The success of Penn Arts & Sciences—in everything that it does—rests unquestionably on its ability to attract and retain faculty of the highest caliber.
Our plan includes strategies to ensure that we take advantage of every opportunity to strengthen our faculty, from maximizing the impact of each new faculty hire to providing appropriate support, incentives, and mentorship at every stage of their careers.
Departments across Penn Arts and Sciences are thinking strategically about their long-range aspirations and finding common priorities across departmental lines--resulting in "cluster hires" and other innovative new approaches to recruitment.
Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Eleni Katifori and her colleges are uniting approaches from physics, mathematics, and computer science to decipher the organizing principles of biological matter. This boundary-crossing scholarship is being promoted through an innovative collaboration known as the Evo Cluster -- short for Evolution of Dynamical Processes Far from Equilibrium. The initiative is shaping faculty recruitment efforts across natural science departments, with the goal of sharpening the focus on some of the biggest questions in science today.
Research requires financial resources, whether to run a laboratory, travel to a distant archive, or share findings at a conference. We will explore ways to increase our research funds so that our faculty may continue their pace of discovery and the School may continue to attract and retain the best faculty.
In his 2014 book The Amazing Bud Powell, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of Music Guy Ramsay examined Powell's career and music within a historical, cultural and social frame and explored the contradictions of his life, from the recording studio and the stage as one of the greatest pianists of his era, to the psych ward, jail and an untimely death. School funding helped Professor Ramsey complete work on this provocative book.
With a faculty of limited size, the School must make appointments that support the disciplines but also serve needs beyond their confines.
A better understanding of the mechanics of judgment and decision-making would have ramifications across the social sciences and beyond. PIK professors Barbara Mellers and Philip Tetlock are shedding new light on these processes through tier long-running Good Judgment Project. The project draws from diverse fields and has produced the surprising funding that the wisdom of the crowd is more accurate than traditional expert opinions. Mellers, the I. George Heyman University Professor and Tetlock, Leonore Annenberg University Professor, both hold appointments in Psychology and in the Wharton School.
Joint appointments across schools, such as the Penn Integrates Knowledge Professors, allow us to strengthen our departments while providing a launching point for exciting new lines of interdisciplinary inquiry and teaching.