University Service

Here is a partial listing of some of the Arts & Sciences and university-level committees I’ve served on. For complete details, please consult my C.V. 

PPC: The Policy and Planning Committee of Arts & Sciences was formed in 2010 to provide direct faculty input into the governance of Arts & Sciences. I was a member of the inaugural PPC, consisting chaired by Teo Barolini (Italian), with fellow members Peter Bearman (Sociology), Ruth de Fries (Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology), Jean Howard (English and Comparative Literature), Bob Jervis (Political Science), Ann McDermott (Chemistry), Wayne Proudfoot (Religion) and Michael Riordan (Economics). I learned so much from these wiser colleagues! Until that time, my non-teaching time was focused almost entirely on my research. The PPC came into being during a particularly tumultuous time in the governance of the College, and Arts & Sciences, and the University. You’ll have to ask me sometime; I’m certainly not going to post anything about it! But I am very proud that the practices we initiated in PPC have proven to be of lasting value in ensuring faculty input into Arts & Sciences. 

TRAC: The Tenure Review Advisory Committee advises the Provost on all candidates being considered at Columbia University (with the exception of the Law School and Teachers College). I served a three-year term on TRAC, the last year as Chair in the 2018-2018 academic year. The workload of this committee is very high, reviewing 60-80 tenure cases per year. This would not be possible without the incredible efforts of Angel Flesher and Linda Sheridan-Dasilva, two of the most dedicated and capable administrators I have met in my time at Columbia.  


  • Columbia College Science Core Course Committee (2103-2015): This was a group of roughly 20 faculty, co-chaired by Peter de Menocal and Philip Kitcher,  which performed a serious examination of possible alternatives to incorporating science into the Core Curriculum. The committee did generate a report, along with a great deal of very stimulating discussion and thought, but no changes resulted. 
  • Science Transition Planning Committee, 2009-2010: This was a small group of faculty convened by the then-Provost Claude Steele to examine the needed infrastructure improvements in the natural sciences on the Morningside campus. 
  • College Curriculum Committee, 1993-1997: I confess I have very little recall of what work I did or did not do on this committee…