Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Policy and Planning Committee

The Policy and Planning Committee (PPC) is the only body elected to represent the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to the Arts and Sciences and university leadership. The committee consists of nine tenured faculty, six elected from a nominated slate (two from each division) and three chosen by and from the Department Chairs (one from each division). Elected members serve for three years.

The PPC participates in the process by which planning priorities are set and resources are allocated among the departments and schools comprising the Arts and Sciences. In addition, the PPC’s responsibilities include working with the Executive Vice President of Arts and Sciences (EVPAS) and the Deans to constitute, dissolve, and appoint members of standing committees, to evaluate reports on the work of these committees, to call and set agendas for faculty meetings, and to report to the faculty. The PPC also names the majority of the members of the search committee for the EVPAS.

The PPC is both a sounding board for new ideas and a source of creative ways to respond to Arts and Sciences challenges. The committee meets regularly with the Executive Committee (EC) and the Planning and Budget Committee (P&B); it also holds discussions with the President and Provost to address faculty concerns and influence university governance. Working closely with the Arts and Sciences administration, the PPC develops initiatives to improve faculty teaching, research and life.


Committee Members 2013-2014:

Yinon Cohen is the Yosef H. Yerushalmi Professor of Israeli and Jewish Studies and Chair of the Department of Sociology. His areas of research include social stratification, labor markets, labor market discrimination, socioeconomic ethnic and gender gaps, industrial relations, international migration, selectivity and economic assimilation of immigrants and Israeli society. Recent and current research projects include the migration of highly skilled workers, causes for rising income inequality in the U.S. and Israel, and the changing demography of Israeli settlers in the Occupied West Bank. Before joining Columbia in 2007, Cohen taught at Tel Aviv University where he served as chair of the senior faculty union.

E. Valentine Daniel is a professor of anthropology whose consuming interest is in the relevance of the writings of Charles S. Peirce and Martin Heidegger for anthropological theory and practice. European modernity begins and is sustained, he holds, by the–unwarranted?–questions raised by Descartes and the–inadequate?–answers provided by him and most major thinkers in the western intellectual tradition who followed him. And anthropology is a capricious child of such a modernity because of its encounter with systems of thought and action that interrogate this modernity on the one hand and its filial loyalty to its own disciplinary heritage on the other. Peirce and Heidegger, as two of the most powerful critics of Cartesianism, show us ways of connecting non-western (ethnographic) critiques to western modernism’s (philosophical) critiques deriving from these two thinkers. Against this broad problematique, he does research and writes on semeiotics, violence, refugees and plantation labor. His geographic areas of research are South India and Sri Lanka.

Robert Jervis is the Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Politics and has been a member of the Columbia political science department since 1980. He has also held professorial appointments at the University of California at Los Angeles (1974-1980) and Harvard University (1968-1974). In 2000-2001, he served as President of the American Political Science Association. Jervis is co-editor of the "Cornell Studies in Security Affairs," a series published by Cornell University Press, and a member of numerous editorial review boards for scholarly journals. His publications include Perception and Misperception in International Politics, The Meaning of the Nuclear Revolution, System Effects: Complexity in Political and Social Life, American Foreign Policy in a New Era, and Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Fall of the Shah and Iraqi WMD, and several edited volumes and numerous articles in scholarly journals.

Jack Snyder, the current 2013-2014 PPC chair, is the Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Relations in the political science department and has taught at Columbia since 1981. He has served as chair of the political science department, chair of the Academic Review Committee, director of the Institute of War and Peace Studies, and acting director of the Harriman Institute. His books include Religion and International Relations Theory (Columbia University Press, 2011), Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to War (MIT Press, 2005), co-authored with Edward D. Mansfield; From Voting to Violence: Democratization and Nationalist Conflict (Norton Books, 2000); Myths of Empire: Domestic Politics and International Ambition (Cornell University Press, 1991); and The Ideology of the Offensive: Military Decision Making and the Disasters of 1914 (Cornell 1984). A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Snyder received a B.A. in government from Harvard University in 1973, the Certificate of Columbia's Russian Institute in 1978, and a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia in 1981.

Madeleine Zelin is the Dean Lung Professor of Chinese Studies and a Professor of History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Department of History. Zelin’s current research focuses on legal history and the role of law in the Chinese economy. Zelin has pioneered the study of Chinese legal and economic history. Her book The Merchants of Zigong: Industrial Enterprise in Early Modern China (Columbia University Press, 2005), a study of the indigenous roots of Chinese economic culture and business practice was awarded the 2006 Allan Sharlin Memorial Prize of the Social Science History Association, the 2006 Fairbank Prize of the Association for Asian Studies and the 2007 Humanities Book Prize of the International Convention on Asian Studies. In addition to teaching the advanced modern Chinese history survey and general graduate seminars and colloquia on modern Chinese history, Zelin offers courses on Chinese legal and economic history and the history of social movements in China.

Nicholas Dames is the Theodore Kahan Professor of Humanities and Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature. He is a specialist in the novel, with particular attention to the novel of the nineteenth century in Britain and on the European continent; his interests also include novel theory, the history of reading, and the aesthetics of prose fiction from the seventeenth century to the present. He is the author of Amnesiac Selves: Nostalgia, Forgetting, and British Fiction, 1810-1870 (Oxford, 2001), which was awarded the Sonya Rudikoff Prize by the Northeast Victorian Studies Association; and The Physiology of the Novel: Reading, Neural Science, and the Form of Victorian Fiction (Oxford, 2007). He was awarded Columbia’s Presidential Teaching Award in 2005, and in 2008 he was named a recipient of the Gerry Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award. In 2005-2006 he was a Charles Ryskamp Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. In 2009 he served as Chair of the MLA’s Executive Division on Prose Fiction. He is a founding member and on the Executive Board of the Society for Novel Studies (SNS). Along with Prof. Susan Pedersen of the History Department, he co-runs British Studies at Columbia. His current project is a history of the chapter, from the textual cultures of late antiquity, particularly the editorial and scribal practices of early Christianity, to the modern novel.

Cathy Popkin (Ph.D., Stanford; B.A., Wesleyan), is the Jesse and George Siegel Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Russian. She is the author of The Pragmatics of Insignificance: Chekhov, Zoshchenko, Gogol and a number of articles on 19th-century Russian literature and culture. Her new Norton Critical Edition of Anton Chekhov's Selected Stories is the first in that series to focus explicitly on the question of translation. Works in progress include a book manuscript, "Bodies of Knowledge: Chekhov's Corpus," a co-edited volume "Teaching Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature," and two essays "Trees Are People Too: Turgenev and Metaphoricity," and "Chekhov and the Medical Humanities." Her recent work is motivated by a concern with bodies, knowledge, and the meaning of space, place, and resemblance, as well as a particular interest in 19th-century psychiatric and documentary practices. Popkin moved to Columbia from Dartmouth in 1986 and has been active in faculty governance at all levels: department (chair, Slavic Languages); Columbia College/General Studies (chair, Literature Humanities and Committee on the Core; member, Committee on Instruction; president, Phi Beta Kappa; director of undergraduate studies,); Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (director of graduate sciences); Arts and Sciences (ECFAS, Faculty Budget Group, Internal ARC Review of Faculty Governance Structures; convener and chair, Administrative Advisory Group); University (TRAC). Popkin was one of the authors of the report that recommended the creation of the PPC.

Frits Paerels is a Professor of Astronomy and is a Director of the Columbia Astrophysics Lab. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Utrecht (Netherlands). He was a research scientist at Columbia before becoming a Senior Scientist of SRON Space Reearch Laboratory in the Netherlands

Robert Friedman (Ph.D., Harvard 1981) has been in the Mathematics Department of Columbia University for 30 years. He has been chair of the Mathematics Department (2001-2004) and a member of ECFAS (chair in 2007-08). His research is centered on algebraic geometry and its connections with topology, mathematical physics, and the theory of Lie groups. His books include Smooth Four-Manifolds and Complex Surfaces (with John Morgan) and Algebraic Surfaces and Holomorphic Vector Bundles. His current research is concerned with understanding the period domains associated to Calabi-Yau manifolds.

Shahid Naeemthe current 2013-2014 PPC vice chair, is a professor of ecology and acting chair in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B). He studies the ecological and environmental consequences of biodiversity loss. He is interested in how changes in the distribution and abundance of plants, animals, and microbes, affect how ecosystems function and, by extension, how ecosystems services are affected. His work combines theoretical, observational, and experimental studies under field and laboratory conditions, to uncover the mechanistic bases for the impacts of biodiversity loss on ecosystems. His work has demonstrated how the loss of species from ecosystems affect their ability to resist invasion by other species, affect production and nutrient cycling, and affect the reliability and stability of ecosystems. He is actively involved in bringing the science of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning to conservation, restoration and policy development. His research at the Earth Institute is part of Translinks, a five-year Wildlife Conservation Society project that promotes economic growth in poverty-stricken regions around the world by linking development, governance and natural resource conservation to alleviate poverty.

Policy and Planning Committee, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13

In its inaugural year, in 2010, the Policy and Planning Committee (PPC) membership was established in September and the election from the nominated slate yielded three members (rather than six), one from each division. For continuity and in recognition of the important work by ECFAS, three inaugural members of the PPC (one from each division) were chosen by and from the 2009-10 ECFAS membership. As per the Stated Rules three PPC members were chosen by and from the Chairs. The complete 2010-11 and 2011-12 PPC rosters are given below.

Peter Bearman, 2010-11
Yinon Cohen, 2012-13
E. Valentine Daniel, 2012-13
Robert Jervis, 2010-11, 2011-12 
Michael Riordan, 2010-11, 2011-12 
Jack Snyder, PPC Co-Chair, 2011-12, PPC Co-Chair 2012-13

Teodolinda Barolini, PPC Chair 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 
Nicholas Dames, 2012-13
Jean E. Howard, 2010-11 
Cathy Popkin, PPC Co-Chair, 2011-12, PPC Co-Chair 2012-13
Wayne Proudfoot, 2010-11 
Phil Watts, 2011-12

Ruth DeFries, 2010-11
Stuart Firestein, 2012-13
Robert Friedman, 2011-12, 2012-13 
Ann McDermott, PPC Vice Chair 2010-11, PPC Chair 2011-12, PPC Chair 2012-13 
William Zajc, 2010-11, 2011-12


In 2008-09 and 2009-10 the Faculty of Arts and Sciences undertook a review of faculty governance, spearheaded by the Executive Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (ECFAS) and carried out by the Academic Review Committee (ARC). In spring 2010 the recommendations of the ARC review were shared with the entire Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Fruitful consultations between ECFAS, ARC, Department Chairs, Administration, and Faculty informed the entire process.

A subsequent vote of the whole faculty was held to amend the Stated Rules of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and thereby implement one of the recommendations of the review: to replace the form of faculty governance exercised by ECFAS with a new faculty committee to be called the Policy and Planning Committee. The proposed amendment to the Stated Rules passed in April 2010. The names of past members of the PPC are found at the bottom of the "Members" tab.