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Mellon awards St. Olaf $600,000 faculty grant

By David Gonnerman '90
January 5, 2011

David R. Anderson '74

St. Olaf College has announced a new $600,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will enable the college to hire faculty members in advance of scheduled faculty retirements. The two-year grant, which will fund salaries and benefits for four new tenure-track faculty members, follows the $800,000 Mellon grant awarded in 2008 that funded the hiring of five new faculty members. The grants help the college prepare for an expected wave of retirements during the next decade by engaging outstanding junior faculty and creating opportunities for them to develop as teachers and scholars.

The grants allow newly hired faculty members to be mentored by senior colleagues. These “bridge” appointments provide opportunities for classroom and curricular innovation, including the addition of new classes, while supporting core curricula.

“These grants enable St. Olaf to accelerate the generational shift that we’re seeing within our faculty, but in an intentional and orderly way,” says President David R. Anderson ‘74. “They enable us to infuse the humanities curriculum with fresh ideas, our faculty's research with new scholarly methodologies, and our classrooms with new pedagogies.”

The new appointments will be two positions in Asian studies (one each in Chinese and Japanese language instruction), a new position that will engage an ethicist with a scientific background, and a position in Spanish. The new faculty members will begin their appointments in the 2012–13 academic year.

Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or