Research and Teaching

Faculty: The plan offers many strategies for solidifying faculty excellence School-wide and for supporting faculty across their careers. It also calls for several specific standing faculty appointments in support of our integrated knowledge initiatives. The selected creation of non-standing faculty tracks will bolster a number of our education programs. Ultimately it will be the School’s ability to recruit and retain eminent scholars and teachers that will testify to our success in these efforts.  In addition, our review of the faculty assessment process will seek to ensure that we have the most effective mechanism for evaluating faculty productivity in today’s rapidly-changing academic landscape. Of course, SAS will continue to examine School-wide measures of productivity and recognition, such as publications, grants, and honors, to assess the collective activity of our research enterprise.

Education: The extensive education goals of this plan strive to ensure that SAS admits the most talented students from around the world and provides them with the finest arts and sciences education.  There are many quantitative measures of student excellence, such as admissions, honors, and job placement data, but SAS will also pursue qualitative indicators of program excellence and learning outcomes through its continued assessment activities. Evaluating the quality of teaching remains a priority, particularly as we test new pedagogical approaches. The plan also focuses on increasing student involvement in the School’s research mission and we will monitor data on the rate of the rate of undergraduate participation in structured research experiences.

Integration of Knowledge: The eight emerging academic opportunities identified in the plan propose several ways for the School to advance key areas of integrated knowledge in the years to come.  Our achievement of greater interdisciplinary research and teaching activity will be measured through a variety of means. These include hiring faculty through multidepartmental searches such as for PIKs and clusters.  Evidence of collective research, grants, and publications, as well as the visibility and external recognition of that work, will also be an important indicator. We will continue to promote and assess integrative education programs at all levels across Penn schools.