Faculty Excellence and Diversity Initiative: Update on 2016-17 efforts

Date: Wednesday, October 11, 2017
From: Ben Polak and Rick Bribiescas 
 To: All Yale Faculty 
 Re: Update: Faculty Excellence and Diversity Initiative
Dear Colleagues,
This fall, we welcome the second cohort of faculty supported by our $50 million initiative to build on the excellence and diversity of Yale’s faculty. We write today to reaffirm our commitment to this university-wide endeavor and to share details of our progress along 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 our 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. We are delighted to welcome 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
We continue 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. Our partnership with the Center for Teaching and Learning promotes more inclusive classrooms, notably through the Diversity in Education series. The provost’s office 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. 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. 
We now look ahead to the third year of the faculty excellence and diversity initiative, energized by our successes to date. We are grateful for the thoughtful participation of so many in our community and look forward to our continued work together.
Ben Polak
Provost and William C. Brainard Professor of Economics
Rick Bribiescas
Deputy Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity
Professor of Anthropology