Campus, News

Several Boston University faculty members earn rank of full professor

Thirteen Boston University faculty members have been promoted to full professorships in recognition for their teaching, scholarly work and service.

Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs Julie Sandell accredits the promotions of the faculty members to the strength and impact of their work on a national and international scale.

“All have been excellent teachers at Boston University, and many have worked closely and productively with students outside the classroom as advisors and mentors,” Sandell said. “These faculty are often active in their professional organizations and are helping to shape their disciplines on a national or international level. They are recognized by distinguished external evaluators as senior scholars and leaders in their disciplines.”

Faculty members Julian Go, Bruce Anderson, John Byers, Glen Hall, Deborah Kelemen, George Kollios, Maurice Lee, Christopher Martin, Jianjun Miao, Michele Rucci, Joshua Semeter, Paul Barbone and Swathi Kiran earned promotions from associate to full professorships. Ten are from the College of Arts and Sciences, two are from the College of Engineering, and one is from Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

With the support of the department chairs and college deans, faculty members initiate their promotion to full professor. Sandell said the number of promotions varies per year, with 17 in 2013 and 12 in 2012.

“We look at the person’s scholarly and creative accomplishments, their teaching success, including student evaluations in all of their courses and record of mentoring undergraduates and graduate students, their service record within BU and external service to their profession…as well as how our candidate compares to others who are distinguished in the discipline,” she said.

Several of the professors said they felt honored that BU and their colleagues acknowledged their contributions.

Barbone, a newly promoted professor of engineering, said being named a full professor does not alter his job description but gives him the freedom to teach based off of his own research.

“I will continue in my quest to learn more and more about my field, theoretical acoustics, and sharing that with my colleagues through my writing, and with my students in the classroom,” he said. “Just this semester, for example, I am teaching for the first time a new course that I created entitled ‘Inverse Problems in Mechanics.’ This course is based on my own research.”

Go, promoted from associate professorship of sociology, said not having to worry about further promotion gives him the freedom to think more creatively in his work.

“[Before promotion] you still have to worry about doing the right thing, especially in terms of scholarship and teaching, because you’re less likely to take risks in terms of new pedagogies or devoting times to crafting entirely new courses and syllabi,” he said. “Thinking and teaching outside the box, [are] more risky to do, so once you get the promotion…it’s liberating.”

Lee, who was promoted to full professorship of English and chair of the department, said the title comes with some tangible benefits.

“You do get to have more of a voice in how the department and college and some in cases how the university does things,” he said. “Also, it gives you wider recognition in the field. If people don’t know who you are and see that you’re a full professor, that might give you a little more authority otherwise.”

Kiran, who teaches speech language pathology and neuroscience, said that beyond conducting research, she enjoys acting as a mentor for students.

“The whole point of doing a job in academia is that you get to do all the research, but you also get to motivate young minds and inspire people to do really interesting and important work,” she said. “I’m especially excited to be at the point that I am right now… to actually mold the minds of the next generation to understand what it takes to do rehabilitation and health care work.”

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