Universitywide Faculty Diversity Hiring Initiative

September 29, 2015

Members of the Rutgers Community:

As part of the restructuring of Rutgers University occasioned by the integration of the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), we are creating a Universitywide Diversity and Inclusion Office, headed by Senior Vice President Barbara Lee.  In addition, this fall we are launching a University-wide faculty diversity hiring initiative.

Diversity and inclusion are a key foundational element of the University’s Strategic Plan.  Although we have been extraordinarily successful in attracting and retaining a diverse student body, the University has been less successful in hiring and retaining diverse faculty.  An earlier program focused on increasing diverse faculty hires had some success, but the program ended several years ago. This new program will focus on creating a diverse recruitment pool, hiring excellent faculty, and mentoring and retaining those faculty by providing scholarly and career support, particularly for untenured faculty.

In our goal to enhance faculty diversity, we are defining diversity very broadly.  Diversity may include, but is not limited to, gender, ethnicity, race, culture, national origin, or other personal or professional characteristics that are either unrepresented or underrepresented in the particular department or unit of intended hire.

This definition of diversity thus has “inclusion” as a critical and literal component, in that the inclusion of a diversity of individuals, groups, and points of view will be stressed in faculty recruitment and retention, as opposed to the privileging of a particular group or groups over others.  In order to be supported, such diverse or inclusive hires will have to demonstrably enhance the academic unit’s scholarly and teaching excellence.

The initiative will focus on ensuring that academic units participating in this program will develop an inclusive pool of qualified candidates after developing a recruitment plan that is informed by data on the demographic mix of the national or international labor market for that discipline.  The plan will also include a determination of whether any demographic group is underrepresented within the existing unit faculty in relation to its representation in the pool of qualified potential candidates.  Units proposing faculty hires will be required to post the position description in outlets that are likely to be accessed by diverse potential applicants, including national and international higher education publications, disciplinary listservs, minority group academic listservs, etc.  Search committees will be required to reach out to graduate programs, federal agencies (such as NIH), and/or nonprofit organizations and foundations that collect names and contact information for diverse candidates.

Should an academic unit select a faculty candidate who increases the diversity of that unit, as broadly defined above, the unit will be eligible to receive fifty percent of that individual’s salary for three years, as well as additional funds to support mentoring and retention activities.

Funds for this salary support will be available for diverse faculty hiring at Rutgers University–Camden, Rutgers University–Newark, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and RBHS.  Questions about the program may be directed to SVP Lee.


Robert Barchi