WALLA WALLA -- Whitman College has been awarded a $644,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will be used to convert eight faculty positions from temporary to tenure-track over the next two years. The faculty positions will come from the humanities and social sciences departments.
Provost and Dean of Faculty Tim Kaufman-Osborn said this morning the grant will go to offsetting the cost of converting the existing eight temporary positions into tenure track. The grant will also go to covering the cost of conducting searching for the right candidates over two years.
Kaufman-Osborn said the college already has about 80 percent of the cost for the faculty positions built into its budget. The grant allows the college to proceed with the initial costs of converting those positions into permanent ones.
"The faculty is the core strength of Whitman's academic program, and tenure-track positions are the center of that core," Kaufman-Osborn said in a news release.
Kaufman-Osborn is to implement the grant by launching the eight searches over two years. The first set of four will be conducted during the next school year, in four areas: studio art; art history and visual culture studies; politics; and psychology. The second set of four will take place the following year, with the specific areas to be determined this fall.
The first set of positions are to be filled in time for the 2012-13 school year, while the remaining four would be in place by 2013-14, he said.