Dear SEAS Colleagues,
In September of 2020, we charged the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) Strategic Planning Committee—led by SEAS Dean Jeffrey Brock—with charting a vision for the school’s future. This included configuring its expertise to enhance diversity and support excellence across the university, enabling further Yale’s thriving entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems, and positioning SEAS to address the world’s most pressing challenges in the years to come. The report they developed is compelling. It incorporates feedback from all around Yale and makes several recommendations for how SEAS can grow its influence and deepen its engagements for maximum impact.
Thanks to the committee’s work and our community’s thoughtful input, we are pleased to announce that Yale will move forward with the report’s transformative recommendations for engineering and the applied sciences. At this exciting moment in Yale’s history, SEAS can play an integral role in advancing the university’s mission and in realizing the bold goals we have set in the University-Wide Academic Priorities, University Science Strategy, and Yale Campaign for Humanity.
We are grateful to Dean Brock and his fellow committee members for their time and dedication: Menachem Elimelech, Anna Gilbert, Anjelica Gonzalez, Sohrab Ismail-Beigi, Rajit Manohar, Sarah Miller, Laura Niklason, Corey O’Hern, Vladimir Rokhlin, Nisheeth Vishnoi, and Vincent Wilczynski.
The committee’s recommendations will help us expand the influence of research across Yale by tying theory to practice, particularly in entrepreneurship and innovation. They strongly align with our university priorities, which emphasize inclusion and collaboration across sectors and disciplines. In their ambition, the recommendations will demand the kind of creativity, rigor, and executional excellence for which Yale is known and to which we must continue to aspire.
Accomplishing these goals also will require significant investments, some of which are already underway. More will be forthcoming. For example, last year we announced plans to build a new physical sciences and engineering building. That project is on track, and the first phase of construction is scheduled to begin in 2023. Other projects to improve the physical infrastructure of SEAS buildings are in the planning stages. SEAS will need these new and renovated spaces to enhance collaboration and welcome new members into the community. Of course, it’s not just about space. To achieve these goals, SEAS will need to recruit faculty, staff, and students who bring new perspectives and augment the school’s existing body of expertise. It will need new administrative structures that improve research support and the school’s integration with the rest of the university. The details of these investments will be delineated further and refined in the coming months.
We hope you will join us in looking forward to the many ways this work will unite us in making a positive difference in the world.
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology
Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry