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Pillar #3: World-class faculty

We will develop and leverage our world-class faculty to drive our unique thought leadership.

The heart of any school is its faculty. In various ways, we are redoubling our investment in the career growth of our faculty to ensure that we can continue to draw outstanding scholars and teachers who want to build careers as part of a world-class program.

Enhancing our existing academic centers and creating new ones.

Under the leadership of Professor Bob Whaley, our outstanding Financial Markets Research Center is positioning itself more strongly as a thought leader and for greater impact in the research world, while continuing to partner with leading practitioners.

Meanwhile, building on a tradition of student leadership of initiatives such as Project Pyramid, a market-based approach to the alleviation of global poverty, we recently established a new Center for Social Ventures to give structure and focus to the study of business and social entrepreneurship.

We are developing plans for additional centers that we will announce in the coming months.

Building a vibrant post-doctoral program.

This academic year, a handful of young Ph.D.s who are on their way to academic careers will be part of our school. These carefully chosen post-doctoral scholars, representing a variety of disciplines, each will lead a class and help direct student projects. While post-doc fellows will never diminish the role of our full-time faculty as teachers and mentors, they will enhance our ability to deliver world-class education on a personal scale. The program also increases our school’s reach and influence by bringing brilliant young scholars into our academic community.

Hosting new research seminars and conferences.

The Financial Markets Research Center, which has become a thought leader in the research world, brings world-know scholars and Nobel laureates to Vanderbilt every year for its conference. Enabling our junior faculty to interact with some of the most distinguished professors in the world is valuable.  We are expanding our conferences to other areas.  For example, we have launched what will become an annual peer conference in which our marketing faculty focus on a particular topic with scholars from other institutions. Likewise, health care is an area of particular excellence for our school. Building on this reputation, we have launched an interdisciplinary seminar that regularly brings top speakers from across the country to Owen. The seminar allows health care researchers within various areas of our school to hear perspectives of other recognized thought leaders. It also includes other members of the Vanderbilt community involved with health care—from the medical school and law school to experts in public health policy—offering new opportunities for synergy and collaboration. Finally, we will host an increasing number of high-impact national conferences in Nashville, bringing the world’s best scholars to our backdoor.

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