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 2014-2015:

Page Fortna is Chair of the Political Science Department, where she has taught since 1999. She is also a member of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. Her research focuses on the durability of peace in the aftermath of both civil and interstate wars, war termination, and, most recently, the causes and consequences of terrorism in civil wars. Her books include Does Peacekeeping Work? Shaping Belligerents Choices after Civil War (Princeton University Press, 2008) and Peace Time: Cease-Fire Agreements and the Durability of Peace (Princeton University Press, 2004). She was honored to receive Columbia University’s Distinguished Faculty Award (a.k.a., Lenfest) in 2014, and the International Studies Association’s Karl Deutsch Award in 2010. She teaches classes on international politics, war termination, cooperation and security, terrorism, and research methods.

Gregory Wawro (Ph.D., Cornell, 1997) specializes in American politics (including Congress, elections, campaign finance, judicial politics, and political economy) and political methodology. He is the author of Legislative Entrepreneurship in the U.S. House of Representatives and co-author (with Eric Schickler) of Filibuster: Obstruction and Lawmaking in the United States Senate, which is an historical analysis of the causes and consequences of filibusters. He has published articles in The American Journal of Political Science, The Annual Review of Political Science, Critical Review, Legislative Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Law Economics and Organization, and Political Analysis. His academic awards include the Richard J. Fenno Prize for best book in legislative studies in 2006, the E.E. Schattschneider Award, the Milton J. Esman Award, the CQ Prize for best paper presented in the Legislative Studies section at the 2002 APSA meeting, a Mellon Foundation Graduate Fellowship, and a John M. Olin Faculty Fellowship. He has been a visiting scholar at the Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences at Harvard University.

Marc Van De Mieroop is a Professor in the History Department. In his research he concentrates on the Middle East in early antiquity (the Ancient Near East) and he writes on many different aspects of the cultures of this region –economic, social, political, and intellectual. His books include basic surveys (A History of Ancient Egypt, A History of the Ancient Near East) as well as focused studies (The Ancient Mesopotamian City, King Hammurabi of Babylon). He teaches a wide array of courses on the ancient histories of Mesopotamia and Egypt and has recently started to teach world history. Having arrived at Columbia in the 1980s he has chaired the departments of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures and of History, and has served on numerous committees.

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.

Dorothea E. von Mücke holds a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from Stanford University and has been teaching at Columbia since 1988. She has held visiting professorships in Berlin and Giessen. Representative courses: Eighteenth-Century Semiotics and Aesthetics, Heinrich von Kleist, Rousseau and Goethe, The Romantic Fantastic, Paradigms of Feminist Scholarship, Survey of Eighteenth-Century Literature, Literature and Psychoanalysis, Enlightenment and Religion, Faust and Media, Classical Drama. She has published the following books: Virtue and the Veil of Illusion. Generic Innovation and the Pedagogical Project in Eighteenth-Century Literature (Stanford University Press, 1991); with Veronica Kelly (ed. and intro.), Body and Text in the Eighteenth Century (Stanford University Press, 1994); and The Seduction of the Occult and the Rise of the Fantastic Tale (Stanford University Press, 2003). She is a coeditor of the New History of German Literature (Harvard University Press, 2004). Most recently she has completed a study about changing models of authorship and creativity in the arts and sciences during the long eighteenth century. Entitled, The Practices of the Enlightenment. Aesthetics, Authorship and the Public, this book is forthcoming with Columbia University Press in May 2015.

Alan Stewart is a professor and current Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. He works on early modern English literature, history, and culture. His publications include Close Readers: Humanism and Sodomy in Early Modern England (1997); Hostage to Fortune: The Troubled Life of Francis Bacon (with Lisa Jardine, 1998); Philip Sidney: A Double Life (2000); The Cradle King: A Life of James VI and I (2003); Letterwriting in Renaissance England (with Heather Wolfe, 2004); Shakespeare's Letters (2008); the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature (general editor, with Garrett Sullivan, 2012); and volume 1 of the Oxford Francis Bacon, Bacon's Early Writings, 1584-1596 (2012). He is currently working on a study of Early Modern Life-Writing for Oxford University Press, a classroom anthology of Tudor drama for Broadview, and volume 2 of the Oxford Francis Bacon. He serves as International Director of the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters in London ( At Columbia, he is currently the Director of the new interdisciplinary MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, a member of the University Seminars Advisory Board, and co-chair of the University Seminar in the Renaissance.

Liang Tong Liang Tong is Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, was Senior Scientist and then Principal Scientist at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ridgefield, CT, before joining Columbia in 1997. His research focuses on structural, biochemical and functional studies of metabolic enzymes with links to human diseases, and proteins involved in RNA recognition, processing, quality control, and degradation.

David Schiminovich received Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia after attending Yale as an undergraduate. Before his return as a professor in 2004, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Caltech. His research interests in galaxy cosmology include understanding how galaxies such as our own Milky Way formed and evolved, and mapping the “cosmic web” where most of the atoms and dark matter in the Universe reside. Since 1997 he has been a lead scientist on the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) satellite project. He is currently developing two new instruments, one for an on-going stratospheric balloon experiment and another for a ground-based telescope, both designed to discover faint light from the massive reservoirs of gas that feed into and flow out of galaxies. Recently he has also been developing the scientific motivation and design concept for the future replacement of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Shahid Naeemthe current 2014-2015 PPC 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, 2013-14

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, 2013,2014
E. Valentine Daniel, 2012-13, 2013-2014
Robert Jervis, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2013-2014 
Michael Riordan, 2010-11, 2011-12 
Jack Snyder, PPC Co-Chair, 2011-12, PPC Co-Chair 2012-13, PPC Co-Chair 2013-14

Teodolinda Barolini, PPC Chair 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 
Nicholas Dames, 2012-13, 2013-2014
Jean E. Howard, 2010-11 
Cathy Popkin, PPC Co-Chair, 2011-12, PPC Co-Chair 2012-13, PPC Co-Chair 2013-14
Wayne Proudfoot, 2010-11 
Phil Watts, 2011-12
Madeleine Zelin, 2013-2014

Ruth DeFries, 2010-11
Stuart Firestein, 2012-13
Robert Friedman, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-2014
Ann McDermott, PPC Vice Chair 2010-11, PPC Chair 2011-12, PPC Chair 2012-13 
Shahid Naeem, PPC Vice Chair 2013-2014
Frits Paerels, 2013-2014
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.