President Peter Salovey and Provost Ben Polak today announced a $26 million initiative to recruit and retain preeminent faculty. Their letter to faculty about the initiative follows.
Yale is the research university most committed to teaching and learning. The heart of this enterprise is our faculty, and we have made faculty excellence a top priority. Excellent faculty drive the discovery of knowledge. Yale’s faculty members define new frontiers of scholarship, and inspire our students, our alumni, and the world.
It is essential that we recruit and retain preeminent scholars in every field. With this goal in mind, we are launching an initiative that will earmark an incremental $26 million to spend on these goals over the next five years, at approximately $5 million per year.
Some of these resources will be devoted to the outstanding faculty already at our university. This includes some immediate salary adjustments in certain areas of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences where we need to be more competitive.
We will also establish a university-wide fund to help recruit truly transformative faculty. We will be looking for scholars who redefine their fields, who not only answer important questions, but change the very questions that are asked. This is a high bar, but we want to encourage schools and departments to pursue such candidates. These new funds augment our previously announced $50 million five-year Faculty Excellence and Diversity Initiative, and we remain committed to building a more diverse faculty.
Resources alone — while important — are not enough to guarantee excellence. It will take work by all of us to ensure an excellent faculty. We must aspire to bring to Yale the very best, and to be prepared to search again and again without compromising our standards. We must maintain the highest tenure standards, even when decisions are difficult. And we must all work together to create the kind of academic community that we want to inhabit, one where we are inspired by our students, by our research, and by each other — the kind of community that will draw the best colleagues, and will be very hard to leave.
Ensuring that we have the right resources in place to retain our valued faculty and recruit the academic leaders of the future will be an ongoing effort. This $26 million investment is not the only step we are taking, but it is an important one. We look forward to continuing this exciting work with you in the years ahead.
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology
William C. Brainard Professor of Economics