School of Art hires, hopes to diversify

In the midst of an economic downturn that has limited the number of faculty hires within the University, the School of Art has begun a search for two new faculty members.

Over fall recess, administrators at the School of Art began advertising two new full-time faculty member positions in the Photography and Painting/Printmaking departments. Due to the hiring freeze for this academic year, the school is under strict budgetary constraints, and administrators at the school said this meant that the new hires will have to come at the cost of other positions.

Dean of the School of Art Robert Storr said that introducing students to a broad international range of artistic voices is a also priority at the school, and the new hires could further help diversify the faculty.

“The faculty diversity needs to be more varied,” Storr said.

At the beginning of fall semester, the Provost’s Office — which oversees faculty hiring — announced plans to delay most hires in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences until next year, keeping new hires in balance with the number of faculty members departing the University. Salovey added that faculty replacements are up to each professional school, as long as the school does not exceed its budget.

In keeping with the constraits, the painting/printmaking position will fill the spot left by Peter Halley, who will retire from his post as the director of graduate studies in the Painting/Printmaking Department at the end of this year. The photography position, however, is a new addition to the school’s faculty, Director of Financial Affairs Stacey Gemmill said, but she noted that the new hire will not increase budget expenditures. Storr said the money to pay for a new hire would come from reducing the number of temporary hires, such as guest critics and instructors hired for only one semester.

Though hiring a new photography instructor would require making cuts in short-term positions, Storr said, the department needed another faculty member in the interest of diversifying the range of opinions among the full-time faculty.

After a review of the School of Art last spring, a committee from the University Council noted a need for a greater international presence at the school, a recommendation Storr said he has been mindful of in conducting this faculty search.

“We are advertising so people outside the country will find [the application],” he said.

The department’s principal voice comes from Director of Graduate Studies Tod Papageorge, who has been on the school’s faculty for over 30 years, Storr said. While Papageorge has “done a good job” bringing in outside lecturers and guest speakers, Storr said, the department needed another consistent faculty member.

“Departments should not hinge on one strong personality,” he said. “The old European model of learning from one master is not what we’re going for.”

Storr said the faculty also needs to be diversified in terms of nationality and ethnicity, noting that two non-Caucasians have been hired since Robert Reed’s appointment to the faculty in 1964.

“There are low odds that the candidate will be a white, male graduate of the school,” he said.

The School of Art made two hires last year.

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