Professor Jamshed Bharucha, newly appointed Dean of Faculty, stressed his commitment to academic excellence and diversity of faculty.
For Bharucha, meeting his goal of academic excellence means “providing a learning experience for students that is second to none, creating in students a love of exploration and challenging and inspiring students to develop their talents to the fullest.”
“I will try to recruit and retain the very best teacher scholars — people who become recognized contributors in their field and love to infect students with their excitement,” Bharucha commented.
On the issue of hiring minority faculty Bharucha said, “I’m absolutely committed to diversity on the faculty, but given our geographical location we have to work even harder to hire, retain, and mentor minority faculty.”
For the current Dean of Faculty, Edward Berger, increasing the faculty diversity has been an important issue, as it has been a major concern for students and faculty in the past. Bharucha, who is of Indian ancestry, also personally contributes to the diversity of the faculty.
Bharucha said he was in favor of keeping the education department in its current form, with a teaching training program.
“Some students seem to be worried that teacher training is going to be discontinued, that would not be my intention. I’m committed to a very strong education department apart from the cognitive sciences,” he said.
On the recent hiring of two new education professors with backgrounds in psychology, Bharucha said, “an education department is only strengthened when faculty has ties to other departments, which is part of the value we place on interdisciplinary studies.”
Bharucha stressed the importance of what he called “interdisciplinarity.” He said academia was moving in the direction of greater “co-fertilization” between disciplines.
He mentioned that the College’s recent decision to introduce a Korean language program was a good example of what he meant by interdisciplinarity.
Bharucha also said he was open to the idea of creating a Gay and Lesbian Studies department.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if it [Gay and Lesbian Studies] were on the horizon, as gender studies is a timely and legitimate area of study. If there is a proposal from faculty, we would certainly take a close look at it,” Bharucha commented.
While Bharucha did not want to comment on the current state of the Greek system in relation to his goal of academic excellence, he called the recent Zeta Psi incident an “outrage.”
“I think the SLI and the steps being taken will go a long way for providing students with a range of options that will enhance academic excellence,” Bharucha added.
As dean, Bharucha said he hopes to make at least modest increases in the size of the 580 member Dartmouth faculty. The number of new faculty hired will depend on the success of fundraising by the Dean of Faculty’s office and the Provost’s office, said Bharucha.
“It costs between two and two and a half million dollars to fund a new faculty position,” he said. The money to hire new faculty comes primarily from alumni, but also from private foundations and federal agencies.
Bharucha cited the recent grant from the Mellon Foundation, which will fund the hiring of post doctoral fellows in social science and humanities.
The fellows will teach and do research, and will enrich both students and faculty, “but they are not a replacement for faculty members,” he added.
Bharucha was the associate dean for the social sciences from 1997 to 2000, and has been the deputy provost since then. He said his past experience in the administration has given him an “institutionally and financially wide perspective, which will be valuable.”