University of Wisconsin–Madison

Faculty Diversity Initiative

Strategic Pipeline and Recruitment Funds

Diversity, broadly defined, is a compelling university interest, because it is a necessary condition to fulfill our mission as a public university to make its research and teaching available to all citizens of the state, and to serve the public good. The University of Wisconsin-Madison statement on diversity makes clear that “the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research and outreach and the promotion of diversity are inextricably linked.” Diversity is a source of strength in the university community, and we are committed to programs that make it possible for us to recruit a diverse faculty and staff, and to retain those members of our faculty and staff in a welcoming, productive, and inclusive community.

The Faculty Diversity Initiative is designed to encourage department chairs and deans to strengthen faculty diversity including, but not limited to, race and ethnicity, gender and gender expression, disability-related, and social backgrounds and experiences.

The initiative has three main goals:

  • Develop the pipeline for recruitment
  • Supplement recruitment packages for new faculty
  • Encourage the retention of faculty by supporting their research and teaching in areas related to diversity and inclusion

To make these goals possible, the university has set aside $850,000 in temporary supplemental funding to complement department and college efforts for the recruitment and retention of faculty from traditionally underrepresented groups.

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

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

Types of Pipeline Development Grants

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.

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.

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.

Faculty Development Academies 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.)

*Departments and deans may propose other pipeline initiatives.

Application Process

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.

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.

Types of “Career Boosts”

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.

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.

Flexible Research Fund

Up to $50K in flexible research funding.

Application Process

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:

Part I

  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

Part II

  1. Academic quality of the candidate
  2. Likely impact of the candidate on the unit’s and the college’s/school’s research, teaching, and service/outreach missions
  3. Likely contribution to faculty diversity, broadly defined
  4. Type of supplement requested (Nellie McKay Fellowship, PA/RA, or flex fund)
  5. Salary level and the start-up package

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.

The “Target of Opportunity” is defined as a candidate who has not emerged from a regular search, but has instead come to the attention of a department of school/college by other means. In rare instances, a target of opportunity emerges from a regular search when someone who could not be considered as a candidate – because they did not meet the criteria in the PVL – nonetheless offers a unique set of research and teaching skills that are only provided by this candidate. Providing support to departments that want to take advantage of a timely ‘find’ who brings something innovative, or who brings diversity, or who might take the department in a new direction, is an important way to make the most of an opportunity that might not be available otherwise.

Criteria for Funding

A target of opportunity must meet all of the following three criteria to be considered for funding:

  • the candidate is unique or one of the best available in the field at the targeted rank;
  • the opportunity is time-sensitive – agile action is required to recruit successfully; and
  • the hire constitutes an “impact appointment” by creating academic capacity beyond incremental accretion, e.g., a new research field of importance, new critical mass or synergies to reshape established fields or strengths, new teaching capacity to engage diverse students.

Should a person meet the criteria, and should all stakeholders (the department, the school/college, and the provost’s office) agree to pursue the opportunity, the following funding is available if the request is approved:

  • a two-year salary “bridge” up to 80% of salary (not to exceed 80K) in the first year, and 50% (not to exceed $50K) in the second year, and
  • a career boost supplement equivalent to that available in ongoing searches.

Application Process

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:

Part I

  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

Part II

  1. Academic quality of the candidate
  2. Likely impact of the candidate on the unit’s and the college’s/school’s research, teaching, and service/outreach missions
  3. Description of how the candidate emerged or was identified
  4. Description of how the candidate meets all three criteria of the Target of Opportunity (uniqueness, time-sensitive, impact)
  5. Salary level and the start-up package

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.

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.

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.
  • The project being supported is clearly related to the unit’s or the campus’s efforts in the areas of diversity and inclusion.
  • The 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.

Types of Retention Supplements

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.

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.

Application Process

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 (include 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.