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New faculty heighten expertise, enhance global feel of campus

By Amy Agronis on November 19, 2004 in University

Each fall UC Davis welcomes a fresh group of faculty members to campus. Some are drawn to the university's established excellence in the sciences and support of interdisciplinary work, while others are attracted to new initiatives and opportunities, like technocultural studies, the Center for Mind and Brain and genomics. Whatever the reason, the campus continues to be a magnet for academics from around the globe.

"Just when you think the quality of our newly hired faculty couldn't possibly climb higher, it seems to do exactly that," says Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef. "Our search committees did an outstanding job this year, attracting candidates with the best of academic backgrounds and the richest of experiences. And, in several cases, we were doubly fortunate, successfully recruiting pairs of scholars through our Partner Opportunity Program, which is rapidly becoming a model program within UC."

In fact, more than 40 percent of the almost 120 new Academic Senate and Cooperative Extension members this year come from beyond our nation's borders. According to Vice Provost for Outreach and International Programs William Lacy, 20 different countries -- including China, Germany, India, Argentina, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan -- from six continents are represented by new faculty.

Calculated by the country of baccalaureate degrees, Lacy says these numbers are greater than the campus has seen in the past. Roughly half the new hires in the College of Letters and Science are international scholars, while 70 percent of those coming to the College of Engineering are from outside the United States.

"There's a strong science component among the international scholars attracted to UC Davis," Lacy says. "It looks like our faculty is becoming even more diverse than our student body."

Vice Provost for Academic Person-nel Barbara Horwitz says a range of diversity with respect to ethnicity and gender enriches the experiences of faculty, staff and students alike. "These new hires represent the future of our campus. As a whole, they seem remarkably eager and raring to go. It's a diverse group from all parts of the country and beyond, but they seem to genuinely want to fit into the campus community."

Horwitz notes that 36.3 percent of the new hires are women this year as compared to 43.8 percent last year. While the drop doesn't cause her overdue concern as the percentages fluctuate from year to year based in part on which discipline is hiring, Horwitz does keep an eye on the numbers.

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For look at UC Davis' about 120 new hires for 2004-05, see http://www.dateline.ucdavis.edu/newfaculty2004.pdf

Media contact(s)

Amy Agronis, Dateline, (530) 752-1932, abagronis@ucdavis.edu

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