Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Expertise: The School’s standing faculty must sustain the bedrock of core arts and sciences disciplines on which every great research university is built. While those disciplines are the source of pioneering discoveries in their own right, they are also the launching point for interdisciplinary research and teaching that yield further vital insights. With a faculty of limited size, where every position is precious, the School will sustain its philosophy of making appointments that support the disciplines but also serve needs beyond their confines in research and education. SAS will continue to promote joint appointments such as Penn Integrates Knowledge professors in partnership with other schools and cross-departmental appointments within SAS.  It will also promote joint planning efforts among departments such as cluster hiring that build School-wide expertise around a common theme. 

Diversity: In a school that values the breadth and depth of its research and teaching, the diversity of the SAS faculty is paramount to its academic success. In its 2012 Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence, the School articulated a dual strategy for achieving greater representation of minorities and women on the faculty. One goal focuses on enhancing and supporting the diversity of the current SAS faculty. At the heart of that objective is a strengthened standing faculty hiring process that seeks to build broad candidate pools for every open position. The School will also be aggressive in pursuing “targets of opportunity” when such candidates become available. SAS will create a new visiting professorship mechanism that will further expand our networks for recruitment. To promote faculty recruitment and retention, the School must create a nurturing and inclusive environment in which all faculty thrive at all stages of their careers. The second part of the SAS diversity plan calls for building pipelines to attract a more diverse group of scholars to the Penn faculty and the broader professoriate of tomorrow. The School will continue to do so by proactively and strategically reaching out to students at all levels, from high school through the post-doctoral level, as described in the Education section of this plan.

Use of Non-Standing Faculty Tracks: The School’s research and teaching missions assume the primacy of the standing faculty, but there are occasional gaps in these missions that the standing faculty are not qualified to serve. SAS will explore the judicious creation of non-standing faculty tracks where it would not only benefit targeted programs academically but also provide well-supported professional paths for the individuals in these roles. In undergraduate education, where the School has longstanding and successful lecturer tracks for its large cohort of full-time foreign language instructors, a similar model is needed for its teachers of critical and creative writing. In the School’s expanding suite of master’s degrees, which are firmly rooted in the arts and sciences but have an added dimension of professional practice, there is a growing need for a track for distinguished practitioners to complement the teaching of the standing faculty.  By permitting centers, not just departments, to make appointments to the existing Research Faculty track where sponsored funds are available, there is an opportunity to recruit individuals with unique expertise to the School’s cross-disciplinary research endeavors.