Investing in Faculty Diversity at Rutgers
We are launching a new Presidential Faculty Diversity Initiative that fits perfectly within the overarching goals we have for creating systemic change here at Rutgers. Dedicated funds will support the Accelerated Recruitment of Individual Faculty. A Faculty Cluster Hiring program will facilitate the hiring of multiple faculty engaged in related scholarship, in two areas of emerging excellence targeted for growth at the university: Race, Racism, and Inequality and Health Equity. A third strand of cluster hiring will advance Diversity in STEM Disciplines, increasing our ability to yield highly sought-after underrepresented candidates by intentionally building spaces for innovative collaborative scholarship and combatting isolation.
Through visiting faculty appointments we will immediately increase the diversity of the faculty who are engaging and mentoring our students while exploring Rutgers as a vibrant place to build careers and make long-term contributions. A Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows program will give promising scholars two years of mentored research and teaching and create a pathway to a possible tenure-track appointment; and a Presidential Visiting Faculty Fellows program will bring exceptional scholars (both junior and senior faculty) and practitioners to any Rutgers campus for up to a year of residence.
A diverse faculty is a cornerstone of academic excellence. By reaching out far and wide to recruit and hire a diverse cohort of faculty who will then be supported, mentored, and developed in a way that fosters retention and eliminates isolation, Rutgers will set in motion a self-reinforcing academic community that is committed to diversity and inclusive excellence.
As a university of more than 70,000 people, on four campuses located across the state of New Jersey, Rutgers is justifiably proud of its long history of serving students from first-generation, low-income backgrounds, as well as immigrants and underrepresented minorities. But the makeup of our faculty does not yet reflect the diversity of our student body. Prior hiring efforts have brought us exceptional new talents and have resulted in exciting curricula, cross-cutting research, and, among many other innovative programs on our four campuses, our major new Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice. But without committed efforts to develop the most diverse candidate pools possible, we cannot build on the successful hiring of the past decade or advance Rutgers toward a culture of genuinely inclusive excellence. Our STEM and health sciences fields lack the diverse scholars they need to make advancements and meet contemporary challenges. Our efforts in the humanities and social sciences require continued investment to ensure that the work begun is strengthened with new colleagues. We need more pathways into Rutgers, more sustained and coordinated mentoring, and more opportunities for discovery through collaboration across our departments, schools, and campuses.
How is diversity being defined?
All appointments funded through the program are intended to advance Rutgers’ goals toward building diversity, equity, and inclusion in our faculty and on our campuses. Diversity in hiring may include, but is not limited to, ethnicity, race, gender expression or sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, or other personal or professional characteristics that have led to systematic marginalization from the research and academic mission.
What happens after recruitment?
Intentional mentoring and support of our faculty is an institutional responsibility, and all units, at all levels, who seek funding through the programs will be asked to demonstrate their commitment to mentoring, advancing, and retaining new colleagues. Guidance on best practices for inclusive hiring and resources for successful mentoring plans are available through faculty development offices in the offices of the chancellors and provosts on each campus, and especially through the Faculty Diversity Collaborative in the office of University Equity and Inclusion and provides central coordination of Rutgers’ mentoring, advancement, and hiring efforts.
Read Prabhas V. Moghe’s letter Investing in Faculty Diversity at Rutgers
Provosts and chancellors are local champions for faculty diversity and ultimately have responsibility for oversight and hiring of faculty to meet the president’s objectives. They can draw on their strategic resources to extend the impact of the diversity hiring programs by hiring additional faculty, enhancing start-up packages, or using whatever means they deem appropriate to achieve institutional goals. They will work with their deans by engaging in dialogue about implementation and improvements to the four diversity hiring mechanisms, encouraging long-range budget planning in relation to timed supports (three years on average for permanent appointments), and by connecting campus resources to central supports to enhance faculty diversity.
Funds for accelerated individual recruitment will be set aside for each CLU at the beginning of each hiring cycle (June-July), with an indication of how these funds correlate to accelerated individual hiring at 50% salary ($150K average per hire) and to projected cluster positions at 100% salary. Deans may proceed with identifying potential hires with the knowledge that the funds are available. Provosts and chancellors may use diversity funding strategically in whatever ways are most effective: for salary or for benefits support, for discretionary funds to faculty as a top-off to start-up packages, or as funds to provide protected time for scholarly activities. Provosts’ approval will suffice to extend an offer to a TOO candidate. At the conclusion of successful recruitment of a faculty candidate, the provost will forward a post-hiring action report to the EVPAA, which will include materials about each candidate and a brief description of the search process demonstrating that it has been consistent with program goals. This report will trigger the release of funds.
Requests for cluster hires should be submitted by deans to their provosts, who will review them for strategic clarity and forward them in a ranked list to the EVPAA's office, where a committee made up of academic leadership from all four CLUs will make a final recommendation for funding. Thereafter the individual hires associated with the cluster hire proposals will follow the internal approval process outlined above for targeted recruitment, i.e. provosts’ approval will suffice to extend an offer to a candidate. At the conclusion of a successful recruitment of a faculty candidate, the provost will forward a post-hiring action report to the EVPAA, which will include materials about each candidate and a brief description of the search process demonstrating that it has been consistent with program goals. This report will trigger the release of funds.
In order to receive funding from the diversity hiring programs, deans should consult with their provosts about how the programs will fit strategically with their hiring plans. All requests for funds should be submitted to the provost's office with necessary accompanying materials. Provosts will review requests and either approve them at the campus level on a rolling basis (for accelerated individual hiring) or make ranked recommendations to the EVPAA (for cluster hiring).
Diversity in hiring may include, but is not limited to, ethnicity, race, gender expression or sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, disability, or other personal or professional characteristics that have led to systematic marginalization from the research and academic mission. All hires should contribute significantly to the university’s goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion by virtue of their lived experiences, their scholarship, and/or their mentoring, teaching, and outreach activities.
The programs will support active hiring for an initial three-year period, with total support extending over five years. At the end of the fiscal year, any concrete commitments made for future years will be rolled over; remaining unused funds will be returned to the EVPAA to be deployed in subsequent years. In their end-of-year summaries, provosts will have an opportunity to project needs and hiring plans for the following cycle. The EVPAA recognizes that successful diversity hiring can be difficult and that efforts must be supported continuously over multiple years.
For Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows, the provost's office will review requests to host a fellow or to nominate a fellow into the program and will send a ranked list to the EVPAA's office, where a pool of national finalists will be matched to campuses and schools in close consultation with provosts and deans.
For Presidential Visiting Faculty Fellows, provosts will review nominations from deans and forward a ranked list to the EVPAA's office. The EVPAA will approve the final appointment of Presidential Visiting Faculty Fellows.
We are currently working on the implementation of an expedited exception process in the Rutgers Recruitment, Onboarding, and Classification System (ROCS) for Target-of-Opportunity appointments (for both faculty and for postdoctoral fellows). This system will ensure that all hiring will be in compliance with federal requirements. We will provide further information on this system later in the summer.
Resources on best practices for hiring can be found at the following websites:
The Rutgers University general guidelines for hiring. We are currently developing an updated set of central guidelines for all hiring at Rutgers.
Vital materials on inclusive hiring practices and information are available at the New Brunswick Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement. These include worksheets for requesting a DEI statement from candidates, evaluating candidate DEI statements, evaluating candidates themselves, and diagrams for search planning and process.
Excellent guides to best practices in hiring may also be found at the University of Michigan’s ADVANCE program website.
A wide range of materials on diversifying the academy, including hiring practices, are available from the New Brunswick Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement.
Dedicated mentoring funds will not be provided through the diversity hiring programs. The new Faculty Diversity Collaborative in the Office of the Senior Vice President for Equity will provide additional resources and central coordination of Rutgers’ mentoring, advancement, and support programs for diverse faculty.