University News

New hires bolster faculty numbers, increase diversity

Provost's Office
August 15, 2023

Denison has hired 23 tenure-track faculty, a diverse group of scholars whose collective expertise deepens the college’s intellectual well on topics as wide-ranging as spectral theory in mathematics, the biology of snapping shrimp, global gender equality, and Civil War-era Midwest society.

Among the class of new hires are experts in choreography, humor and horror in Ancient Greek literature, and U.S. southern border economics.

“We had really strong applicant pools this year,” said Jeff Thompson, dean of the faculty and the point person on tenure-track hiring.

Thompson said the applicants were chosen after a months-long search and a screening process that Denison has been honing for years.

“We want to make sure we’re investing in good hires who we think are going to be the right people for Denison,” he said. “And that we’re the right place for them.”

That process begins with job ads that capture Denison’s mission of providing students with a top-flight education from a diverse faculty. Ayana Hinton, associate provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and a team of process advocates keep tabs on the searches as they unfold to ensure they are thorough and fairly conducted, Thompson said.

The size of the latest group of hires in part reflects the college’s emergence from the pandemic, which slowed hiring and also hastened some retirements. Another 18 visiting faculty are joining Denison this year.

“This is a group we’re very excited to have,” Provost Kim Coplin said.

Denison’s faculty numbers about 250, and the 23 hires reflect the university’s ongoing commitment to staffing tenure-track and tenured faculty who are expected to be teachers, first and foremost.

“We are the right place for someone who wants to be teaching students,” Coplin said. “You are expected to come here and engage with undergraduates, in the classroom and out of the classroom.”

That philosophy leads to strong bonds with students that last long after they have graduated, Coplin said. When alums visit, their first question often is whether a favorite professor still has the same office, he said.

“It comes down to what we talk about often — relationships are the defining feature of Denison,” Coplin said. “Having a largely tenured faculty establishes a particular type of relationship. It is central to what we do.”

Denison’s 2023-24 new tenure-track faculty

Back to top