Thirty-four new faculty members joined the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) this year, representing departments and disciplines in the humanities, science, engineering, mathematics, and the social sciences.
“Among the new faculty each year, there is so much energy and eagerness to draw from—and contribute to—the life of the University,” said Provost Peter Salovey.
“Renewing our faculty helps to keep Yale at the forefront of scholarship,” remarked Frances Rosenbluth, deputy provost for faculty development and diversity. “New faculty bring exciting new findings, new ideas, and breathe different life across the campus. Our searches have crossed every field and discipline. While the pace of faculty recruitment may have slowed in recent years, introducing new faculty members has remained a priority because it’s so vital to the university’s core missions of teaching and research.“
At a daylong orientation last month, Salovey and other senior administrators welcomed the new faculty members, urging them to make the most of their early years at Yale.
“The orientation program is just one day at the start of a years-long process of developing a faculty member’s career, but by introducing people to the expectations and opportunities that lie ahead, we have the chance to build a strong foundation,” noted Salovey.
The annual FAS-wide orientation to the campus and its various resources complements departments’ welcome activities for new faculty, providing an opportunity for the newcomers to meet members of the FAS leadership — and each other — and to find their bearings in the Yale community. The program is a key component of Yale’s efforts to bolster and diversify its early-career faculty.
Among those greeting the group at the FAS orientation were Deans Mary Miller of Yale College, Tom Pollard of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Kyle Vanderlick of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. They were joined by Associate Vice President for Human Resources Donna Cable and University Librarian Susan Gibbons.. “I was struck by the engaging conversations the new faculty were having with each other throughout the orientation,” Gibbons said. “I’ve no doubt that some new research and teaching partnerships were formed.”
The orientation included a panel discussion with current FAS faculty members; presentations on Yale’s academic structure and resources; an introduction to the residential college system with a lunch in Jonathan Edwards College and a tour of its facilities led by Master Penelope Laurans; and an intensive session on teaching led by Teaching Center Director Bill Rando. The latter demystified uniquely Yale traditions such as “shopping” for courses and outlined the many resources available both in human form (graduate teaching fellows, directors of undergraduate studies, residential college deans) and in facilities and equipment (library and arts collections, technology-assisted classrooms, online course forums).
At the day’s end, the group was introduced to one of Yale’s most distinctive venues for scholarship and teaching: the Yale Farm on Edwards Street. There — as the new faculty and their Yale colleagues were joined by family members for pizza crafted by student interns using the farm’s wood-fired pizza oven — Yale Sustainable Food Project Director Mark Bomford spoke of the academic opportunities that exist within the farm. The session was designed to serve as a reminder that at Yale, for faculty and for their students, teaching and learning defy narrow categorization, often taking place outside the walls of the classroom and across the boundaries between departments and disciplines. As Joseph Fischel, a newly arrived assistant professor in the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program, said, “I’m going to be thinking differently about my syllabi for next year.”
“Our new faculty members had the opportunity to see one of Yale College’s most engaging projects” for its students, noted Miller, adding that it was a fitting capstone to “a day of trying on new hats: new teaching, new research, new students, and a new environment.”