Investing in New Tenure-Line Faculty Positions and Sustainability 2008
In the first phase of PSU's 2007-09 academic investment program —Building Capacity for Improving Student Success and Expanding Innovative Research— the University allocated 21 new tenure-line positions, including 12 positions with shared responsibility for teaching in University Studies. Approximately $1.045 million was allocated for these positions in addition to $0.785 million from the existing University Studies budget. (To review the list of new positions allocated in phase one, please read here.)
"We allocated a total amount in excess of the $1 million originally reserved for phase one because many of the positions that were recommended, and several that were selected, can also directly contribute to phase two of our investment program—Advancing Our Contributions in Sustainability Toward National Leadership," said the provost.
Phase two of the investment program will advance the University's growing expertise in sustainability to national prominence. Advancing PSU leadership programs is one of the institutional goals identified through priority-setting activities in 2006-07. The selection of sustainability first received strong advocacy as the initial programmatic focus for advancement during the 2007 administrative retreat. It was later formally selected and approved by the Provost and the Council of Academic Deans. (To review the full set of priorities, please read here.)
In January 2008, the Office of Academic Affairs convened the ad hoc Sustainability Working Group to assess the University's existing strengths in sustainability and identify opportunities where additional faculty positions can have the greatest benefit. (To review their recommendations, please read "Informing the sustainability investment plan.") As a first step in the investment in sustainability, the Provost approved the recommendation to recruit a director for the Center for Sustainable Processes and Practices. Once on board, the director will lead the recruitment of up to seven additional faculty positions in selected focal areas over the next two years.
The goal is to harness Portland State's strengths in sustainability- new ideas, innovative partnerships, and academic rigor- toward solving the environmental, social and economic problems of our times. The new investment in sustainability will expand PSU's contributions and help define PSU regionally and beyond. (To read a recent communications piece on our green spirit and accomplishments, please read here.)