Keeping our best

Keeping our best McGill University

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McGill Reporter
December 7, 2000 - Volume 33 Number 07
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Keeping our best

| As universities across the land look to hire more faculty to replace an aging professoriate — occasionally raiding their sister institutions in the process — McGill has served notice about some of the professors it is determined to keep.

The Board of Governors recently approved the first appointments made by McGill through the University's new James McGill Professors and William Dawson Scholars programs.

The programs serve as a home-grown counterpart for the Canada Research Chairs program established by the federal government to help Canadian universities attract and retain outstanding scholars and scientists at both the senior and junior levels.

The CRCs have been allotted to universities on the basis of the success of their professors in garnering research grants from the main federal granting agencies.

Thanks to the success rate of McGill professors, the University is expected to receive 162 CRCs over the next five years. Tier I CRCs for senior researchers provide universities with $200,000 per chair in annual funding, while Tier II CRCs for more junior researchers who demonstrate exceptional potential involve $100,000 in annual funding.

The CRC money can go towards enhanced salaries, research support, postdoctoral fellows, library resources, benefits, etc. It's a somewhat flexible package designed to make a researcher feel very good about planting roots at the university offering her a CRC position. Universities can also use a portion of their CRC funding to cover the costs associated with recruiting.

Most universities are using their first portion of CRCs to tend to the home front, keeping their own star researchers happy.

This is where McGill stands apart from the pack thanks to the McGill and Dawson positions.

The University has committed itself to using its share of CRCs only to recruit new professors to McGill. Top academics already here are being rewarded by being named James McGill Professors and William Dawson Scholars.

In a recent memo to the McGill community, Principal Bernard Shapiro wrote, "The McGill/Dawson program is designed to be precisely parallel to the CRC program, the same number of appointments to be made in each program each year."

"What we're trying to do with the McGill and Dawson programs, in part, is stop other institutions from trying to steal some of our best people," says Associate Vice-Principal (Academic) Nick de Takacsy. "The overall package that we're able to present to people means that when somebody from another university tries to poach them, our people will say, 'I'm happy here."

In a memo sent out to the members of his faculty, Dean of Science Alan Shaver emphasized that the five McGill/Dawson positions he had at his disposal for now "was hardly enough to address the large number of outstanding professors in the faculty. This made it impossible to include many other very deserving researchers in the Faculty of Science," a sentiment shared by other deans, we suspect.

Deans of each of the faculties were asked to submit nominations for the McGill/Dawson appointments.

These nominations were reviewed by a committee chaired by Vice-Principal (Academic) Luc Vinet using criteria similar to those of the CRC program.

The names of McGill's first crop of James McGill Professors and William Dawson Scholars are listed at right.

James McGill Professors

Chandra Madramootoo
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Marc Angenot
Department of French Language and Literature

Bruce Trigger
Department of Anthropology

John Hall
Department of Sociology

John Galbraith
Department of Economics

David Plant
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Gordon Roberts
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Frances Westley
Faculty of Management

Wieslaw Woszczyk
Department of Theory (Music) and Sound Recording Program

Michael Petrides
Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery

Michael Meaney
Department of Psychiatry

Qutayba Al-Heialy Hamid
Departments of Medicine and Pathology

Rima Rozen
Departments of Human Genetics, Medicine, Biology and Pediatrics

Graham Bell
Department of Biology

Barbara Sherwin
Department of Psychology

William Dawson Scholars

Mark Fortin
Department of Plant Science

Antonia Maioni
Department of Political Science

Jonathan Bobaljik
Department of Linguistics

Marc McKee
Faculty of Dentistry

Annmarie Adams
School of Architecture

Andrew Kirk
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Phillipe Depalle
Department of Theory (Music)

Robyn Tamblyn
Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Morag Park
Departments of Biochemistry and Medicine

Thomas Hudson
Departments of Human Genetics and Medicine

Brian Alters
Department of Educational Studies

Amanda Vincent
Department of Biology

Parisa Ariya
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Peter Grutter
Department of Physics

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