Home Cellular science FAS predicts hiring surge as size of Yale faculty lags behind peers

FAS predicts hiring surge as size of Yale faculty lags behind peers


The University will aim to fill more than 70 tenure-track positions in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in three dozen departments following administrative re-commitments to invest in faculty.


Vaibhav Sharma, photo editor

This year, Yale will nearly double its job searches for tenure-track faculty, reducing the deficits some professors say have increased between their departments and those at peer institutions.

In the coming year, the University will seek to fill 71 echelon positions – almost double the typical number – in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Tamar. Gendler in an October 14 email to faculty. The move comes as the University tries to bolster the size of its faculty, which has lagged behind peer institutions in recent years. While not all 71 positions will be filled over the next year, the unprecedented number of searches indicates that an unusually large class of faculty will be arriving in the fall.

In a statement to the News, Gendler said research would be carried out in the four divisions of FAS: Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences and School of Engineering & Applied Sciences. Departments performing multiple research include history, statistics and data science and computer science; a number of others will also see individual searches. Gendler also told the News that 37 searches are new, 14 are searches in previous years, and 20 are unresolved, meaning an offer has been made or will be made in the near future. 16 more faculty members have already pledged to begin next fall, Gendler said.

John Geanakoplos, professor of economics, recently called for an increase in investment in hiring professors after the publication of astronomical endowment returns. He called the research “a step in the right direction”. Still, he said the growth of Yale’s faculty ranks has not keep pace with competitors for many years.

“There is now an opportunity to keep the promise that the Provost made two years ago on the floor of the Senate of the faculty: he recognized the size gap and the pay gap between us and our competitors, and he promised to close the gap, ”Geanakopolos said.

Geanakoplos mentioned an FAS Senate in January 2020 Meet in which Strobel acknowledged that the FAS had not grown to keep pace with Yale’s counterpart institutions. At the time, he promised to provide strategic answers.

However, the search for new professors was quickly halted by a hiring freeze due to the University’s pandemic austerity measures. This decision sparked negative reactions among professors, who signed a contract letter urging to continue hiring. Ultimately, the University thawed the hiring freeze, bringing in a slightly smaller-than-average class of new FAS professors. But by then, several departments had missed candidates they had sought.

In the Senate of March 2021 Meet, Strobel is again committed to increasing the ranks of the faculty. The provost could not be reached for comment at the time of posting.

The FAS currently has 676 full or tenure track professors, up from around 640 in 1985 after dropping below 600 in the 1990s. Although the figure peaked at 692 in the fall of 2020, the FAS has never reached 700, the target Yale downgraded from 800 during the 2008 financial crisis, Geanakoplos said.

Meanwhile, Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which for many years was comparable to that of Yale, has grown to 738 in the past two decades. Princeton currently has more than 800 tenure track professors.

The computer science department, which has expanded in recent years to 25 full or full professors, will conduct about three research studies, said Lin Zhong, a professor of computer science. Still, with more computer science majors than ever before and a significant non-major interest in the department’s courses, Zhong called for more future hires. He and others advocated prioritizing institutional and infrastructural support to avoid “crippling” new recruits.

Zhong noted that he and another professor had been asked to submit a proposal to the National Science Foundation for a multi-million dollar grant that would have placed Yale at the forefront of computer science research. Zhong eventually abandoned the project due to a lack of support staff in his department.

“We still urgently need more teachers,” Zhong said. “And Yale has a lot to do – not just by hiring faculty, but with space, facilities, and staff support.”

Beyond computer science, a variety of Yale departments in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences will conduct research.

At the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, one or more research studies will be carried out for Applied Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.

In science, the three departments of biology – ecology and evolutionary biology; Molecular, cellular and developmental biology; and Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry – will each see one or more searches. The departments of Astronomy, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics will also see new recruitments.

In Social Sciences, recruitments are concentrated in Statistics & Data Science, which was reorganized in 2017. Several searches will take place within the statistics department, and four searches will be carried out for joint appointments between the statistics department and other social science departments. Linguistics, political science and sociology will also see one or more researches, while several are carried out in psychology for specialists in clinical psychology, social psychology and neuroscience.

Among the departments of Humanities, African American Studies, American Studies, East Asian Languages ​​and Literatures, Film and Media Studies, French, German, Art History, Italian, Music, Religious Studies, Slavic, Spanish, and Portuguese will all see at least one search. Ethnicity, Race and Migration will see two studies by specialists in Latin and indigenous studies. The English department will also see two research studies by scholars in modern theater as well as the history of English language, rhetoric and writing. History, the largest major and the largest humanities department, will see several researches by specialists in Qing history, Southeast Asian history, European history. modern and modern Middle Eastern history.

The next meeting of the FAS Senate will take place on Thursday.


Isaac Yu writes about Yale faculty and academics. He’s also the production and design editor for the News, and has previously covered transportation and urban planning in New Haven. Originally from Garland, Texas, he is a sophomore at Berkeley College majoring in urban studies.