Black Thriving Initiative Faculty Cluster Hiring Program Proposal Requirements

The Black Thriving Initiative Faculty Cluster Hiring Program is a two-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; and manifest our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in research, teaching, and service.

In support of this initiative, in AY 2021-22, the second and final year of the program, the campus will invest at least six FTE, roughly evenly split across ranks (assistant, associate, full professor), in cluster hiring that aligns with the goals of the BTI. There are two ways to envision the transformational work of the cluster: 1) To encourage interdisciplinary work and broader impact, the cluster can span a number of academic units (i.e., programs, departments and schools); or 2) To transform a single unit (program, department or school), all recruitments in the cluster can be appointed in the same unit (program, department or school). Either way, clustering positions around substantive areas of interest should increase opportunities for successful recruitment by demonstrating UCI’s broad and deep commitment to outstanding research/creative activity and national impact related to the focus of the cluster hire.

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.

Proposals will be subjected to a two-stage review process. In the first stage, short concept papers that describe the idea being proposed will be shared with academic deans. Based on feedback from the academic deans, in the second stage a subset of proposals will be advanced for further consideration. Prior to resubmission for consideration in the second stage, the proposals invited to be advanced can be revised in light of feedback from the academic deans and further instructions from the Office of Academic Planning and Institutional Research. The proposals advanced for further consideration will be subject 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.

To be considered in the first stage of review, submit a 2-3 page concept paper to the Office of Academic Planning and Institutional Research by 5 p.m. PT on December 1, 2021. It should be submitted electronically, as a complete package, to acadplan@uci.edu. The concept paper should not exceed 3 pages and it should include the following:

a. Cluster title or topic

b. Proposer’s names, units, and UCI email addresses with the lead proposer clearly identified

c. One paragraph executive summary of the proposal

d. A description of the proposed cluster and the ways in which pursuing such a cluster of faculty aligns with the goals of the Black Thriving Initiative (https://inclusion.uci.edu/uci-black-thriving-initiative/) and the criteria by which proposals will be evaluated (see below). 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, but 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 or transform a single unit (program, department, or school); (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.

e. Signatures from all relevant deans [for the SOM, this implies Dean support], chairs, center or institute directors, and your Equity Advisor regarding the nomination.

Any questions about this process should be directed to Andrea Bell, Strategic Programs Manager, Division of Academic Planning, at andreapb@uci.edu.