University of Wisconsin–Madison

Faculty Diversity Initiative

Diversity, broadly defined, is a compelling university interest because it is integral to fulfilling our mission as a public university that makes its teaching and research available to all citizens of the state, that recognizes excellence and a commitment to the promotion of diversity as inextricably linked, and that allows it to serve the public good.

To support this compelling interest, the UW-Madison is committed to hiring a diverse faculty and staff. The Faculty Diversity Initiative is designed to encourage department chairs and their deans to work together to strengthen faculty diversity broadly and with particular attention to historically underrepresented minorities. Campus has committed to investing significant new resources across the life cycle of faculty hiring, from the recruitment process to the initial hire and throughout the career.

Goals

  • Develop a recruitment pipeline
  • Provide salary support to encourage the hiring of a diverse faculty
  • Supplement recruitment packages for new faculty
  • Encourage retention of faculty by supporting their research and teaching in areas related to diversity and inclusion

Contacts

Michael Bernard-Donals
Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff
Office of the Provost
michael.bernarddonals@wisc.edu
608-262-5246

Patrick Sims
Vice Provost for Diversity and Climate, and Chief Diversity Officer
Office of the Provost
patrick.sims@wisc.edu
608-265-5228

Funding Areas

Recruitment Resources

While the exceptional reputation and status of UW-Madison is sometimes enough to draw faculty and staff from around the country and the world, reputation alone isn’t enough to attract a diverse group of applicants. Expanding the pipeline – the pool of individuals who are likely to be candidates for academic positions – by reaching out to minority-serving institutions or by inviting candidates to campus prior to posted searches can help units find talented individuals who might not otherwise be visible to search committees.

There are four types of recruitment resources:

1. Search Finalist Grants

Up to $1,200 per visitor, to bring additional finalists to campus in an ongoing faculty search. The aim is to prevent undue restriction, as a result of funding constraints, on the number or diversity of promising finalists a search committee wishes to interview.

2. Pipeline Research Grants

Up to $1,200 per visit by UW-Madison faculty to another doctoral institution to research the pipeline and enhance capacity to recruit diverse candidates for a field in which a search is likely within the next two years. Or, up to $10,000 for a replacement course, if a dean and chair reassign a major portion of a faculty member’s teaching duties in order to pursue multi-site pipeline research visits.

3. Visiting Speaker Grants

Up to $2,500, to support a visiting speaker who increases awareness of promising scholars in the faculty pipeline. Visitors may include emerging scholars such as ABD candidates or assistant professors, and established scholars, especially associate professors or recently promoted full professors.

4. Faculty Development Academy Grants

Up to $15,000, to bring together emerging scholars for a symposium experience, attended by UW-Madison mentors and participants, that enhances faculty development and diversity. (Grants are for academies organized as grass roots initiatives, or by college-wide or campus-wide offices such as the Office of the Provost or WISELI.)

*Department chairs and deans are welcome to propose other pipeline initiatives for consideration under this category of funds.

Application Process for all Recruitment Resources

Step 1: Consult with Vice Provost Michael Bernard-Donals (2-5246, michael.bernarddonals@wisc.edu) or Vice Provost Patrick Sims (5-5228, patrick.sims@wisc.edu).

Step 2: Submit a preliminary request. The chair or dean may submit the request to Vice Provost Bernard-Donals, by telephone or email. A follow-up will be made to understand the request and the diversity/pipeline strategy of the search, and to agree on expectations.

Step 3: Before funds are approved, the department must summarize, in writing, its activity to develop best-practices for pipeline development and effective searches, and to participate in discussion of research on unconscious bias.

Step 4: Vice Provosts Bernard-Donals and Sims confirm or withdraw the preliminary approval.

Implementation of Approval

A one-page request memo should be sent jointly from the department chair and dean, and should include:

  1. Search field and position description
  2. Name of the candidate(s), along with C.V.(s)
  3. Brief (1-paragraph) narrative of academic accomplishment or promise of candidate
  4. Description of how the candidate brings diversity in relation to under-representation in the field (e.g., gender, racial-ethnic heritage, international background, or other aspects of diversity)
  5. Total amount of funds requested

For all requests, a brief (1-paragraph) report on the results of the assisted activity (offers made, accepted, rejected; impact on diversity, broadly defined) must be submitted by the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

Post-Doctoral Fellowships

There are two post-doctoral fellowships:

1. Anna Julia Cooper Post-Doctoral Fellowship

Used as part of the faculty recruitment package, the Anna Julia Cooper postdoctoral fellowship provides a one-year period free from teaching in which the person hired can set up their research and build a research network prior to the beginning of their probationary period as assistant professors. The AJC Post-doc Fellowship accompanies the offer of a tenure-track assistant professor position as part of faculty hires authorized by schools/colleges. The post-doc provides 90 percent of the first-year assistant professor salary for one year.

Application Process

A preliminary request for an AJC Post-Doctoral Fellowship, as part of the package for assistant professor positions, must be made by the department chair, with the approval of the school/college dean or associate dean. Requests must be made via email or phone. The vice provost for faculty and staff will follow up with provisional approval via email. Following provisional approval, and once the offer of employment has been accepted, the dean or associate dean will send a copy of the signed acceptance letter to the vice provost for faculty and staff no later than June 30 of the year in which the request was provisionally approved.

2. ICTR (Institute of Clinical Investigation) TL1 Post-Doctoral Trainee Program

Funded by the NIH, the ICTR Post-Doctoral Trainee Program is intended for individuals with an interest in clinical science research who are also eligible for the Anna Julia Cooper Post-Doctoral Fellowship. The TL1 postdoctoral program allows trainees to conduct research in a field of biomedical science with the intent of understanding the language/culture/processes intrinsic with translating research outcomes along the clinical research spectrum. The maximum period of the post-doc is 2 years.

Awardees must commit 100 percent of their full-time academic effort to research and training activities of the program. Eligibility is limited to applicants who are either currently in a non-tenure track faculty title series or academic staff, who on successful completion of the postdoc award will be appointed to the UW Madison faculty. There are other requirements for eligibility.

Questions and Application Process

For questions and information on application, please contact Ana Garic (ana.garic@wisc.edu).

Top Support

To help departments diversify their faculty (and student) populations, the Target of Opportunity (TOP) Program provides support in the form of funds for hiring, outreach and faculty support.

A target of opportunity is defined as a prospective faculty member who will greatly enhance the quality and diversity of an academic department. The UW-Madison’s statement on diversity recognizes diversity broadly including diversity of identity, culture, background, experience, status, ability and opinion. The TOP Program is designed to specifically support the recruitment of outstanding faculty members among historically underrepresented groups, with a particular emphasis on race, ethnicity and gender (in disciplines where women are underrepresented).

Deans, department chairs and center directors are encouraged to use the recruitment resources, listed on this page to help identify and recruit faculty who represent targets of opportunity, and to actively engage with colleagues to make every effort to seek out exceptional prospective faculty who would add diversity to our campus community.

There are two ways in which a department may recruit a faculty member under this program:

1. Recruitment off the Regular Hiring Cycle

Often exceptional faculty candidates from underrepresented groups are identified as recruitable outside a posted/authorized search. Departments and schools/colleges may also strategically identify individuals or a cohort of individuals who may be available to recruit but may not have the resources available to do so. These opportunities are often time-sensitive and require flexibility outside the normal hiring cycle.

Application Process

Step 1: Department chairs work with their colleagues to identify individuals who qualify for TOP support (see below for funding details).

Step 2: Departments write a proposal that includes all of the following information:

  1. Identify the person or persons who will be recruited, including C.V.’s
  2. Make clear the strategic fit of the person’s research and teaching in the unit’s goals
  3. Describe how the individual will enhance the diversity of the unit and the school/college
  4. Make the case for how the person to be hired falls into a group that is historically underrepresented in the field and in the unit, including relevant data
  5. Outline the recruitment and retention plan for the individual(s) to be hired

Step 3: Proposals are sent to the respective dean(s) or associate dean(s) for review, ideally by November 1. Given the time-sensitivity of the opportunities and the flexibility required in these circumstances, proposals will also be accepted at other times.

Step 4: The respective dean or associate dean sends a memo to the Office of the Provost at provost@provost.wisc.edu by November 12 (or within seven business days of receiving the proposals) that provides a priority ranking of all of their school’s/college’s proposals to demonstrate how the proposals fit the school’s/college’s initiatives. The Office of the Provost will not act on any proposals without an accompanying memo from a dean or associate dean.

*Note: Departments can invite individuals identified as potential TOP hires to campus for talks or research presentations; however, the individuals should not be told that they are candidates for a hire unless funding has already been approved by the Provost’s Office.

Step 5: The Office of the Provost reviews all memos and proposals submitted by the respective dean(s) or associate dean(s), and approves funding for select candidates. Subsequent notifications will be sent to the respective dean(s), requesting that the information be shared with the respective departments.

Step 6: Departments notify the approved candidates and invite them to campus for a formal evaluation/interview process. Once a decision to hire is made through normal governance procedures, the department and school/college should notify the Office of the Provost that they wish to make an offer, and should work with the Office of Human Resources to obtain a PVL waiver.

2. Already-Authorized Recruitments

In the course of an already-authorized search, departments may identify an exceptional candidate from a historically underrepresented group who may strengthen the faculty, but who does not closely meet the needs identified in the search. (A candidate from an underrepresented group who meets the search criteria should be hired in the existing search.) In such cases, the department, with the approval of the corresponding school/college dean, can seek TOP support to recruit the person identified.

Application Process

Step 1: Departments seek approval for authorization to apply for TOP support from their school/college dean(s) or associate dean(s) (see below for funding details).

Step 2: Departments write a proposal that includes all of the following:

  1. The name and qualifications of the individual, including C.V.’s
  2. Describe how the person’s scholarship and teaching will enhance the quality of the unit
  3. Provide information on how the individual will enhance the diversity of the unit
  4. Make the case for how the person to be hired falls into a group that is historically underrepresented in the field and in the unit, including relevant data

Step 3: Proposals are sent to the respective dean(s) or associate dean(s) for review.

Step 4: The respective dean(s) or associate dean(s) sends a memo and the proposal to the Office of the Provost at provost@provost.wisc.edu. The Office of the Provost will not act on proposals without an accompanying memo from a dean or associate dean. Proposals for funding individuals who are part of already-authorized search may be sent at any time during the hiring cycle.

Funding

Central administration will provide full salary for individuals hired through TOP (up to 90K) for six years in the case of assistant professors (for five years in the case of tenured hires); after the initial funding period, central administration will provide an amount equal to 50 percent of the individual’s salary (up to $45K) thereafter, with the department/school/college bearing the balance of the cost.

Individuals hired through the first scenario above (recruitment off the regular hiring cycle) are eligible to receive both a Nellie McKay Fellowship and a career boost package of up to $100K.

Individuals hired through the second scenario may be eligible for the regular career boost package (up to $50K) or a Nellie McKay Fellowship.

When a department wishes to hire under TOP, the department chair, executive committee of the faculty, and dean of the school or college must approve the request prior to forwarding it to the Provost’s Office. Once received by the Provost’s Office, the request will undergo expedited review. Where approved, the department will be expected to offer appointment to the TOP candidate within a short time-window. Start-ups will be handled in the usual way, with participation of the department, the school/college and support from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. In the event that a TOP candidate leaves the university before the conclusion of the bridge period, the funds will revert back to the central administrative budget.

Career Boost Packages

In order to build competitive offers that enhance the diversity of UW-Madison faculty while supporting professional success, departments and deans may request a recruitment supplement that offers a “career boost,” normally after three years of service at the university. These supplements are often useful for talented candidates who have exhausted their start-up funds, or whose research programs have ‘taken off’ and could use additional support to maintain momentum. Career boost supplements are available to support recruitment of assistant or associate professors, or recently promoted full professors. Release of the supplement is contingent upon successful performance review after two or three years in the appointment.

The career boost resources will supplement rather than replace the initial start-up package.

There are three types of career boost packages:

1. Nellie Mckay Fellowship

One year of research support, with full release from teaching, normally during the fourth year of the appointment. In the case of assistant professors who have had successful performance review after two years, the McKay Fellowship may be used during the third year of the appointment. The McKay Fellowship will be handled as an investment in faculty development, with a post-fellowship service requirement similar to that in the faculty sabbatical program. Preference will be given for candidates whose normal instructional load is 2-2. Total value up to $80K.

2. PA or RA Bank

The equivalent of two academic-year PAs or RAs (maximum 50% rate), up to $50K. Up to two PA’s may be hired in a single academic year, or one PA may be hired over two years.

3. Flexible Research Fund

Up to $50K in flexible research funding.

Application Process for all Career Boost Packages

Step 1: Consult with Vice Provost Michael Bernard-Donals (2-5246, michael.bernarddonals@wisc.edu) or Vice Provost Patrick Sims (5-5228, patrick.sims@wisc.edu).

Step 2: Submit a preliminary request. The chair or dean may submit the request to Vice Provost Bernard-Donals, by telephone or email that includes:

  1. Search field
  2. Name of the candidate (along with a C.V.)
  3. Description of the candidate’s promise and accomplishments
  4. Description of how the candidate brings diversity to the unit and/or field
  5. Amount requested

A follow-up will be made to understand the request and the diversity/pipeline strategy of the search, and to agree on expectations.

Step 3: Before funds are approved, the department must summarize, in writing, its activity to develop best-practices for pipeline development and effective searches, and to participate in discussion of research on unconscious bias.

Once approved, a one-page request memo should be sent jointly from the department chair and dean alerting our office of the results of the recruitment and – in the event the candidate accepts the offer of employment – requesting the funds; the memo must be submitted by the end of the fiscal year June 30.

For all requests, a brief (1-paragraph) report on the results of the assisted activity (offers made, accepted, rejected; impact on diversity, broadly defined) must be submitted by the end of the fiscal year, June 30.

Retention Supplements

Not only must we do our best to recruit talented and diverse faculty, but we need also to retain those we hire. Often retention becomes crucial after tenure, when faculty members’ start-up funds have been exhausted but they have not yet won the next large grant; sometimes faculty want to turn to new work and need additional help in making the transition, particularly in cases where that research involves diversity, inclusion, and community engagement.

To help retain faculty members whose work and whose presence adds to the diversity of the campus and its culture, departments and deans may request retention supplements for current faculty – typically those who are already tenured – to support their research, particularly when it involves issues of diversity, inclusion, and engagement with members of the community in Madison or elsewhere in Wisconsin.

In some circumstances, supplements can be requested that support faculty members’ development of courses or programs that enhance student engagement with issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity (not limited to race, ethnicity, and gender issues) that are not otherwise supported through existing curriculum development programs; and that, by developing the courses, will clearly lead to helping retain the faculty member her- or himself.

There are two types of retention supplements:

1. PA or RA Support

One PA or RA for two years, or two PA’s or RA’s for one year, up to 50% (not to exceed $50K) for program development.

2. Flexible Research Funding

Up to $40K per year, for up to two years, for enhancement of research on diversity/inclusion-related topics for the purposes of faculty retention; this can be used for salary support or for replacement of teaching for one semester.

Criteria for Approval

Requests for retention supplements are taken on a case-by-case basis, and will be approved only in instances where the:

  • retention of a faculty member is the principal aim of the request.
  • project being supported is clearly related to the unit’s or the campus’s efforts in the areas of diversity and inclusion.
  • unit making the request can document that no other university or outside resources are available to support the initiative.

Requests must be coordinated with other units – Arts Institute, vice provost for teaching and learning, Humanities Center – to ensure no overlap with already-existing support program.

Application Process for All Retention Supplements

Step 1: Consult with Vice Provost Michael Bernard-Donals (2-5246, michael.bernarddonals@wisc.edu) or Vice Provost Patrick Sims (5-5228, patrick.sims@wisc.edu).

Step 2: Submit a preliminary request. The chair or dean may submit the request to Vice Provost Bernard-Donals, by telephone or email. A follow-up will be made to understand the request and the diversity/pipeline strategy of the search, and to agree on expectations.

Step 3: Before funds are approved, the department must summarize, in writing, its activity to develop best practices for pipeline development and effective searches, and to participate in discussion of research on unconscious bias.

Step 4: Vice Provosts Bernard-Donals and Sims confirm or withdraw the preliminary approval.

Implementation of Approval

A one-page request memo should be sent jointly from the department chair and dean, and should include:

  1. Applicant’s name, field/subfield, and current areas of research/teaching (including a C.V.)
  2. Retention risk associated with the applicant, including offers received, attention from other institutions, etc.
  3. Brief (1-paragraph) narrative of academic accomplishments and continuing promise of applicant
  4. Description of how the applicant brings diversity in relation to under-representation in the field (e.g., gender, racial-ethnic heritage, international background, or other aspects of diversity)
  5. Description of how the applicant will make use of the requested funds, and how it will help retain the applicant
  6. Identify the type of supplement requested (PA or RA support, flexible research funding, semester of research support free of teaching)
  7. Outline of what other funding sources were sought prior to applying for funds through the FDI

For all requests, a brief (1-paragraph) report on the results of the assisted activity (offers made, accepted, rejected; impact on diversity, broadly defined) must be submitted by the end of the fiscal year, June 30.