faculty arriving at record-setting rate
new faces you've seen this fall are not all new students.
Many are new professors. In fact, 110 of them are new tenure-track
professors, the largest class of new faculty in the University's
They've arrived just in time to fill big gaps left by retirements
and take on a growing number of classes needed for this year's record
"We are experiencing, as we work together, substantive reshaping
of the University through the appointment of new faculty,"
noted CSUS President Gerth at his annual fall address this year.
He then told the new faculty what was on so many other minds: "You
have no idea how welcome you are."
This year's growth in new faculty tops the increases seen in the
late 1980s and early 1990s. And it is no anomaly. Large numbers
of faculty have joined the University in each of the last three
This latest hiring blitz has been compared to the early 1960s, when
the University was growing rapidly and hiring many new faculty.
That group created and shaped the academic program for decades.
David Wagner, dean of faculty and staff affairs, describes the new
group as having "a good mix of experience." He says they
come from different backgrounds, are different ages and have different
experiences, with some who completed their doctorate right away
and others who are starting a second career.
Wagner says faculty hiring will probably continue at about the same
rate in coming years. There will be about 110 searches next year.
And if the hiring rates continue, he says, 40 percent of the full-time
faculty will be untenured in just a couple years.
"All this hiring is creating an ongoing set of organizational
challenges for the University - both philosophically and practically,"
Wagner says. "There are questions of passing on organizational
values and academic culture. And there is the need to mentor all
these new faculty."
Evaluation and tenure decisions alone will be time-consuming.
Already, Wagner points out, some departments have undergone major
In the last few years, environmental studies and ethnic studies
have hired nearly all new faculty. History has hired a number of
new faculty and will be seeking four or five new hires next year.
And child development, which just recently became its own department,
will be seeking three new faculty next year after hiring the same
number this year.