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Syracuse University Announces New Interdisciplinary Clusters, 69 New Faculty Members to Be Hired Across New and Existing Clusters
Syracuse University’s Cluster Hires Initiative is moving ahead rapidly with approval to fund 69 new faculty positions in new and existing interdisciplinary academic clusters. Cluster hires involve scholars whose academic interests align with two or more schools/colleges based on shared, multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary research. The addition of three more clusters to the original seven bolsters the University’s research enterprise and reaffirms its commitment to hire, develop and retain diverse faculty.
The three new clusters are:
- Quantum Information Science, bringing together faculty in physics, chemistry and engineering to focus on next-generation technologies being developed;
- Citizenship and Democratic Institutions, bringing together faculty in journalism, communications, political science, law and information technology to focus on research in the social sciences, humanities and veterans affairs; and
- Virtual and Immersive Interactions, bringing together faculty in communications, computer science, information technology, human behavior, pedagogy research and the creative arts to focus on innovation in virtual and extended reality.
The 18 positions funded for these new clusters are in addition to 51 positions funded in the following existing clusters: Aging, Health and Neuroscience; Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems and the Human-Technology Frontier; Big Data and Data Analytics; BioInspired Syracuse: Institute for Material and Living Systems; Energy and Environment; and Social Differences, Social Justice.
“The Cluster Hires Initiative not only brings new faculty for interdisciplinary teaching and research, but also promotes collaborations among existing faculty in a broad spectrum of disciplines including STEM, social sciences, humanities and creative works,” says Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost Zhanjiang “John” Liu. “Through the collective work of faculty, deans, associate deans for research and the Senate Research Committee, we have made great effort to align cluster hires with societal relevance, future teaching and research needs, toward a more diverse and engaged faculty in the areas of our strengths at the University.”
“The 10 clusters really reflect areas of great strength and potential for the University to break new ground as a research powerhouse,” says Ramesh Raina, interim vice president for research. “It is heartening and exciting to see how many faculty across disciplines are interested in collaborating on research to address some of society’s greatest challenges and issues, and in preparing our students for success in professions that are still evolving.”
The new faculty positions span a broad range of interests and study including among many others: health economics, rehabilitation robotics, food systems and climate change, black queer studies, hip hop and social justice, journalism and trust in the digital media environment, and post-quantum cryptography, among many others.
In order to incentivize hiring of faculty from underrepresented groups, for the second round of cluster hiring, central funds will cover 70 percent of the total cost with colleges and schools covering the other 30 percent for hiring of faculty from underrepresented groups. This is in addition to the new Diversity Opportunity Hires Initiative announced last month to encourage hiring of faculty from underrepresented groups.
As Chancellor Kent Syverud stated in his Winter Message, the new faculty hiring underway is critical to the University’s mission and vision: “Not only have we been able to retain world-class scholars and researchers, and need to do even better at that, but we are adding new expertise, new colleagues and new peers, we are building for the future. And it is in context, of this much hiring, this extraordinary hiring, that we are even more strongly incentivizing hiring of faculty from underrepresented groups.”
During the first round of cluster hiring, 53 new positions were funded to support the initial seven clusters of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary studies.