New Endowed Faculty Chairs
Faculty: The Measure of Our Distinction
Innovative teacher-scholars who “really, really, really, really” love to teach (in the words of one college expert who visited the Dickinson campus) have made Dickinson's current momentum possible. Those four “reallys” have produced our distinctively Dickinsonian education based on pioneering pedagogical breakthroughs. Dickinson's teaching models are gaining recognition from organizations such as the U.S. State Department, the National Science Foundation, the American Council on Education, dozens of foundations and scholarly journals, as well as from top colleges and universities around the world.
What makes the teaching at Dickinson excellent also makes it more labor intensive than traditional models: active learning such as workshop approaches and fieldwork, individualized one-on-one collaborative research with students, and a faculty of teacher-scholars who combine their work in the classroom with an impressive record of scholarship and artistic creativity.
The challenge is this: We are not only committed to Dickinson's tradition of close, productive student-faculty collaboration, but also to being competitive and in some instances leading in the fields that are important to contemporary students. Yet Dickinson has fewer faculty overall than its peers. Dickinson's student-faculty ratio is 12:1. Among our peer group the typical student-faculty ratio is 10:1, but some ratios are as low as 8:1.
Our goal is to add 20 faculty positions. The distinctive elements of a Dickinson education mandate a significant addition—$46 million—in new endowment funds for faculty chairs and research support. In addition to improving the College's student-faculty ratio these new resources will:
Sustain our Community of Inquiry
The Dickinson faculty's ability to lead students in active learning and artistic creation make real the College's claim to be a “community of inquiry.” Faculty innovations such as workshop classes, fieldwork, enhanced studio and performance opportunities, and technologically “smart” classrooms all draw out the best in our students. To sustain our innovative approaches in science and our unique program of student fieldwork, our engaging program of student research and our rich network of study abroad, new positions are needed. Among them will be positions in biology, community studies, theatre and dance, and studio art, as well as permanent funds to endow our music residency. Additional faculty will also enhance Dickinson's standing as a community of inquiry by increasing the critical mass of scholars and creative artists at the College. More professors means a “thicker” faculty presence for formal activities, such as supervising research projects or advising, and for the informal interaction with students that is at the heart of the Dickinson experience.
Allow for Strategic Enhancements in Our Program
Adding faculty positions also enables Dickinson to introduce new fields of study and to re-envision traditional ones. The centrality of the Stafford Chair in Bioinformatics to our initiative in cutting-edge science, and of the Roberts Chair in Archaeology to our new interdisciplinary major and dig at Mycenae, offer striking examples of such impacts. Similar potential for leveraging chairs into major programmatic enhancement exists in many fields including Latino Studies, the Middle East, biochemistry, and community studies.
Secure Our Global, Useful, Engaged Style of Liberal Arts Education
While Dickinson is nationally recognized for its leadership in global education, in order to sustain this position, we need broader expertise, especially in areas of the world spanning from Africa through the Middle East (including the teaching of Arabic) to India. We need positions in areas that connect global education with investigation of American diversity such as Latino and Africana Studies. Border crossing of another sort—across academic boundaries—requires new appointments in such interdisciplinary fields as environmental studies, biochemistry, policy studies, and international business and management. And, we need to guarantee and enhance our many programs that emphasize engagement and the ties between the campus and the wider world. For example, the Directorships of the Clarke Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Contemporary Issues and the Community Studies Center must be endowed, as must our chair in Strategic Leadership Studies. We also need additional faculty to support our successful and growing internship program.
Goal: New Endowed Faculty Chairs — $46 Million
Next: New Endowed Scholarships
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