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 and to fulfill its public mission, UW-Madison is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background – people who as students, faculty and staff serve Wisconsin and the world.

It is the university’s practice to recruit applicants whose creative work and research, teaching, and service will contribute to the diversity of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  To help departments diversify their faculty (and student) populations, the Faculty Diversity Initiative provides support in the form of funds for hiring, outreach, and faculty support, from the recruitment process to the initial hire and throughout the career.

Goals

  • Develop a recruitment pipeline
  • Provide salary support
  • Supplement recruitment packages for new faculty
  • Encourage retention of faculty by supporting their research and teaching

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 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 fellowship 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 Bernard-Donals no later than June 30 of the year in which the request was provisionally approved.

Questions

Questions about the AJC Post-Doctoral Fellowship should be directed to Vice Provost Bernard-Donals at michael.bernarddonals@wisc.edu.

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

Funded by the NIH, the ICTR TL1 Post-Doctoral Trainee Program is intended for individuals with an interest in clinical science research who are also eligible for the AJC Post-Doctoral Fellowship. The TL1 Post-Doctoral 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 post-doc award will be appointed to the UW-Madison faculty. There are other requirements for eligibility.

Questions and Application Process

Questions about the ICTR Post-Doctoral Trainee Program and the application process should be directed to Ana Garić, KL2 scholar career development coordinator, ICTR at ana.garic@wisc.edu.

TOP Support

A target of opportunity is defined as a prospective faculty member who will greatly enhance the quality and diversity of an academic department.

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

Program Information and Criteria

  • TOP proposals are accepted for faculty prospects.
  • The proposed faculty member must demonstrate excellence in the specified field based on teaching experience, established research, publications, awards, etc.
  • The proposed faculty member must support the strategic goals of the department/division. The proposal should include how the hire will assist the department/division in reaching strategic goals, enhancing the excellence of the division, address specific needs within the division or across the campus and contribute to the diversity goals of the division.
  • The Office of the Provost’s will consider whether use of the TOP Program furthers the campus’ commitment to diversity.

TOP proposals are expected to carry potential for making contributions that align to the University of Wisconsin-Madison mission statement, diversity goals and framework.

How to Make a Faculty Hire Through the TOP Program

If a division wishes to pursue a TOP candidate, there are two ways in which the faculty hire can be made under the TOP Program:

1. WAIVER

The waiver approach is understood to be a supplement to the regular recruitment process (described below). This is because exceptional faculty candidates from underrepresented groups are often identified 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.

Requests made under the ‘waiver’ approach will be assessed by the Office of the Provost on a rolling basis from September 15 through January 15.

Application Process

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

  • Describe why a waiver is being requested in lieu of regular recruitment
  • Include the name and qualifications of the person or persons who will be recruited including a C.V. and/or letter of interest
  • Describe how the person’s scholarship and teaching will enhance the quality, and fit the strategic direction, of the unit and school/college
  • Describe how the individual will enhance the diversity of the unit and the school/college
  • Describe how the person – should they be hired – will be mentored during the probationary period (if hired as an assistant professor) and beyond, and the department’s retention plan

Typically, proposals provide relevant diversity data; and outline the recruitment and retention plan for the individual(s) to be hired, including how the unit will make use of available resources in the unit or in the Office of the Provost during the probationary period and beyond.

Step 2: Deans assess the proposals received from their departments, and send forward the proposals that hold the most promise, and that fit most closely with the school/college strategic goals for excellence and diversity.

Step 3: The respective dean(s) or associate dean(s) writes a brief endorsement of the departmental proposals it sends forward, which will include an assessment of how the identified individual fits the school/college strategic plans and its goals for diversity, and will note what resources the school/college will contribute to the retention of the individual, with reference to the school/college retention plan. The school/college endorsements, along with the departmental material described in “Step 1,” will be included in a packet and sent to provost@provost.wisc.edu.

Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis from September 1 through February 15. Given the time-sensitivity of the opportunities and the flexibility required in these circumstances, later proposals may accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Step 4: The Office of the Provost reviews submissions in consultation with the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA).

Step 5: The Office of the Provost notifies deans of the approved proposals; the Dean’s Office then notifies the relevant departments/units. Upon notification, the units can move forward with inviting the candidate(s) to campus for a formal evaluation/interview process. Once an evaluation has been made by a unit, and a decision to hire has been 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 work with the Office of Human Resources to obtain a PVL waiver.

2. Established Recruitment

In the course of an already-authorized search, departments may identify an additional candidate, at the finalist stage, who will enhance the academic strength and diversity contributions to the university. In such cases, the department, with the approval of the corresponding school/college dean, can seek TOP funding to recruit the person identified.

Requests made under the ‘established recruitment’ approach will be assessed in the Office of the Provost on a rolling basis from November 15 through April 15.

Application Process

Step 1: At the point in the recruitment process when finalists are being identified, departments seek approval for authorization to apply for TOP funding support from their school/college dean(s) or associate dean(s) for an additional hire (see funding information below). Proposals should:

  • Include the name and qualifications of the individual including a C.V. and/or letter of interest
  • Describe how the person’s scholarship and teaching will enhance the quality, and fit the strategic direction, of the unit and school/college
  • Describe how the individual will enhance the diversity of the unit and the school/college
  • Describe how the person – should they be hired – will be mentored during the probationary period (if hired as an assistant professor) and beyond, and the department’s retention plan.
  • Explain why TOP support is being requested instead of using other resources to make the proposed hire

Typically, proposals provide relevant diversity data; and outline the recruitment and retention plan for the individual(s) to be hired, including how the unit will make use of available resources in the unit or in the provost’s office during the probationary period.

Step 2: Deans assess the proposals received from their departments, and send forward those proposals that that fit most closely with the college’s/school’s strategic goals for excellence and diversity.

Step 3: The respective dean(s) or associate dean(s) writes a brief endorsement of the departmental proposals it sends forward, which will include an assessment of how the identified individual fits the school/college strategic plans and its goals for diversity, and will note what resources the school/college will contribute to the retention of the individual, with reference to the school/college retention plan. The school/college endorsements, along with the departmental material described in “Step 1,” will be included in a packet and sent to provost@provost.wisc.edu.

Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis from November 15 through April 15. Given the time-sensitivity of the opportunities and the flexibility required in these circumstances, later proposals may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Step 4: The Office of the Provost reviews submissions in consultation with the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA).

Step 5: The Office of the Provost notifies deans of the approved proposals; the Dean’s Office then notifies the relevant departments/units. Upon notification, the units can move forward with recruitment through normal governance procedures. Should a unit decide to move forward with a hire, the department and school/college should notify the Office of the Provost that they wish to make an offer.

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 (waiver) are eligible to receive both a Nellie McKay Fellowship and a career boost package of up to $100K.

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

When a department wishes to hire under the TOP Program, 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 Office of the Provost. Once received by the Office of the Provost, 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: The department chair or dean submits a preliminary request to Vice Provost Bernard-Donals by email. The request should:

  • Identify the search field
  • Provide the name of the candidate (along with a C.V.)
  • Describe the candidate’s promise and accomplishments
  • Describe how the candidate brings diversity to the unit and/or field
  • Identify the amount requested
  • Outline the unit’s activities to develop best practices for pipeline development and effective search, and its participation in discussions of research on unconscious bias.

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 the Office of the Provost 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 programs.

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: The department chair or dean submits a preliminary request. The request may be submitted to Vice Provost Bernard-Donals, by telephone or email. A follow-up will be made to understand the request, 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

The department chair and dean should jointly send a one-page request memo that includes:

  1. The applicant’s name, field/sub-field, and current areas of research/teaching (including a C.V.)
  2. Retention risks associated with the applicant, including offers received, attention from other institutions, etc.
  3. A brief (1-paragraph) narrative of academic accomplishments and continuing promise of applicant
  4. A 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. A description of how the applicant will make use of the requested funds, and how it will help retain the applicant
  6. The type of supplement requested (PA or RA support, flexible research funding, semester of research support free of teaching)
  7. A list of other funding sources, if any, that 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.