Over the past three years, the School of Engineering and Applied Science has hired 24 new faculty members, amounting to one-third of the full-time faculty members in SEAS, according to data given to The GW Hatchet by the Office of the Provost.
University President Steven Knapp has long-hoped GW will become a premier research institution. With the potential building of a Science and Engineering Complex coupled with an increases hiring in research heavy disciplines, like engineering, GW is moving to hire and promote research on a national level.
The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences hired the largest number of full-time professors and faculty members of all the other schools within the University, with 52 hires during the same time period. The 52 hires, however, only amount to 11 percent of the full-time professors in the school, a Hatchet analysis found.
The College of Professional Studies hired the largest percentage of its full-time faculty, according to the data, at 35 percent.
“Our hiring reflects a balance between funding we have available, and our teaching and research needs,” said University Provost Steven Lerman.
Last October, SEAS began a voluntary separation incentive program that offered faculty members who started at the University before 1994 the opportunity to accept a financial buyout and leave their position at the University. The move would allow GW to hire new faculty that are “research-active,” former Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Donald Lehman said at the time. A similar round of buyouts was offered to CCAS faculty in the spring.
“We almost never these days hire anyone who doesn’t have an active research and scholarship agenda,” Lehman said, in June. “We have a goal, as you already know, to raise our standing as a research university.”
The hiring report also comes amid nationwide hiring freezes at colleges and universities. Despite the economic downturn, GW has been able to recruit and hire new faculty members without issuing any layoffs or involuntary firings.
Lerman said every school within the University has an intricate process for recruiting new members to its faculty, a system that must fit into the overall recruitment process for the University-at-large.
“Each school’s recruitment plan must be approved by the provost’s office,” Lerman said.
In the long term, the provost said each school has been able to – and will continue to – recruit and hire new faculty members by keeping the budget in check with the financial situation of each school.
“[The University, with] prudent financial management, has been able to continue hiring new faculty at a normal level throughout this economic downturn,” Lerman said.
-Amy Rhodin contributed to this report.