Georgia State University’s reputation for innovative and interdisciplinary research and scholarship has attracted more than 100 faculty through the Second Century Initiative (2CI) and Next Generation Program.
That reputation, earned over nearly a decade, is still growing as the Next Gen program continues to support unique and pioneering programs not often found at other colleges and universities across the country.
For example, the Legal Analytics Lab – performing research and scholarship at the intersection of law, machine learning and artificial intelligence – is attracting applicants for faculty positions supported by Next Gen from top institutions such as Stanford, the University of California at Berkeley, and Harvard University.
“We have advertised for this very niche area, and we were not sure about how much success we’d have in finding candidates,” said Anne Tucker, Associate Professor of Law and faculty member with the Legal Analytics Lab. “We were blown away by the applicants to the positions.”
Opportunities for the unique interdisciplinary research encouraged by Georgia State are not typical in hiring for law faculty at other institutions.
“I think that what is really attractive for these candidates is that they will be given the opportunity to do cutting-edge, innovative research that are extensions of their existing fields,” said Tucker, faculty director of the Legal Analytics & Innovation Initiative at the College of Law. “They’re coming to a university where it’s supported, and we accept the challenges and complications of interdisciplinary work.”
The message of support – and expectation – for interdisciplinary work often starts at the outset of a Next Gen faculty member’s hiring, often with joint appointments across multiple departments and colleges within Georgia State. It is also a consideration in the promotion and tenure process, Tucker said.
“It signals the value the university places on research, and that we have built a system to support it,” she said.
Another Next Gen-supported research area, the Interpersonal Violence Initiative (IVI), continues the university’s strong research and scholarship into violence across different departments. As recruitment started during the fall of 2018 for the faculty positions supported by Next Gen, Dominic Parrott, the lead faculty member for the IVI, noted a strong pool of about 80 applicants.
Over the last few months at various conferences, he found himself repeatedly asked about Georgia State’s reputation for faculty recruitment in work spanning different departments.
The posting for the positions were not specific to one single department. Instead, the listing for the positions focused on violence, in and of itself, as a transdisciplinary research focus intersecting with other public health problems.
“We’re trying to tell people that we’re not looking for someone exactly like us – we’re looking for people who come from multiple disciplines who we think could fit in the Center for Research on Interpersonal Violence in a complementary and strategic way,” said Parrott, Professor of Psychology.
“When we spoke with applicants, one of our first questions was, ‘what drew you to Georgia State?’” he said. “Somewhere in their responses they communicated that they had never seen an ad like this and that, when they looked behind the ad to see the interdisciplinary collaborations with the Center for Research on Interpersonal Violence, it was a dream job.’”
“We really like to hear that – and as a violence researcher, I’ve never seen ads like this for faculty positions,” he continued. “It means that many universities aren’t doing these kinds of things.”
If you are interested in a faculty position, please visit https://faculty.gsu.edu/faculty-jobs/.
– Jeremy Craig, PR & Marketing Manager for the Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives & Innovation