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UC Merced Prepares to Hire First Faculty Members

January 4, 2002

MERCED, CA — The search has begun for outstanding scholars to serve as founding faculty at the University of California, Merced campus.

In keeping with the mission of the University of California system to provide teaching, research and public service of the highest quality, UC Merced is recruiting senior and mid-career scholars in a variety of disciplines. These initial faculty members will help create UC Merceds academic programs and shape the cross-disciplinary curriculum that will be a hallmark of the new campus.

“Building a strong faculty will help make UC Merced a pre-eminent institution, said David Ashley, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for UC Merced. We're delighted to begin our search for the founding faculty, who will ensure our students receive the best possible education. The facultys research will provide tremendous opportunities for students, begin to build a record of service for our campus and have important benefits for the region.”

The campus is seeking faculty members with distinguished records in teaching, research and publication. Candidates also must demonstrate a strong commitment to the success of students from all backgrounds and proven dedication to excellence in education at all levels lower division, upper division and graduate.

According to Ashley, the goal is to hire 15 faculty members this year and a total of 80 tenure-track faculty members before UC Merced is scheduled to open in fall 2004. In response to job announcements posted in several education and research publications both nationally and internationally, more than 500 applications for the initial positions have been received during the past month. Applications have come from such countries as Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, England, Kuwait and Singapore, as well as from all around the United States.

Consideration of applications and nominations began January 1, 2002 and will continue until all positions are filled.

As the first major research university of the 21 stcentury, UC Merced will provide new educational opportunities at the undergraduate, master and doctoral levels through a trio of academic divisions: Engineering, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences/Humanities/Arts. Integral to the overall academic concept will be advanced, technology-based learninginitial disciplinary and interdisciplinary academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. They also will help recruit the complement of faculty, targeting the development of cross-disciplinary teams with unique capabilities.

Faculty nominations and applications at all faculty ranks and in all disciplines pertaining to the three academic divisions are invited. According to Ashley, the initial complement of faculty will be approximately evenly divided among the three academic divisions.

By division, preferences for the initial faculty include:

Division of Engineering

Senior and mid-career scholars from any field of engineering are encouraged to apply. Special consideration will be given to individuals with strong scholarly accomplishment in the areas of computing and communications engineering or energy and environmental engineering.

Division of Natural Sciences

Senior and mid-career scholars in the biological sciences and physical sciences are encouraged to apply, particularly faculty with interests in systems biology (cell and ecological/environmental) and the physical science disciplines of chemistry, physics, mathematics and geosciences.

Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts

Senior and mid-career scholars specializing in economics, political science, anthropology, psychology, history, literature, and digital arts are encouraged to apply.

Faculty in the fields of public policy or management, and those with a background in research that crosses academic fields also are sought, as are scholars who can make significant contributions to the crosscutting, multi-disciplinary research institutes both founded and envisioned for development.

The Sierra Nevada Research Institute is the first of these innovative, interdisciplinary programs. Through this institute, UC Merced is partnering with UCs Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks to conduct research and academic programs focusing on environmental sciences, policy and issues relevant to the Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley regions.

Also encouraged to apply are faculty who can contribute to the World Cultures Institute, another of the cross-disciplinary programs. This institute will focus primarily on the movements of peoples and their historical and cultural consequences, emphasizing research and study of the cultures represented regionally.

Excellent candidates for the institutes would demonstrate research backgrounds that encompass more than one of the disciplines identified for initial development.

Currently employing approximately 90 educators and professionals, UC Merced is the 10 thUniversity of California campus. UC Merced will serve 1,000 students when the main campus opens in 2004 and is expected to grow to a student population of 25,000 during the coming decades.