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A Web Letter from the Office of the Provost - September 2021

By Mary Jane Chew

Diversity cluster-hire process takes shape

The Equity Task Force (ETF) core implementation team continues to move forward to develop and implement processes and programs focused on increasing racial diversity with a larger number of Black Boilermakers on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.

One major effort underway is a faculty cluster-hire initiative in Public Health, Health Policy, and Health Equity.  This cluster, comprised of 14 new faculty members across four colleges—Health and Human Sciences, Liberal Arts, Libraries and Information Studies, and Pharmacy—is just the first wave of a larger, multi-year cluster hiring initiative totaling 40 FTE.  The effort is aimed at expanding our research enterprise, adding to the range of perspectives of our faculty, and promoting a supportive community for all students, faculty and staff. 

Peter Hollenbeck, vice provost for faculty affairs, says as part of the first wave of hires launched this fall,  an “uber committee” has been formed to coordinate the activities of individual search committees.  In addition, professional development for the committees will be led by the Purdue Institute for Racial Equity (PIRE).  

“Launching this many cluster-hire searches at once is unprecedented and truly exciting for us,” said Hollenbeck. “We wanted to have a structure in place to assure that all searches are conducted in a consistent and equitable manner.”

Additional recruitment strategy is being developed to integrate the ETF themes into regular hiring for 230+ faculty searches this year.

All of this activity is aimed at helping Purdue become a leader in attracting and supporting the successes of Black scholars, ultimately improving the experience and lives of the entire Purdue community and beyond.

Read more about the Equity Task Force.