UVM Selects Complex Systems as Spire of Excellence and Names Steering Committee
- By Margaret Jean Eppstein
During the 2009-2010 academic year, UVM launched a Transdisciplinary Research Initiative (TRI) to identify promising areas for future strategic investment. Complex Systems was identified as one of eight potential areas identified by the Deans and Administrators, and a volunteer faculty working group was formed to explore this.
Through three UVM “Town Hall” meetings and a campus-wide Faculty survey, the working group identified at least 52 UVM faculty who self-describe their research as all or partly in complex systems and at least another 50 research-active faculty who expressed strong interest in collaborating with complex systems researchers. This high level of interest in Complex Systems, coupled with the existing strengths of the UVM Complex Systems Center, helped the working group to write a strong proposal for Complex Systems as a UVM Transdisciplinary Spire of Excellence.
After extensive internal and external review, President Fogel, Provost Knodell, and Vice President for Research Grasso selected Complex Systems as one of three UVM Spires of Excellence, and on May 21, 2010 this was endorsed by the UVM Board of Trustees.
In September nominations and applications were invited for membership on the TRI Steering Committees. More than 30 nominations and applications of the highest caliber were received. The administration sought input from Faculty Senate leadership, the Council of Deans, and the University Distinguished Professors. A joint Faculty Senate/Administration committee made the final selection decisions and in October, Steering Committee members were named. The Steering Committee including Professors Peter Dodds, Joshua Bongard, Jason Bates, Christopher Danforth, Christopher Koliba and David Novak will help guide the implementation phase of the UVM Spire of Excellence in Complex Systems.
In addition, the Provost has announced recruitment for 30 faculty positions, with up to 10 of them in support of the Complex Systems Spire. Job postings for these positions are listed under the Complex Systems Center “Open Faculty Positions” link.