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Chancellor's Faculty Excellence Program

Posted 9/28/11

Dear Colleagues,

At the Chancellor’s Forum on September 28, the Chancellor announced a faculty-hiring program to be known as the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence program. I am providing further information on how this program will be implemented. A $5 million fund has been set aside to partner with the academic colleges to bring either individual scholars or small groups of scholars (clusters of up to 3 faculty) to campus in strategically important areas. Emphasis should be given to attracting groups of scholars who have diverse disciplinary skills representing more than one academic department and preferably college. Key elements of this program will be as follows: Groups of faculty should prepare brief proposals (less than 5 pages) to attract leading scholars to campus in areas of emerging strength and high potential impact. Submissions should be reviewed at the college level and be accompanied by a letter of support from the relevant dean(s). Proposals should contain proposed estimated hiring budgets including expected salary and start-up costs and the time frame over which such commitments are sought. College letters should include a statement of where the submission fits into the college’s strategic plans, an assessment of priority and the level of college matching funds proposed.

Proposals should be submitted to the Office of the Provost by December 5, 2011, and will be evaluated by a committee composed of one faculty or administrative representative from each college and co-chaired by Terri Lomax, Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development and Duane Larick, Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives. Recommendations will pass to the Provost for further review and subsequently to the Chancellor for final decision regarding full or partial funding.

In evaluating the submissions, priority will be given to several criteria. These include:

  1. Submissions targeting tenured or tenure-track faculty that are engaged both in active research programs and undergraduate or graduate instruction.
  2. Submissions that include cluster hires of individuals who can share resources and physical infrastructure.
  3. Submissions that proposes hiring a senior investigator (Associate Professor or above) capable of leading a field of study across campus.
  4. Submissions that propose hires that align with the strategic research priorities of the University, (health and well-being, educational innovation, energy and the environment and safety and security).
  5. Submissions that are interdisciplinary in nature and preferably represent more than one academic college.
  6. Submissions in which significant cost sharing by the academic units (up to 50%) is proposed.

As I noted at a recent Administrative Leadership Meeting, our current faculty have been extraordinary in their teaching and research productivity despite restricted resources and lack of growth in tenure/tenure track faculty numbers. It is time to assist them in delivering the core mission of this institution by investing in our most important asset, faculty expertise and excellence. This program alone will not resolve our needs in this area, but is the initial phase of the implementation of a strategic priority, and one we hope to sustain over the coming years.


Warwick Arden
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor