Finding and Funding Excellent Faculty

Professors are seeing Stevens as an ideal environment for teaching and research.

Every fall, Stevens welcomes hundreds of new faces. Most of those are curious freshmen, but a distinguished set includes the faculty who come to call Castle Point home.

This fall, 19 professors joined Stevens after teaching at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and other top colleges. Just as students choose colleges where they can fulfill their potential, faculty look for supportive environments where they can broaden their impact. At Stevens, that support includes encouragement from campus leadership, a choice location near numerous industries that value academic research, and robust philanthropy providing resources and prestige.

“Faculty are the heart of a university, and as we embark on the next phase of our strategic plan, our top priority is to recruit outstanding teachers and researchers,” said Provost Christophe Pierre. “The new faculty here this year arrive with impressive credentials, and I am confident they will contribute much to our university for many years to come.”

Within the four academic units, new faculty members have expertise in business analytics, cellular biology, cybersecurity, drug discovery, internet architecture and other emerging fields.

“I decided to join Stevens so I can share my experience to help students prepare for the highly competitive global job market,” said Emily Liu, who joined the School of Business after working as a research scientist with IBM. “Meanwhile, Stevens provides me with opportunities to strengthen my research on deep learning, blockchain, and business analytics in collaboration with other outstanding faculty members.”

“The major reason I decided to come to Stevens remains the innovative relationship here between STEM and the humanities,” said Bradley Fidler, who taught information science at UCLA and USC before joining the College of Arts and Letters. “We are exploring new ways to add humanistic insight to rigorous STEM fields, not just for general awareness of social issues, but to make more effective and strategic STEM practitioners. It’s happening in undergrad education, as well as in grad and faculty research. It’s unique to Stevens, and it has tremendous potential.”

Philanthropic support has played a crucial role in recruiting excellent professors. Thanks to Dave Farber ’56 establishing a chair, Stevens lured Giuseppe Ateniese from Johns Hopkins to lead the emerging computer science department. Farber’s philanthropy also supports Alex Wellerstein, a nuclear weapons historian, through the David and GG Farber Faculty Fellowship, designed to “recognize and support faculty in the College of Arts and Letters who study and raise public awareness about the social impacts of scientific and technological development.”

In the School of Business, a recent gift from Fred Paulson ’59 enabled Stevens to attract Victor Luo, a former Federal Reserve economist, as the Paulson Assistant Professor of Finance.

“We are always looking for dynamic professors like Giuseppe, Alex and Victor,” Pierre said, “who are looking for a university where they can engage talented students and pursue impactful research. We are ideally situated near the financial, pharmaceutical and other major industries, and we are able to position our faculty and their expertise as something of great economic and societal value.”

The best way to recruit excellent faculty to Stevens is to offer a named chair or fellowship. Chairs and fellowships give faculty resources for teaching, research, conferences and graduate assistants, plus prestige among their colleagues and a greater presence beyond campus, as governments, industries and the media seek their expertise.

In the future, Stevens will fill endowed chairs established by Tom Corcoran ’67, Rick Roscitt ’73, Steve Shulman ’62 and the estate of Elbert Brinning, a university friend.

“A named chair or fellowship is a compelling incentive for professors to consider Stevens,” Pierre said. “As a rising university in the country, we are looking for professors who match that trajectory, professors who are established but still have a desire to grow. By attracting them with opportunities and resources, we are confident we can retain them as fixtures who continue to benefit our students.”