January 6th, 2014

New Professorships at BU

Recruiting & Retaining

If your goal is to assemble a world-class faculty, you only have to worry about two things: finding great scholars and teachers, and then holding on to them.

That may sound easy, but—as BU Provost Jean Morrison is quick to point out—it’s an enormous challenge.

“In the life of a great university,” explains Morrison, “nothing is more important, or more difficult, than building an outstanding faculty. They define the future of their fields of study. They make substantial scholarly contributions. And they bring the kind of passion, energy, and spirit of exploration to their classrooms that inspires students to excel.

“The problem, of course, is that every great university is competing for exactly those kinds of people.”

Nothing is more important, or more difficult, than building an outstanding faculty.” —BU Provost Jean Morrison

Here is where The Campaign for Boston University is having one of its most notable impacts: in helping to recruit and retain faculty “stars.” Since the beginning of the campaign, 40 new professorships have been created at BU—invaluable tools in the competition for first-rate thinkers and teachers, and in their development and retention once they’re on board.

“It can’t be overstated,” continues Morrison. “Our new career-development professorships, as well as our more traditional faculty chairs, help us bring people to BU—both at the junior and senior levels. Professorships help us show outstanding individuals that we are fully committed to them, and to their growth and development.”

Career Development Professorships
Given by private donors, these awards enable BU to recognize talented young faculty who show unusual promise of leadership in their fields. Award funds can be used at the discretion of their recipients to support field research, hire graduate students, or expand lab work. Winners have come from many of BU’s 16 schools and colleges. Awards (including research funding) included:

  • The Peter T. Paul Career Development Professorship, awarded to Erin Reid (School of Management), John “Mac” Marston (College of Arts & Sciences), and Tyler Perrachione (College of Health & Rehabilitative Science: Sargent College)
  • The Reidy Family Career Development Professorship, awarded to Nachiketa Sahoo (School of Management) and Douglas Densmore (College of Engineering)
  • The Stuart and Elizabeth Pratt Career Development Professorship, awarded to Cornel Ban (College of Arts & Sciences)
  • The Ralph Edwards Career Development Professorship, awarded
    to Hui Feng (School of Medicine)

Innovation Career Development Professorships
Awarded annually by the University, these awards recognize outstanding assistant professors whose translational research is likely to lead to future licensed technology. The 2013–14 scholars recently named were Ramesh Jasti (College of Arts & Sciences) and Ahmad Khalil (College of Engineering).

The Questrom Professors in Management
Allen (SMG’64) and Kelli Questrom have recently provided two new endowed professorships to the BU School of Management, each awarded to senior faculty at the school. The inaugural Questrom Professors in Management are Karen Golden-Biddle, professor and senior associate dean, and Susan Fournier, professor of marketing and dean’s research fellow. The professorships are part of a $10 million gift that also includes seed funding for the school’s much-anticipated new building on Bay State Road. An earlier Questrom gift endowed the school’s deanship held by Kenneth Freeman.

Peter and Deborah Wexler Professorship
David Weil, professor of markets, public policy and law, and the School of Management’s Everett Lord Distinguished Faculty Fellow, has been named the first recipient of the new Peter and Deborah Wexler Professorship in Management at SMG. Both donors are 1993 graduates of the School’s PEMBA program.


Karen Golden-Biddle


Susan Fournier


David Weil

One Comment on New Professorships at BU

  • Thank you for putting the energy into the effort of developing and retaining teaching staff. It will be great across the board for BU to start to wean itself from the past heavy reliance on adjunct faculty. As a graduate of the Preservation Studies program and sometime adjunct faculty member, I know there are many benefits to bringing in working professionals from their fields as adjuncts, but they must be the icing on the cake of a really solid full time teaching faculty. I am exceedingly pleased that BU is now moving to hire its second full time faculty member and director for the Preservation Studies program, for example. This is very good news for all of us associated with that program and we look forward to BU once again providing the great leadership in this field that has been its legacy to date!

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