Having trouble viewing this email? View as a webpage.

Provost - Open Dore E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

January 2016

New Year, New Hires, New Perspectives

Dear colleagues,

We are mid-way through the academic year, and this time of year brings a flurry of activities to recruit new faculty. Across university central schools andcolleges, at least 40 different searches are completed or underway to bring new colleagues to campus by Fall 2016. I am pleased to report that we are competing at an incredibly high level for excellence across disciplines – with some early successes to report.

I have been thoroughly impressed by the outstanding quality of the new faculty who are choosing to call Vanderbilt home. Their decision to come here is evidence of many Vanderbilt strengths but, perhaps above all, it is a testament to the world-renowned faculty, students and staff that they are coming to work with. It is also abundantly clear we are making genuine progress in our continuing efforts to increase the diversity of the faculty. I would like to thank the search committees, department chairs and deans for their tireless efforts to bring the best and the brightest to campus.

Here is the first wave of the “rock-star” hires we will soon welcome to campus. All will bring new perspectives to our campus, and ten of the fourteen below will enhance the racial, ethnic, and/or gender diversity of our community of scholars:

  • Allison Anoll, Assistant Professor of Political Science (Stanford Ph.D. forthcoming)
  • Corey Brady, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences, from Northwestern University (University of Massachusetts Ph.D.)
  • Sarah Brown-Schmidt, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development, from University of Illinois (University of Rochester Ph.D.)
  • Christopher Candelaria, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Education (Stanford Ph.D. forthcoming)
  • Nicole Joseph, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, from University of Denver (University of Washington Ph.D.)
  • Sara Mayeux, J.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Law, from The University of Pennsylvania (Stanford J.D., Ph.D.)
  • Padma Raghavan, Ph.D. Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Vice Provost for Research, from Pennsylvania State University (Pennsylvania State University Ph.D.)
  • Peter Schram, Assistant Professor of Political Science (Stanford Ph.D. forthcoming)
  • Tesha Sengupta-Irving, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, from University of California, Irvine (Stanford University Ph.D.)
  • Matthew Shaw, J.D., Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Education (Harvard University Ed.D. forthcoming) (2017 start)
  • Jose Sibaja, Associate Professor of Trumpet, from Boston Brass (trained at the New World School of the Arts and the University of Miami)
  • Adela Soliz, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Higher Education (Harvard University Ed.D. forthcoming)
  • Sherece Thrower, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Political Science, from University of Pittsburgh (Princeton Ph.D.)
  • Duane Watson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development, from University of Illinois (MIT Ph.D.)

The recruiting season is still in full swing. We will have more “rock star” hires in the coming weeks and months to share with you. Whether it’s replacing a retiring senior faculty member, building on existing strengths, or seeding a new area, our search committees, department chairs and deans have all aimed high and truly advanced the trans-institutional goals outlined in the Academic Strategic Plan.


More Opportunistic and Innovative Strategies for Faculty Recruiting

  • Sharing best practices among deans and department chairs
  • Offering workshops and involvement with the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium
  • Creating incentives to support diverse perspectives, and supporting opportunity hires
  • Launching new systems for tracking applicant and interview pools, giving easy access to critical  demographic data


Our strategic vision allows us to think creatively about each and every faculty search. It defines diversity in the broadest sense of the term, and recognizes how critical it is to ensuring excellence in our core missions of discovery, learning and service. Different experiences and perspectives shape the human condition and, as the Academic Strategic Plan reads, “give rise to very different prisms by which each individual thinks about problems and opportunities and then approaches solutions.” Each of these new hires brings a fresh set of experiences and approaches and will enrich us all.

Equally important to recruiting is retention. Just last week we announced the second set of Chancellor Faculty Fellow awards, a program that directly re-invests in the careers of our newly tenured associate professors.

We also need to do even more to support faculty professional development at the university and at the school and college level. Thus, I am pleased to announce that in a few days, faculty members will receive a request to participate in a survey of faculty job satisfaction. This survey research is part of a national program called the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), which has been operated by the Harvard Graduate School of Education since 2003. I ask that faculty members please dedicate 25 minutes to taking the survey. Your participation in this survey is critically important. This survey will also provide an invaluable opportunity to assess the climate on campus for diverse groups, ranging from race to ethnicity to sexual orientation to gender identity to religious views. My office is working closely with Vice Chancellor George Hill on this project. By taking a broad look at diversity, we will learn a great deal about our faculty and how to be even more supportive of their teaching, research and service missions.

These survey data will be completely confidential as COACHE will retain the data and conduct the analysis. We will directly share the results with the Vanderbilt community.

As always, I look forward to hearing your perspectives and seeing many of you around campus or in an upcoming Open Dore On Location session.



Susan Wente

Previous Open Dore Issues

In case you missed it….

Looking Ahead to 2016 – December 2015

A Message on Diversity and Inclusion – November 2015

One VU to the World – October 2015

On Location Update – September 2015

The Feedback Loop – August 2015

The Discovery ROI – May 2015

Strategic Decisions for Strategic Impact – April 2015

New Leaders and Calls for All to Engage – March 2015

A Culture Powered by Ideas – February 2015

Welcome to the First Issue of The Open Dore – January 2015

Check out the latest dates, times and locations.

Faculty and staff are invited to attend informal discussion sessions held at locations across campus.

Congratulations Mark Wallace!

Mark Wallace, director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute and a prolific and distinguished neurobiologist and mentor, has been named dean of the Vanderbilt University Graduate School. “Mark has an aggressive vision for meaningful change at the Graduate School and a suite of innovative ideas on how to propel graduate education forward. He has a proven track record of creating environments where graduate students thrive, as well as dramatic success in building trans-institutional relationships and infrastructure,” Provost Susan Wente said.

Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault Results Released

Vanderbilt University has released results from its inaugural Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault. The university also released recommendations developed by its Provost’s Task Force on Sexual Assault based on its analysis of survey results.

2016 Cohort of Faculty Fellows Announced

The 2016 class of Chancellor Faculty Fellows is comprised of highly accomplished, recently tenured faculty from the humanities, social sciences, life and physical sciences, and clinical sciences, as well as business, education and engineering.

Strong Inside chosen as the 2016-17 Commons Reading

Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South by Andrew Maraniss, is the biography of Wallace, a Vanderbilt alumnus and little-known sports and civil rights pioneer, who was the first African American to play basketball in the Southeastern Conference beginning in the 1966 fall semester.

COACHE Faculty Survey

Be on the lookout February 3 for an email from COACHE requesting your participation in a survey of faculty job satisfaction. This survey research is part of a national program called the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), which has been operated by the Harvard Graduate School of Education since 2003.

Other News

Harrison named director of Sponsored Programs Administration

Staff town hall gathers input on diversity and inclusion

Helpful Links

VU/VUMC Transition

Provost Website

Advisory Committees

Search Committees

Strategic Plan Committees


Office of the Provost  |  vanderbilt.edu/provost

Helpful Links

Provost Website
Advisory Committees
Search Committees
Strategic Plan Committees

Vanderbilt University is committed to principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action.
Vanderbilt®, Vanderbilt University®, V Oak Leaf Design®, Star V Design® and Anchor Down® are trademarks of The Vanderbilt University. ©2022 Vanderbilt University. All rights reserved.