David Miele, assistant professor of developmental and educational psychology in the Lynch School of Education (LSOE), was recently named as the first Sesquicentennial Challenge chair. It is the first of up to 10 chairs that the University is planning to establish for assistant professors.
The establishment of such chairs is a rarity, as most universities reserve endowed chairs for senior, tenured faculty. Those chairs are used to attract faculty members renowned in their fields or to keep a particularly sought-after faculty member from taking a job elsewhere. In addition to their prestige, the chairs give the endowed faculty member additional funding to support their research. As junior faculty often do not have the same access to funds that more senior faculty do, the establishment of these chairs for assistant professors is an important step to increase the resources available to them. This will allow them to do more with their research earlier in their careers.
As the first of these Sesquicentennial Challenge chairs, Miele’s selection reflects highly upon his research and his contribution to BC. Because of the limited opportunities available to assistant professors, these chairs fill a need in the University to reward junior faculty with impressive research. The University should continue to recognize junior faculty and award all 10 of the possible Sesquicentennial chairs.