Skip to main content

New faculty bring strength, diversity to ASU


September 07, 2006

Sparking students' intellectual curiosity in ASU classrooms this fall is the most accomplished, most diverse group of faculty in the university's history. In addition to the talented academics already at ASU, the university has hired 145 new tenured and tenure-track faculty who bring with them impressive records of scholarship.

Of these, 37 percent are minority faculty, and almost 40 percent are female. A third of the new faculty members were hired in the senior ranks of full professor or associate professor.

The most significant increase is among African-American faculty, with eight new scholars, four of them in the senior ranks. These outstanding individuals have been hired across all four campuses, in eight different colleges. They represent a substantial increase to a group that numbered 43 last year.

Sixteen of the new faculty members are Hispanic, maintaining ASU's standing as having one of the highest numbers of Hispanic faculty in the country. Another 30 are of Asian-American/Pacific Islander descent.

Though no new tenure-track American Indian faculty members were hired this year, ASU set a record of 26 American Indian faculty last year, again one of the highest in the nation.

"This large infusion of diverse faculty at the senior ranks can really make a difference in the culture of the institution," says Marjorie Zatz, university vice provost. "They bring a vitality, a depth of scholarship and a range of perspectives that will substantially enhance student learning.

"There's been a concerted effort on the part of faculty and administrators across the university to identify exceptional faculty of color and show them what ASU has to offer, especially in terms of exciting collaborations across disciplines and colleges. This has helped us build our intellectual strength in key areas."

The Southwest Borderlands Initiative has attracted four of the newly hired scholars to ASU, and the university now has a sizeable cluster of academics working on issues of particular relevance to scholars of race, culture and gender. For example, faculty members affiliated with the new American Indian Policy Center are working with tribal communities to identify issues of concern and to provide technical and policy assistance.

"ASU faculty have the opportunity to connect with one another in a variety of scholarly and creative endeavors, and the result is some great synergy," Zatz says. "Our new faculty are coming to ASU from excellent universities. We're deepening our senior ranks, adding people who bring exceptional records of scholarship and strong professional networks. This enhances ASU's reputation within disciplines, and increases the value of students' degrees."

Among the new faculty hired, 23 are at West campus, 17 at Polytechnic and 10 at the Downtown Phoenix campus. Ninety-five Tempe campus hires include 13 in the Herberger College of Fine Arts, 15 in the Fulton School of Engineering, 49 in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, seven in the W. P. Carey School of Business, three in the College of Design, four in the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education, two in the Global Institute of Sustainability, and one each in the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.