Faculty Cluster Hire Initiative

Faculty Cluster Hires

Purdue University is a national leader in the graduation of Black and African American doctorates in the physical sciences, computer science, and veterinary medicine. Our track record of supporting diversity dates back well over a century and is rooted in our land-grant mission.

Today, as part of the comprehensive 5-year, $75 million plan to further enrich and diversify its faculty, staff, student body, we have mounted a cluster hiring initiative in Public Health, Health Equity, and Health Policy with a strong commitment to continuing to advance diversity in research, thought and representation at Purdue. 

Cluster-hire process began in 2021

The first 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 faculty, that will expand our research enterprise, add to the range of perspectives of our faculty, and promote a supportive community for all students. Alongside several other ongoing initiatives, this program evinces Purdue’s strong commitment to further enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We are not only conducting inclusive searches that will help us land a diverse set of exceptional faculty but will also use considerable resources to nurture each hired cohort into a true intellectual cluster, with support for aggregation, meetings and workshops, and other disciplinary and professional development activities.

The first group of faculty cluster-hires is in the area of Public Health, Health Equity and Health Policy. This idea was originally developed as a Purdue Next Moves proposal by Health and Human Sciences Dean Marion Underwood, who serves as the lead academic dean for this initiative, in collaboration with Deans Eric Barker (Pharmacy), Karen Plaut (Agriculture) and Willie Reed (Veterinary Medicine).  The broad area is a good fit for Purdue, and possible sub-areas within it are public health, social demography, health policy analysis, public health administration, public health education and communication, health science information specialties, health science analytics and health equity disparity. 

The list of completed and ongoing cluster-hire searches is below. 

Creating an environment for success

The Colleges and Departments that are participating in the cluster-hire initiative are collaborating to build strong applicant pools, recruit top candidates, and support the cluster as an academic and professional cohort once they arrive at Purdue.  Central support will be provided for the group to coalesce and collaborate, with a view to the eventual development of a campus Center or Institute, along with the expansion of the Department of Public Health.  Important elements that will provide collaborative opportunities and cohesion for the cluster hires include the Department of Public Health in the College of Health and Human Sciences and Center for Health Equity and Innovation, based in Purdue’s College of Pharmacy, and health equity initiatives being developed by Jerome Adams, former Surgeon General of the United States, who has recently joined Purdue as a professor of practice in the departments of Pharmacy Practice and Public Health.  Dr. Adams will serve as the university’s executive director of health equity initiatives, and as a faculty member of the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare

New cluster-hire faculty that started in the fall of 2022 include:

 Searches continue for the following:

  • College: CLA
    Department: Sociology
    Faculty Position: Health Equity and Disparity
    Brief description: The Department of Sociology at Purdue University invites applications for a tenure-track advanced Assistant Professor position in the area of health disparities with a focus on racial inequality.  To complement growing departmental strengths, we are especially interested in those who study adolescent and young adult health, including mental health and well-being disparities as a consequence of social position.  Being able to teach race and ethnicity is a plus. Applicants with expertise in the study of mental health disparities during the pandemic are encouraged to apply. 

  • College: CLA
    Department: Lamb School of Communication
    Faculty Position: Health Communication
    Brief description: The Brian Lamb School of Communication is seeking a tenure-track assistant professor with a specialization in health communication and/or public relations who will be able to perform research and teach in areas related to health education/promotion, campaigns, social justice, health policy, health equity, or public relations. The candidate must have a PhD: can be in communication, health promotion, health education, public relations, or a related field.

  • College: HHS
    Department: Health Sciences
    Faculty Position: Total Worker Health
    Brief description: We seek a faculty member studying Total Worker Health, an area of research that is a high priority of the National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health, whose definition of total worker health is "policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness-prevention efforts to advance worker well-being." This represents an integration of classic occupational health hazards with general health and well-being (i.e., wellness programs). Total Worker Health views work as a social determinant of health, and its research areas include worker well-being, mental health, substance abuse in the workplace, healthy work design, chronic disease, and more. 

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