The Black Thriving Initiative Faculty Cluster Hiring Program is a competitive multi-year effort to recruit faculty who interrogate structural racism in its myriad forms, such as the lived experience of anti-Black racism and associated inequalities in diverse institutional domains; the collateral consequences of racism, historically and in the present era; and/or public policy solutions to structural racism in criminal justice, education, the built and natural environment, health and wellness, urban planning, etc. This initiative is designed to build on the hiring priorities of academic units; pave new paths for research and creative expression, teaching and learning, and community engagement; generate interdisciplinary work and convergent thinking across academic units; and manifest our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in research, teaching, and service.
In support of this initiative, the campus is investing in 10 Black Thriving Initiative faculty FTE over the next 3-4 years, roughly evenly split across ranks (assistant, associate, full professor). The recruitments will be organized in clusters that should include a primary hire linked to multiple less senior positions. In order to encourage interdisciplinary work and broader impact, at least one—and preferably two or three—of the lower academic rank positions should be in academic units (i.e., departments and Schools) other than that of the primary hire. Clustering positions around substantive areas of interest should increase opportunities for successful high-level recruitment by demonstrating the campus’ broad and deep commitment to outstanding research and national impact related to the focus of the cluster hire. Each cluster will receive funds ($50,000 per year for three years) explicitly linked to programming efforts that make UCI a place where students, faculty, and staff from underrepresented groups thrive. These programming efforts will be initiated by the faculty in the cluster hire, implemented in collaboration with the Office of Inclusive Excellence in ways that advance the Black Thriving Initiative, and in alignment with the UC Regents Principles Against Intolerance.
As is the case whenever we seek to recruit new faculty to our campus, our commitment to a culture of inclusive excellence requires us to consider a diverse cross section of highly- accomplished scholars, researchers, and artists. We recommend that, as faculty and programs design their hiring proposals, they work in consultation with their school’s equity advisors.
Full proposals are due to the Office of Academic Planning and Institutional Research by 5 p.m., Wednesday, January 6, 2021, and should be submitted electronically, as a complete package, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals should follow the outline below and should not exceed 5 pages, not including letters of support and CV.
I. [Approx. one page] Proposal Overview
a. Cluster title or topic
b. Proposer’s(s’) name(s), units(s), and UCI email address(es) with the lead proposer clearly identified
c. One paragraph executive summary of the proposal
d. Signatures from all relevant deans [for the SOM, this implies Dean support], chairs, center or institute directors, and your Equity Advisor regarding the nomination.
II. [Up to 4 single-spaced pages] A description of the proposed cluster and the academic units involved. Some cluster hiring programs in the past have focused on specific candidates. That is not the approach we are taking here. If there are faculty that are representative of the type of individual(s) targeted by the proposed cluster, you may include some information about them (see III below). This is not required or expected. Include in the proposal an articulation of the ways in which the cluster hires would (a) advance the university’s standing and impact; (b) build on existing strengths and/or pave new paths; (c) catalyze new interschool or campuswide collaborations and attendant initiatives; (d) enhance graduate and undergraduate education (i.e., contribute directly to undergraduate education in the classroom in addition to mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in the generation of new knowledge); (e) respond to extramural funding opportunities; and (f) contribute to the diversification of our faculty community and scholarship (please consult with your unit’s Equity Advisor). These are the criteria by which proposals will be evaluated.
III. [Optional] Links to the bios and CVs of representative cluster candidates, if names are included in the proposal. Names and bios are not required or expected.
The Office of Academic Planning and Institutional Research will solicit letters from deans summarizing their support for all proposals that involve their schools. If the proposal is seriously considered to advance, we will ask proposing faculty to provide more detailed budget information, including any plans for cost-sharing.
Proposals will be subjected to an extensive review process that includes consultation with the Academic Planning Group, academic deans, the ADVANCE Program Advising Committee, and the Distinctions Committee for senior level candidates as appropriate. Each of these groups will provide a recommendation that includes an assessment of the proposed cluster’s potential to advance the university’s standing in strategically significant ways, including by contributing to the Black Thriving Initiative in particular and UCI’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion more broadly. Open searches will be required for all appointments deriving from this program, regardless of whether specific representative candidates are mentioned in the proposal.
Any questions about this process should be directed to Andrea Bell, Strategic Programs Manager, Division of Academic Planning, at email@example.com.