Nine newly tenured professors at the College?five of whom currently teach at Bowdoin, four of whom were hired from other institutions?will occupy their new positions this fall. The Board of Trustees approved the candidates for tenure at its February meeting.
Two of the professors from outside Bowdoin were hired to fill new positions, funded through the Capital Campaign. Roger Bechtel, who will teach in the Department of Theater and Dance, is currently on the faculty of Miami University of Ohio. A position in the religion department, teaching Islamic and Judaic studies, will be filled by Robert G. Morrison of Whitman College.
The other new hires, Daniel O'Leary and Olufemi Vaughan, currently teach at Pomona College and Stony Brook University, respectively. O'Leary will fill a position in the chemistry and biochemistry departments, which was advertised as having an open rank. Vaughan will teach in the areas of Africana studies and history, and he will serve as the chair for Africana Studies program.
"After many years of teaching in a big public research university, I am excited about the opportunity to teach some of the nation's brightest students in one of the best and most progressive liberal arts colleges in the country," Vaughan wrote in an e-mail to the Orient.
"All of these are really exceptional hires for Bowdoin," said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.
All new hires from other colleges had already received tenure at their current institutions.
The members of Bowdoin faculty rising from "assistant professor" to the rank of "associate professor" with tenure are Dallas Denery, Stephen Perkinson, Kristen Ghodsee, Matthew Klingle, and Anne McBride.
Denery, who has taught at Bowdoin since 2002 and before then at Stanford University, is a professor in the history department. He is a medievalist European historian and specializes in the history of religion and intellectual and cultural history.
Also a medieval specialist, Perkinson of the art history department focuses his research on portraiture. Perkinson has previously taught at the University of Denver, Skidmore College, and Northwestern University. He has been at Bowdoin since 2002.
Ghodsee, of the gender and women's studies program, has also taught at Bowdoin since 2002, and is the author of "Red Rivera: Gender, Tourism, and Postsocialism on the Black Sea."
Klingle, an environmental historian, is interested in American modern consumerism and culture, urbanization and environmentalism, and natural and social causes and consequences. He has taught environmental studies and history courses since 2001.
In the biology department and biochemistry program, McBride's teaching has focused primarily on microbiology and immunology. She researches the effects of arginine methylation on protein function, using yeast as a model system. McBride has been at Bowdoin since 2001.
In order to receive tenure, a professor must exhibit "excellence in teaching and distinction in research or artistic production," Judd said.
The Board of Trustees decides whether to grant tenure to each candidate based on recommendations made by the president, the dean for academic affairs, the Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure, and the candidate's academic department. Materials reviewed include the candidate's scholarly or artistic work, course material, and student opinion forms. The dean for academic affairs also elicits student opinion in the form of letters of recommendation.
Judd said that students' letters often express that a professor has changed their life and the way they think.
"It's humbling to read the letters from students because they speak so strongly to the commitment that each faculty member has to Bowdoin," Judd said.