FAS welcomes its most diverse set of teachers of scale
Yale was one of the few universities able to hire last year and recruited 26 professors across the board.
Yale welcomed 26 scholars to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences this fall, its most diverse cohort to date.
New academics joining the faculty of the ladder – otherwise known as the tenure track – reflects the University’s ongoing commitments to diversity, according to FAS Dean Tamar Gendler. She attributed the diversity of the new class in part to the efforts of physics professor Larry Gladney, who joined the University in 2019 as the dean of diversity and faculty development and instituted new guidelines on diversity in the hiring process. Since hiring Gladney has implemented search process reforms, with departments adding diversity statements to their applications and placing job postings in more accessible locations.
Four more faculty members will come to campus in January, and five more will hold visiting appointments before joining the ladder next fall. The 2021-22 cohort is significantly smaller than in previous years, compared to 44 in the 2019-2020 academic year and 51 in 2017-18. Last year’s March 2020 hiring freeze resulted in a recent low of 30 new hires in 2020-21.
Still, Gendler told The News this year’s faculty is particularly strong due to an overall “soft market” for academia jobs last year. Although many research projects were suspended or canceled at the start of the pandemic, the University resumed hiring in September 2020 after administrators deemed the University to be in a position of “financial responsibility” to continue researching new ones. teachers, especially in junior positions.
“It has been an amazing year as we were one of the few universities in the country to hire last year,” Gendler told The News. “Hardly anyone else was looking for teachers.”
Of the 30 total faculty members who have joined or will join in the current academic year, 11 identify as non-white, four of whom are under-represented minorities – Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino. – American or American Indian or native of Alaska – according to an email sent by Gendler. at the faculty on Thursday. Forty-three percent identify as female or non-binary.
Gladney told The News this is the third cohort of faculty hired under new rules, which include her endorsement of diversity research plans that aim to expand the pool of applicants for each position.
“Diversity is synonymous with excellence,” said Gladney. “The more diverse your faculty, the more ability you have to engage students from different perspectives.”
Half of the new professors were appointed in humanities departments, including three joint appointments from junior teachers in the Department of African-American Studies. The history and English departments also recruited three new members, while the studies on women, gender and sexuality gained five. Social science departments have selected three combined.
The cohort includes twelve full professors recruited laterally from other schools as well as recently graduated junior professors. In his email, Gendler called the new professors the “next era,” noting that the proportion of tenure-track professors in the first decades of their careers has increased dramatically.
Assistant professor of African American studies and English Eliaza Kelley, who recently received a doctorate from Columbia on black geographies in African American literature, described her new appointment as a “dream job.” She will begin teaching in the spring and noted the increased diversity of the student body and faculty.
“I’ve heard that this is the most diverse undergraduate class, so I would take these things together as being deeply connected, hopefully something that… turns things around for the better,” said Kelley said.
Meanwhile, the science departments and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences gained 12 combined faculty members, three of which each in computer science and mathematics.
Lu Wang, a math teacher, became only the third woman to be established in her department. The geometric analyst attributed his departure from the California Institute of Technology to Yale’s recent investments in science.
“This change actually drew me to Yale because I was interested in contributing to this trend, to this great investment on campus,” Wang told The News.
Wang added that she hopes more female hires will follow.
Computer science professor Yongshan Ding, who recently received his doctorate and studied quantum computing at the University of Chicago, also praised the university’s emphasis on science. He compared the current enthusiasm for quantum computing – one of Yale’s five scientific areas of interest fundraising campaign in progress – to that of classical computing in the 1970s.
“I am so happy that Yale has recognized this second revolution in the digital age, which involves harnessing quantum mechanics to process information,” said Ding. “Yale is absolutely one of the best places in the world to do it.”
During the 2019-2020 academic year, there were 217 female and 464 male professors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.