Yale works to fill faculty openings



As classes wrap up for the semester, several Yale departments will be busy sifting through applications to fill job openings, and two departments may make internal tenure appointments of female faculty members.

Among the many departments that will be conducting searches next semester, the Philosophy, History, Psychology, Political Science, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and Chemistry departments will be looking to fill multiple positions, Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said. The Astronomy and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology departments may make internal hires, as two female associate professors are under consideration for tenure appointments.

“We’re always looking for outstanding researchers and scholars who will contribute to Yale College in important ways,” Salovey said. “When we can do that from hiring within, all the better.”

The internal tenure cases of two female professors have been working their way through the tenure appointment system since last year. The cases will likely be determined by the end of the semester if voted upon favorably by their respective tenure appointment committees and the Joint Boards of Permanent Officers.

The EEB and Astronomy chairs declined to release the names of the tenure candidates because they did not want to influence the outcome of the process.

If approved, the appointments would add female tenured faculty to subjects historically dominated by men. All seven of the tenured Astronomy professors are currently male, as are all eight of EEB’s tenured faculty.

Yale Provost Andrew Hamilton said he welcomes an increase in the number of female and minority scientists at Yale.

“The departments are vigorously pursuing strategies that will allow them to effectively identify all candidates and work hard to find qualified female and minority applicants,” Hamilton said.

EEB chairman Stephen Stearns said the department is also searching for either two additional senior hires, or one senior and two junior hires, which will likely be determined late next semester. Some of the candidates under consideration are “very distinguished women,” Stearns said.

The tenure appointments would also bolster the Astronomy Department’s trend of appointing its junior faculty members. In an October interview, Astronomy chairman Charles Bailyn said the department has tenured four junior faculty members in a row.

Bailyn could not be reached for comment yesterday regarding the department’s pending internal appointment.

The History Department is currently searching for assistant professors to replace openings in the history of modern European war and society, and the history of modern European intellectual and cultural history, History Department chairman Paul Freedman said.

A search is also underway for an assistant professor specializing in modern Middle Eastern history, Freedman said. Two candidates have already been interviewed for the position, and two more will likely be interviewed before the committee makes a decision, he said.

“We’re not expanding the department in terms of numbers,” Freedman said.

A “vast majority” of departmental appointments are made during the spring semester, Salovey said. The University usually releases advertisements for openings during the fall, and announces appointments for the next academic school year during the spring.

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