Update on the Faculty Excellence and Diversity Initiative

Provost Benjamin Polak and Deputy Provost Richard Bribiescas share details of Yale’s progress across four key dimensions.

This fall, Yale welcomed the second cohort of faculty supported by the $50 million initiative to build on the excellence and diversity of Yale’s faculty. In an Oct. 11 email to faculty and key administrators, Provost Benjamin Polak and Richard Bribiescas, deputy provost for faculty development and diversity, reaffirmed Yale’s commitment to the university-wide endeavor and shared details of Yale’s progress across four key dimensions.

Recruiting exceptional faculty to Yale

The initiative provides matching resources to support appointments that enrich the excellence and diversity of Yale’s ladder faculty. In year two, 26 new faculty appointments were made in collaboration with this initiative, bringing Yale’s two-year total to 50 recruitments campus-wide. The initiative also funds a cohort of Presidential Visiting Fellows — distinguished scholars and practitioners from around the world who bring unique perspectives on research, practice, and teaching to Yale. The university welcomed 11 new Presidential Visiting Fellows this year.

Enhancing the pipeline

The initiative also supports the Dean’s Emerging Scholars program, which provides funding for outstanding doctoral students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences who contribute to excellence and diversity in the academy. This year, 15 incoming Ph.D. students were admitted as fellows under the initiative, and 20 additional Ph.D. students will receive competitive research awards. Additional resources from the initiative have been allocated to expand Yale’s post-baccalaureate programs that help promising students transition to graduate school and academic careers.

Improved faculty development offerings

The Provost’s Office continues to work closely with areas of the university devoted to diversity scholarship and research, such as the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration. It has also partnered with the Center for Teaching and Learning, which promotes more inclusive classrooms, notably through the Diversity in Education series. The Provost’s Office also continues to advise on faculty searches, leadership searches, and tenure and promotion reviews to raise awareness and present strategies to combat implicit bias and develop excellent and inclusive candidate pools.

University-wide participation

Schools and departments from all across the university have engaged with the initiative, reported Polak and Bribiescas, noting that every school that submitted a proposal received support. New ladder faculty members or Presidential Visiting Fellows were recruited under the initiative this year to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Architecture, Art, Drama, Engineering & Applied Science, Forestry & Environmental Studies, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health. “Combined with support for nominations from Divinity and Music during our inaugural year, the initiative has now provided support to every school campus-wide,” they said.

We now look ahead to the third year of the faculty excellence and diversity initiative, energized by our successes to date,” said Polak and Bribiescas in conclusion. “We are grateful for the thoughtful participation of so many in our community and look forward to our continued work together.”

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