Research shows that diverse and inclusive environments encourage innovation, increase effective problem solving, and foster personal and professional excellence. One program at the University of Michigan is taking heed by hiring faculty with demonstrated expertise in creating an inclusive campus experience for all.
LSA has announced the expansion of its Collegiate Fellows Program. In collaboration with the National Center for Institutional Diversity, it will recruit 32 new faculty over the next four to five years into tenure-track faculty positions in LSA. This includes early-career scholars for the existing Collegiate Fellows Program and mid-career professors for a new Senior Collegiate Fellows Program.
These individuals will represent some of the nation’s top scholars who also have demonstrated their ability to bring to their work the perspectives that come from nontraditional backgrounds and pathways, and scholarly understanding of communities that are underrepresented or marginalized in higher education. These individuals must demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through their teaching, research, or service and community engagement.
“We are excited to announce the expansion of the LSA Collegiate Fellows Program to include mid-career DEI scholars,” said Isis Settles, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at LSA. “We wanted to attract talent beyond the top 25 institutions U-M typically recruits from and provide them the support and resources to thrive.
“These outstanding scholars bring their expertise, insight and unique backgrounds to make innovations in their scholarship across fields, and to transform the classroom experience for our students. Their engagement with DEI work truly enhances the college and our efforts to elevate this work in higher education.”
Launched in 2016 as a five-year pilot, the LSA Collegiate Fellows Program has hired 50 scholars from a pool of more than 4,400 applicants. To date, nearly all fellows are on or transitioning into tenure-track assistant professor positions in LSA.
“We are very excited about the expansion of the LSA Collegiate Fellows Program,” said LSA Dean Anne Curzan. “We have seen the stunning success of the postdoctoral program over the past seven years, and this program will continue. Now we will also be recruiting newly tenured colleagues with demonstrated DEI engagement. We are committed to systemic change in LSA, and this program is a model for building expertise, community and leadership.”
The Collegiate Fellows Program will offer new mentorship opportunities led by senior U-M faculty members who are also involved in DEI work. It will complement the professional development programs already in place for Collegiate Fellows and for LSA assistant professors, allowing for both peer and senior mentoring.
Senior Collegiate Fellows will participate in professional development during their first year, which will help support DEI leadership in their service and administrative roles.
“By supporting the LSA Collegiate Fellows Program, we are working towards building a more equitable and inclusive academic experience for everyone,” said NCID Director Elizabeth Cole. “This program recruits outstanding scholars who have a high level of expertise in, and represent a great deal of, diversity that helps to enrich the overall college experience, and we are proud to welcome them to our campus community.”
Scholars in the LSA Collegiate Fellows Program will represent all three divisions in the liberal arts: natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. Each individual recruited through this initiative will represent the unique and broad perspectives that make the university community a cornerstone of academic excellence and world-class expertise.
Applications are being accepted through Sept. 8.