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New horizons

New Horizons   

LSE’s new Provost, Professor Stuart Corbridge, celebrates a successful recruitment campaign at LSE, while Director Professor Craig Calhoun thanks alumni for their contributions to the Strategic Review and offers an update.

When Professor Craig Calhoun joined LSE in September 2012 he immediately acted to enhance and build the faculty, with one of the biggest recruitment drives in LSE’s history. 

As Pro-Director for Research and External Relations, I led the open search for world-leading academics. Now, having been appointed Deputy Director and Provost in September 2013, I am responsible for the internal academic management of the School, and, wonderfully, for sharing the good news about the appointments and other honours. I know alumni care deeply about the reputation of the School, and that reputation depends fundamentally on the strength of our faculty. Indeed, enhancing the faculty is one of the key strands of the School’s Strategic Review.

When we began the open search back in September 2012, we made it clear that new recruits had to be, or be on the verge of becoming, world leaders in their fields. Intellectual achievement and potential had to be demonstrated in significant publications and candidates had to show a commitment and capacity to provide high-quality and innovative teaching to LSE students. 

The result was extraordinary. Combined with those academics recruited through our normal recruiting round, we engaged over 80 leading social scientists from September 2012 to late August 2013, including creating 24 wholly new positions. Nearly four out of ten (38 per cent) of the new appointments came from US universities (not all of them Americans), with a significant number from Europe and Australia. And they came from the world’s leading universities, including Berkeley, Brown, Columbia, Harvard, NYU, Texas Austin and Yale in the US and Cambridge, Free University of Berlin, Oxford, Paris School of Economics, Perugia and UCL in Europe. 

The new recruits include some of the world’s foremost economists, sociologists, anthropologists, historians and legal academics. The departments adding the most faculty are Economics and Law, with International Relations, Geography and Environment, Anthropology and Management also recruiting significant numbers. 

We celebrated the new appointments with a Facewall in September. 

We were also able to celebrate honours received by our academics. Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides was knighted for services to economics and named Regius Professor of Economics designate. Professor Sir John Hills was knighted for services to social policy; Professor Sir David Metcalf was knighted for services to UK migration policy; and Professor Judith Rees was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) for services to higher education. She also became President of the Royal Geographical Society. Professor Lord Nicholas Stern became President of the British Academy.

And we were able to celebrate those academics awarded Centennial or School Professorships. The names are listed below. Elsewhere in the magazine, new appointment Professor Catherine Boone talks to the editor of the Africa at LSE blog and Professor Emily Grundy writes on the demography of age. This is an enormously exciting time to be Provost at LSE and I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming months at alumni events and reunions.

Stuart Corbridge is Deputy Director and Provost at LSE

Celebrating our Centennials

Professor Tito Boeri (Bocconi) – affiliated to European Institute
Professor Peter Hall (Harvard) – affiliated to European Institute
Professor Keith Hart (Pretoria) – affiliated to Department of  International Development and Department of Anthropology
Professor Anton Hemerijk (VU) – affiliated to Department of Social Policy
Professor Caglar Keyder (Binghamton) – affiliated to Department of Sociology
Professor Martti Koskenniemi (Helsinki) – affiliated to Department of Law
Professor Per Krussell (Stockholm) – affiliated to Department of Economics
Professor Adam Kuper (Boston) – affiliated to Department of Anthropology
Professor Bruno Latour (Sciences Po) – affiliated to Department of Sociology
Professor Carlota Perez (Cambridge/Tallinn) – affiliated to Department of International Development
Professor Wlodek Rabinowicz (Lund) – affiliated to Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Professor Dani Rodrik (Princeton) – affiliated to Department of Economics and European Institute
Professor David Stark (Columbia) – affiliated to Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation and Department of Economics
Professor Sidney Winter (Wharton, Pennsylvania) honoured with a BP Centennial Professorship – affiliated to Department of Management

Celebrating our School Professorships

Professor J Vernon Henderson (joined LSE from Brown); Professor Nicola Lacey (joined LSE from Oxford); Professor David Soskice (joined LSE from Oxford); and LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun (from NYU) have been awarded School Professorships, joining School Professors Sir Christopher Pissarides and Tim Besley.

A thank you from Professor Craig Calhoun, Director of LSE

As our new Provost, Professor Stuart Corbridge, explains on these pages, enhancing the faculty at LSE is vital to our strategy. We took action this past year, but working to have the most brilliant faculty in global social science will take much more action and is at the top of our Strategic Review. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the alumni contributions to date to the review, in particular your input into the calls for contributions. I would also like to update you.

In the last issue we reported back on your responses to what makes LSE distinct. You have also responded to calls on a range of issues, from “Has the lecture had its day?” to “Which three big issues facing the world do you think the School should seek to resolve?”

We have given you feedback on your responses through Alumni Echo and on Houghton Street online. They have been consistently insightful and often passionate. When asked if the lecture has had its day, I was interested to see that 59 per cent of you thought clearly not. And on the big issues question, an alumnus from the Government Department (1954) argued: “Address the socio-economic causes of persistent poverty, including the impact of customs, patriarchy, and expectations.” A wonderful response – among many others – and I thank you again for all your contributions.

So what happens next? The Interim Report was shared with Council in September. The next iteration of the review will be made available to alumni in due course. 

One exciting initiative is building interdisciplinary institutes to advance research, public engagement and teaching. The Institute of Public Affairs has already launched, and Professor Conor Gearty is leading it in exciting directions, including engaging British political leaders from all parties and looking at issues such as women in public life and crowdsourcing the UK constitution. The School has plans for new institutes which will allow further development of cross-disciplinary, cutting-edge research and new forms of engagement. 

Our developing strategy places improvement of teaching, learning and student experience at the centre. These are getting attention in a variety of ways including the development of new interdisciplinary courses, rethinking the School calendar and of course launching the wonderful new Saw Swee Hock Student Centre – which I have to say looks brilliant and has generated a lot of excitement among students.  

Making LSE’s physical estate as wonderful as its intellectual life is a tall order, but moving in that direction is part of our strategy, and there is more information about our plans for the centre buildings and our new purchase on Lincoln’s Inn Fields on our campus spread (page 24). I would also like to reassure you that, in our building strategy, we haven’t forgotten the need for an Alumni Centre.

There will be a final report on the Strategic Review at Easter 2014, which will be shared with the School community, and a series of actions will follow. I look forward to continuing the discussion with you all.

Craig Calhoun is Director of LSE

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 [Editor's notes: link to Facewall removed 22 Feb 2016, as this has been deleted]