

Announcement of the Task Force on LGBTQIA+ Faculty and Staff – 10.25.18

2018 University Lecture

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

You are cordially invited to the 2018 University Lecture on Wednesday, November 14, at 7 pm in the Tsai Performance Center. Established in 1950, the University Lecture each year spotlights the outstanding and thought-provoking research of a Boston University faculty member to the BU community and the general public. This year’s distinguished lecturer is Karen Warkentin, Professor of Biology and Professor of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. I hope you will attend what promises to be an engaging lecture and that you will encourage others to take part in this extraordinary University-wide event. 

Diversity and Plasticity of Life:
A Biologist’s Journey from Embryo Self-Defense to Sexual Behavior

Karen Warkentin
Professor of Biology
and Professor of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
7 pm

Tsai Performance Center
685 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts

Admission is free. The public is welcome.

A reception will immediately follow the lecture. 
Kindly RSVP by Friday, November 2, 2018,
by clicking on the following link:
2018 University Lecture

For more information, please visit the event webpage.