Michigan Tech Launches Second Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative
by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations
Michigan Tech is launching its second Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative (SFHI). The initiative's successful first year resulted in the naming of three Michigan Tech professors to Robbins Chairs in Sustainability and the hiring of seven new faculty members whose research also focuses on sustainability. The second SFHI will center on advancing computational frontiers, naming leading teacher-scholars to several endowed positions and hiring new faculty.
Some of them will work to build Michigan Tech's capacity in core computing, including development of innovative computational hardware, software methods and tools, and algorithms. At the same time, others will explore novel computer applications such as the modeling of complex systems or projects involving complex calculations and predictions.
The new initiative reflects the Board of Control's commitment to enlarge the faculty by 10 positions each year in strategic, interdisciplinary areas.
Invitations to apply for the new faculty positions will be published this fall. The University expects to announce the names of those selected in early summer of 2009.
The hiring process will be similar to the innovative one used in the sustainability initiative. Panels of existing faculty whose research interests are close to those of the applicant will evaluate each application, scoring on measurable criteria and providing narrative commentary.
A University-wide SFHI committee will then review the scores and commentary of the review panels. Finalists will be invited to campus for two days of interviews, including visits with departments, centers and institutes related to their research. While here, each will make a presentation open to the University community and the public, and the entire campus community will be invited to give feedback on those presentations.
"Using this cross-disciplinary approach and innovative hiring process, our goal is to attract the very best, wherever they might be and whichever discipline they might regard as their home base," said Provost Lesley Lovett-Doust. "Many of the faculty hired through this initiative may not fit the traditional mold of any single academic department. Because they are involved in interdisciplinary research, they are valued as teachers in more than one of the traditional disciplines, so we will, where possible, share these new professors between two areas so that they can contribute to both academic programs."