Campus News

Two hiring initiatives begin to replenish tenure-track faculty

As the semester draws to a close, the first of two Presidential Faculty Hiring Initiatives is nearing completion. Announced by President Michael F. Adams in his 2010 State of the University Address, that initiative funded 24 new tenure-track faculty positions across 12 of the university’s schools and colleges.

The second initiative, announced last fall, allocates funding for 36 tenure-track faculty positions, for a total of 60 new hires when both are complete.

“These two hiring initiatives have only partially restored the many faculty positions lost over the course of several years of budget reductions,” Adams said at the final University Council meeting of the year on April 21. “These initiatives represent a focus of our limited resources on important institutional objectives: teaching our students and building our research enterprise.”

Last fall, Provost Jere Morehead invited the deans to submit proposals for positions to be funded or partially funded through the second faculty hiring initiative. Appointments to those positions will begin as early as fall 2011.

“Replenishing the ranks of our tenure-track faculty remains vital to the instructional and research missions of the institution,” Morehead said. “I am very pleased that we have been able to address a number of critical areas of need thanks to these two presidential hiring initiatives.”

The first faculty hiring initiative included several named professorships that have been filled, including the recently announced naming of Cynthia Dillard, a professor at Ohio State University, as the Mary Frances Early Professor of Teacher Education.

Another two of those searches-the Donald Hollowell Professorship in the School of Social Work and the Zell Miller Distinguished Professorship in the Institute of Higher Education-are still under way.

The second hiring initiative also includes some chaired positions as well as several cluster hires in key areas. These include international humanities, digital humanities and fungal biology, as well as interdisciplinary positions in integrative conservation and bioinformatics. A joint position in ecosystems management and ecology will be shared between the Odum School of Ecology and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

The initiative also includes two Athletic Association professorships: one in crop and soil sciences in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and one in environmental health sciences in the College of Public Health.

“Regardless of budget constraints, faculty hiring is a top priority and must remain a sustained effort over the long term,” said Morehead. “These two initiatives provide the opportunity to attract some very fine talent to the University of Georgia. Great faculty will help us continue to attract great undergraduate and graduate students.”