Francis Fukuyama, the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at SAIS, has been named the school's dean of faculty, a new and temporary appointment. The position, effective immediately, reports to SAIS Dean Jessica Einhorn, who began her tenure on June 1.
For the next two academic years, Fukuyama will work with Einhorn, the associate deans and the faculty on a "collegial mapping" of the school's future. According to Einhorn, Fukuyama has been given the overarching task of reviewing SAIS's programs and curriculum.
Specifically, Fukuyama said he will examine such issues as faculty recruitment, the need for curriculum change, the role of technology in education and the international position of the school, which has campuses in Bologna, Italy, and Nanjing, China.
"This is an opportunity to relook at the programs in a two-year window," Fukuyama said. "We're not looking to do anything dramatic but rather just build on the existing strengths of the school. SAIS already offers a terrific education."
A graduate of Cornell University, Fukuyama received his doctorate in political science from Harvard. Before joining the SAIS faculty in fall 2001, Fukuyama taught at George Mason University for five years. He has also served as a staff member and consultant with the RAND Corp. and was a member of the policy planning staff at the U.S. State Department. In 1981, he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Egyptian-Israeli talks on Palestinian autonomy.
An author of more than 80 publications, Fukuyama won much acclaim for his best-selling book The End of History and the Last Man (1992), which has been published in more than 20 foreign editions and was awarded the Los Angeles Times' Book Critics Award and the Premio Capri International Award. His most recent book, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in April.
Regarding her decision to institute the new position, Einhorn said that following her appointment as dean--a role she views as an "enabler"-- she saw the need for creating a vehicle to engage with faculty on academic issues.
"And it became very clear that if I could be lucky enough to have Frank Fukuyama accept this position as dean of faculty, it would create both the excitement and the structure that I was looking for to engage collegially on a whole set of issues," Einhorn said. "What made him a very attractive candidate was the breadth of his intellectual interests and, I dare say, his brilliance, and also his collegial and soft-spoken relationships with other faculty members. As a second-order issue, his coming into this position new and not being a manager of a major ongoing program gives him a certain freedom to be able to engage with everybody in a really open-minded way."
Einhorn said dean of faculty is a position "with a sunset" and that she has no intention of continuing it beyond the two-year period.