Monday, 24 January 2011

Faculty: Embodying SAIS values

Like a human heart and its chambers, SAIS is powered by four main constituencies: students, faculty, alumni and staff. Without any of these, SAIS would not survive.

If the SAIS experience is special, it is in no small part because the faculty embody the values that underpin the institution: a global outlook, a desire to understand complex issues, tolerance of different points of view, appreciation of both academic and professional excellence.

Our relatively small size and the faculty's commitment to teaching allow students to develop strong relationships with their professors both in and outside of the classroom. The U.S.-style, discussion-driven classes put a premium on participation and interaction, and promote a cohesive intellectual community. Prof. Mahrukh Doctor touched on this in her post last week.

If you like being challenged intellectually, have an open mind but defend your beliefs, SAIS could well be for you.

Who are our faculty?

Kenneth Keller
First, SAIS Bologna. We have core resident faculty who ensure continuity and coordinate the integrated curriculum with SAIS DC. This year we have eight resident faculty including our director, Kenneth Keller. A chemical engineer by training, Prof. Keller is proof that many roads can lead to SAIS Bologna.

At SAIS Bologna there are five visiting professors and some three dozen adjunct faculty. The mix of resident, visiting and adjunct faculty promotes both coherence and diversity.

For more information on the SAIS Bologna faculty, you can click here. You can read biographies of Professors Harper, Cesa, Pye and Jones among other experts in their fields -- economics, international relations, development, finance, law, regional studies.

Expertise at your fingertips
Second, SAIS Washington. The dean is Jessica Einhorn, who has logged experience at the World Bank, the IMF, Time Warner and the German Marshall Fund. Let me not forget to note that she is also a professor of International Political Economy -- and a SAIS graduate.

If I dared to list the many internationally renowned faculty at SAIS, I would surely commit more than one error of omission. I don't contribute to this blog to make enemies.

But who would argue if I mentioned Professors Fouad Ajami, David Calleo, Eliot Cohen, Michael Mandelbaum and Riordan Roett?

There are others as you will see if you peruse the SAIS Guide to Experts in International Affairs. The specializations are too numerous to list here. Suffice it to say they cover all geographic areas and the hot-button issues of today -- and tomorrow.

Many candidates for admission ask us if they can speak to faculty. They may want to ask about a particular course or academic concentration, or to learn about what goes on in the classroom. They may be seeking advice.

Our faculty enjoy interacting with candidates, and we would be happy to put you in touch with the appropriate professor if you so wish. Just drop us a note.

Tomorrow: A video peek at SAIS Bologna

Nelson Graves