College has always been known for its outstanding faculty. At
every alumni gathering the talk often turns to Oberlin's legendary
professors--Andrew Bongiorno, Frederick B. "Freddy" Artz, Luke
Steiner, George Simpson. The list goes on, and to exclude anyone
seems invidious. The imprint of Oberlin's faculty on its students
is palpable and fondly remembered.
professors are remarkable because they translate the hallmarks
of the professorate--teaching, research, and service--into especially
meaningful relationships with their students. For many decades
Oberlin professors have had national--indeed, international--reputations
for scholarship. They have received the ultimate accolades of
their professions, with presidencies of such major professional
organizations as the American Chemical Society, American Sociological
Society, and Medieval Academy of America.
faculty members maintain these professional profiles without shirking
their duties to undergraduates. Indeed, teaching challenging,
engaged undergraduates feeds scholarship, and vice versa. When
professors at research universities condescendingly commiserated
with Fred Artz about his having to teach the European history
survey, he replied, "On the contrary, that's when I get all my
good ideas!" By studying with faculty at the cutting edge of their
disciplines, students get a first-hand sense of the excitement
that comes from learning on the frontier and creating new knowledge.
an exceptional faculty is critical--nothing is more important
to the quality of an Oberlin education--and the challenge has
never been greater. Retirements are hitting the faculty hard.
More than one-third of the 185 tenure-track faculty are in the
zone of the traditional retirement age. Thirty-seven have retired
in the past five years or announced their imminent retirement.
Another 26 are aged 60 or older.
our heritage and current strengths enable us to recruit outstanding
new faculty. This year the College of Arts and Sciences is conducting
18 tenure-track searches; last year we hired eight tenure-track
faculty; all of them were our first choices. We've brought candidates
to campus from as close as Ann Arbor and Columbus and as far as
Paris, Florence, Madrid, and Seoul. They come from the country's
best graduate schools: Princeton, Chicago, Berkeley, Michigan,
Cornell, and Yale.
Allen Memorial Art Museum, the Conservatory, the libraries, and
the Science Center underway are powerful attractions. Those resources
are augmented by attractive packages of teaching and research
support, such as year-long research grants, funds for international
travel, and provisions for laboratory equipment and related teaching
and research materials. Our professors do research--and often
take their students with them--on projects as varied as bromeliads
in New Guinea, coal mine workers in Ukraine, volcanoes in Indonesia,
the revival of Tchaikovsky's original Sleeping Beauty in St. Petersburg,
nationalism in Chile, and African-American art across the United
is challenging; we need a faculty that is both excellent and diverse.
If we do the job right, Oberlin students will wear the same imprint
as their predecessors. And future alumni gatherings will recall
with pride and fondness the Bongiornos, Artzes, Steiners, and Simpsons
of the current generation.
College of Arts and Sciences