New Sabbatical Fellowship Program in the School of Arts & Sciences

March 22, 2019
Building Community in A&S

During the 2019-2020 academic year, three faculty members in the School of Arts & Sciences will be part of a pilot cohort in a new Sabbatical Fellowship Program.  

The Sabbatical Fellowship pilot grew out of feedback during the School’s strategic planning process, “Conceptualizing Arts & Sciences at 30,” or Concept 30. Faculty expressed a desire for deeper community and cross-disciplinary conversation. The Fellowship also addresses a financial gap in sabbaticals by offering a full year of research, at full pay.

“The teacher/scholar model puts a great strain on faculty,” said Patrice Rankine, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. “We wanted to find a way to support deep research and reflection while preserving a sense of a liberal arts community. As the guidelines state, ‘at the heart of the liberal arts endeavor is the belief that the richest intellectual life is achieved through exchanges across disciplines and in curiosity and learning about subjects outside one’s own specialty.’”

The Sabbatical Fellows for 2019-2020 are:  

  • Mimi Hanaoka, associate professor of religious studies;
  • Tracy Roof, associate professor of political science;
  • Amy Treonis, associate professor of biology.  

If any of the three are unable to serve as fellows for any reason (such as winning an external grant competition), Peter Lurie, associate professor of English, has agreed to serve as an alternate. 

“We had an outstanding pool of applicants,” said Elizabeth Outka, associate professor of English, who served on the faculty committee that made recommendations to the dean. “We worked carefully on the fellowship guidelines for the pilot project, which included giving priority to associate professors working to gain promotion to full professor. We hope the fellowship could over time be one important way to support faculty in A&S.”

 Upon completion of their sabbatical year, the fellows are expected to present their work publicly. Competition for the 2020-2021 academic year will begin in January 2020.