Progress continues toward our goal to expand our faculty by 250 people – which is my No. 1 priority and primary investment in the academic enterprise – as outlined in our campus strategic plan. I write to update you on the results of our faculty hiring programs and plans for changes next year. The initiatives were described in my message to you on Oct. 4, 2016; see a copy as well as a summary of program goals and processes at http://www.provost.uci.edu/faculty-hiring.
Since the start of this academic year, I have authorized faculty recruitments for 50 new FTEs and 22 replacement positions. All recruitments, whether new or replacement, are coordinated through schools or units. Details regarding authorized FTEs and recruitment status are available via ZotPortal (UCInetID required).
Because academic hiring is one of the most important decisions we make on the campus, I am committed to working with faculty and deans to continually assess our programs and processes. Toward that end, I asked Vice Provosts Diane O’Dowd and Judith Stepan-Norris to host a series of town halls for all schools early in the winter quarter to gather feedback and ideas for improvement. I am grateful for the many constructive comments and suggestions. I have also solicited input from the deans, the Academic Planning Group, the Academic Senate leadership, and a group of faculty participating in the Provost’s Leadership Academy.
Based on what we have heard, I will be re-balancing the allocation of new FTEs during the 2017-18 budget cycle, with the preponderance going directly to the schools and the remainder to campuswide strategic initiatives. Specifically, I will suspend the Midcareer Professor and High Impact programs in their current forms. I will continue the Inclusive Excellence Supplement within school-based hiring efforts, the Faculty Hiring for Leveraged Research Excellence program and the other initiatives. Regarding the FHLRE, I have asked Vice Chancellor Pramod Khargonekar to solicit feedback from you on the program scope and process and to provide me recommendations on revisions for next year.
Thank you for all that you do to ensure our excellence at UCI.
Enrique J. Lavernia, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering