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Monday, February 16, 2015

CLA Cluster Hire Initiative

The College of Liberal Arts is home to faculty, staff, and students who are actively engaged in the scholarly analysis and creative exploration of diversity and its implications for understanding and addressing the grand challenges of the 21st century.

I am pleased to announce that, with the support and assistance of the Office of the Provost, the college will conduct a faculty cluster hire of four positions that will yield new faculty members who will contribute to field-shaping scholarly research and creative activity and undergraduate and graduate instruction on the issues and opportunities present in a diverse, vibrant society.

In addition to building on CLA’s historical strength and interest in this scholarly area, this initiative builds on several more recent efforts in the college and on campus. These include:

  • work begun in early 2014 during the CLA budget process when the college developed a diversity cluster hire proposal; 
  • the strong work over the past 18 months of the faculty leadership of the RIGS (Study of Race, Indigeneity, Gender, and Sexuality) Consortium to begin enhancing linkages across the member departments and programs; 
  • discussions between CLA and the Provost in fall 2014 concerning diversity issues, leading to the development of a cluster hire proposal that was presented to the Provost’s Office in January 2015; 
  • the expressed support of CLA governance groups and other groups over the past half year for such an initiative;
  • the strongly stated commitment to issues of diversity in the University’s Strategic Plan; 
  • President Kaler’s campus climate study and report; and 
  • the presence of Research Excellence and Diversity as two of the key collegiate goals in the ongoing development of the CLA Roadmap. 

This hiring initiative will add four new tenured and tenure track faculty engaged with the scholarly traditions represented in the RIGS departments and whose scholarly work forges connections between these disciplines and other disciplinary areas within CLA. One of the positions will be a tenured position in the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies. The remaining three positions will be tenure track positions in one of the RIGS departments with joint appointments with other CLA departments. The faculty who emerge and are hired will enhance the college and University consistent with the goals and priorities of the CLA Roadmap and the University Strategic Plan, will deepen and broaden areas of research strength in the college, and will expand undergraduate and graduate course offerings.

The goals of this cluster hiring initiative are threefold: (1) to strengthen our scholarly and creative depth and breadth on leading-edge research and creative questions concerning diversity by attracting a new cohort of scholars to our intellectual community; (2) to advance collaborative research and education by encouraging knowledge creation that crosses departmental boundaries; and (3) to enable CLA and the University to engage fully with solving the Grand Challenges of a diverse and changing world.

More information regarding the details of the search process will be shared as planning unfolds.