Gladney to join Yale as dean of diversity, faculty development for FAS

Larry Gladney
Larry Gladney

Physicist Larry Gladney of the University of Pennsylvania has been named dean of diversity and faculty development for the Yale Faculty of Arts & Sciences (FAS), leading the effort to build a more intellectually, socially, and culturally diverse faculty, and to support and promote faculty excellence across the FAS.

Gladney is currently the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor for Faculty Excellence in UPenn’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and associate dean for natural sciences at its School of Arts and Sciences.

Gladney will also join the FAS as professor of physics. He will take up his new posts on Jan. 1. Until then Professor Kathryn Lofton will continue to serve as interim FAS deputy dean for diversity and faculty development.

We look forward to welcoming Larry to Yale, where he will take a leadership role in developing strategies and programs to promote excellence, equity and inclusion within the FAS. He will also serve as an adviser on campus-wide issues of faculty diversity and faculty development to the president, provost, and myself,” said FAS Dean Tamar Gendler. “I am grateful to Katie for her extraordinary leadership in inaugurating this role and thrilled that Larry has agreed to join our community and lead us in this critical work.”

Gladney came to UPenn in 1985 as a postdoctoral researcher, having earned a B.A. in physics at Northwestern University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, also in physics, from Stanford University. He rose through the ranks, becoming a full professor in 2005 and being named to the Kahn chair in 2008. A member of numerous committees at UPenn, Gladney served as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, chair of the Faculty Senate, and director and principal investigator of the Penn Science Teacher Institute.

Gladney’s research career has been focused on the study of weak interactions of heavy quarks and the experimental examination of dark energy. He uses sophisticated techniques in data science to analyze complex astronomical phenomena. In 1988, he developed the third-level tau lepton triggers for the Collider Detector at Fermilab, and by 1992 he made the first observation of an exclusive B meson decay in the hadron collider environment. By 2000, Gladney had been selected as the American representative to the Computing Coordinating Group for BaBar; he was then selected to head the Level 3 Trigger effort for the BaBar experiment at the SLAC PEP-II Collider. He is currently studying at the intersection of experimental particle physics and cosmology, attempting to understand the origins of and fundamental connections between matter, energy, space and time. His most recent work is on the mission planning and simulation of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, an observatory under construction in Chile designed to use multiple methods to measure the expansion history of the universe. 

He received the Edward A. Bouchet Award from the American Physical Society in 1997 and was elected to the society in 2015. He served as a Presidential Young Investigator for the National Science Foundation (NSF) 1989-1994. Gladney was awarded a Lilly Teaching Fellowship in 1990.

Gladney was a member of the U.S. Army Science Advisory Board from 1997 to 2002. He also was a member of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel for the Department of Energy and the NSF in 2001, and other NSF and Department of Energy committees over the years, including the Quarknet Advisory Board. Gladney later served as a member of the Advisory and Review Committee for the Origin and Structure of Matter project of the NSF. 

Gladney has a longstanding commitment to institutional equity and has worked to build bridges between higher education and the public. Interested in the success of young people, Gladney has taught science to middle school and high school students and instructors through outreach programs, and received the Outstanding Community Service Award from the Black Graduate Professional Students’ Association at the University of Pennsylvania. Gladney was also an occasional lecturer on the subject of seeing and researching dark energy, and in 2006 appeared on a program titled “The Three Cosmic Tenors: Exploring the Frontiers of Matter, Energy, Space and Time,” along with two other black physicists, James Gates and Herman B. White Jr.

As FAS dean of diversity and faculty development, Professor Gladney will join the FAS leadership team, serving alongside deans Amy Hungerford (Dean of Humanities), Alan Gerber (Dean of Social Science), Jeff Brock (Dean of Science, effective January 1, 2019) and Mitch Smooke (Acting Dean of SEAS) in the academic governance of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He will sit on key FAS and university governance committees — including the FAS Steering Committee and the FAS Faculty Resource Committee — and serve as an advisor to the president, provost and FAS dean on campus-wide issues of faculty development and diversity.