Batten School hiring several new faculty members

Ruhm says looking for research potential, fit, expertise


The Batten School has begun a multi-year, international search for new faculty members in the fields of economics and policy analysis, two of the school’s core subjects.

Following its founding in 2007, the Batten School was forced to rely heavily on faculty members from other schools in the University to teach courses. Since then, 14 full-time faculty members have been added, with a goal of reaching 18 to 20 members after the current hiring season.

Batten School Dean Harry Harding, who became the first faculty member budgeted to the Batten School in 2009, said this search reflects the emphasis the school places on developing its own faculty.

“Hiring our own faculty has been a very important process ever since [the school’s founding], and we have two searches going on this year,” Harding said. “One for someone who has a degree in Economics and can teach the economic analysis of public policy, and the other is someone who is more generally a specialist in public policy and policy analysis.”

The Batten School began advertising the position on the University’s website, and they are forming a search committee of faculty from various disciplines.

“The search committee reviews all of the applications that come in, and it selects a group to come to Grounds for interviews,” Harding said. “While at Grounds, the candidates give two talks, one of which is before faculty and one of which is before students, and [they] speak with a number of faculty members.”

After vetting candidates, the committee will make official recommendations, which are then voted on by Batten faculty and sent to a number of people for approval, including the Board of Visitors.

Candidates from various backgrounds are being considered, including experts in public programs, social insurance programs, health policy, environmental policy and political policy. Potential faculty that could assist in graduate student project-based courses are also being considered.

Batten School Dean Christopher Ruhm said the committee is looking at candidates’ research potential and their ability to fit in at the University.

“[The Batten School] has special needs, and we want … people who are at the top of their fields,” Ruhm said. “But we also want to think in terms of policies and [faculty who can] communicate to our students about key policy questions.”

Harding added they will look for candidates who are engaged with the policy community and have a “globalized outlook.”

Ruhm said space constraints are a general issue at the Batten School, but these constraints are not thought to be a pressing issue in the hiring process.

“We know the people we are looking to hire this year [and] where they will go,” Ruhm said. “As we move forward though, space will be an issue.”

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