Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

FAS Newsletter Fall 2015

A belated welcome to the start of a new academic year! This past year we achieved many good things together for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  The excellent work of a number of faculty committees greatly strengthened A&S faculty governance. We have new policies for junior faculty mentoring and timely replacement of departing faculty, revised our course evaluation process, and moved to a regular faculty meeting time.  We established a new topping off policy for prestigious fellowships through collaboration between the Divisional Deans, the Policy and Planning Committee, and the Junior Faculty Advisory Board (JFAB).  The JFAB itself emerged as a strong faculty voice, holding its first elections, and is now a bona fide faculty governance committee.

Led by the Divisional Deans for Social Science and Humanities, Alondra Nelson and Sharon Marcus, we finalized the academic strategic plans for those divisions, rounding out the divisional planning that had already begun in the Natural Sciences under Amber Miller, Dean of Science.  We are now initiating a number of related fundraising efforts that we hope will bear fruit in the near future.

The Academic Review Committee completed ten academic reviews last year and has a full slate again this year. The Educational Policy and Planning Committee (EPPC) has a similarly full agenda and new EPPC chair Brent Stockwell will provide a briefing at the upcoming faculty meeting.

Thanks to ongoing support from the central administration, and pursuant to the timely replacement policy, A&S was able to authorize robust faculty hiring for the second year in a row.

This past year we also celebrated the promotion of many of our colleagues:

Promotion to Associate Professor without Tenure

Catherine Fennell, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Pietro Ortoleva, Associate Professor of Economics

Natasha Lightfoot, Associate Professor of History

Tonya Putnam, Associate Professor of Political Science

Noam Elcott, Associate Professor of Art History and Archaeology

Marcus Folch, Associate Professor of Classics

Eleanor Johnson, Associate Professor of English & Comparative Literature

Wei Min, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Tanya Zelevinsky, Associate Professor of Physics

Promoted to Tenure

Angelo Cacciuto, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Julien Dubedat, Associate Professor of Mathematics

Marwa Elshakry, Associate Professor of History

Songtao Jia, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Robert King, Associate Professor of Film in the Faculty of the Arts      

Jingchen Liu, Associate Professor of Statistics     

Qingmin Liu, Associate Professor of Economics

Alberto Nicolis, Associate Professor of Physics

Alessandra Russo, Associate Professor of Latin American and Iberian Cultures        

Bodhisattva Sen, Associate Professor of Statistics

Audra Simpson, Associate Professor of Anthropology                              

Promoted to Full Professor

Wei Zhang, Professor of Mathematics

Madeleine Dobie, Professor of French and Romance Philology

Ruben Gonzalez, Professor of Chemistry

Carl Hart, Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry

Laura Kaufman, Professor of Chemistry

Ana Ochoa, Professor of Music

Appointed to Named Professorships

Page Fortna, Harold Brown Professor of U.S. Foreign and Security Policy

David Reichman, Centennial Professor of Chemistry

Robert Shapiro, Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government

Liang Tong, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Biological Sciences

William Zajc, I.I. Rabi Professor of Physics

Promoted Professor of Professional Practice and Associate Professor of Professional Practice

Eric Mendelsohn – Professor of Professional Practice in Film

Ramin Bahrani – Professor of Professional Practice in Film

Victor LaValle – Associate Professor of Practice in Writing

Sanford Biggers - Associate Professor of Practice in Visual Arts

Please join us in congratulating our colleagues!

This year we also welcome new colleagues to the A&S community, some who joined us in July, and others who are coming in January.  Please join us in welcoming our newest colleagues to the Arts and Sciences:

Senior Faculty

Stephanie McCurry, Professor of History

John Ma, Professor of Classics

Adam Tooze, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor History

Andreas Wimmer, Professor of Sociology

Junior Faculty

Mark Dean, Assistant Professor of Economics

Joshua Simon, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Alexandre Roberts, Assistant Professor of History

Harrison Huang, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Ying Qian, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Dustin Stewart, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature

Debashree Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies

Julia Doe, Assistant Professor of Music

Alessandra Ciucci, Assistant Professor Music

Kathryn Tabb, Assistant Professor Philosophy

Clemence Boulouque, Assistant Professor Religion

Ana Paulina Lee, Assistant Professor of Latin American and Iberian Cultures

David Kipping, Assistant Professor of Astronomy

James Calleri, Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Theatre Arts

Leslie Jamison, Assistant Professor of Writing

Aliza Nisenbaum, Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Visual Arts

Elizaveta Meksin, Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Visual Arts

Jack Lechner, Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Film

Hilton Als, Associate Professor of Writing

As the 2015-16 academic year begins we look forward to another successful year of close collaboration. The various faculty committees (PPC, EPPC, JFAB, ARC and PTC) are all active on multiple fronts, and have developed an exciting agenda for the new year. We encourage all faculty members to attend the monthly A&S Faculty Meetings, which will take place from noon to 1pm on Wednesdays (meeting dates below), at a time when (we hope) no tenured or tenure-track faculty teach.

All the best for a great new year!


Carlos J. Alonso, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Vice President for Graduate Education, and Morris A. And Alma Schapiro Professor of Humanities

David B. Madigan, Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Statistics

James J. Valentini, Dean of Columbia College, Vice President for Undergraduate Education, and Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor


Upcoming Faculty Meetings

Wednesdays 12:00-1:00

Meetings held in Faculty Room, 207 Low