Strategic Opportunity Hiring Program

FY 2021-2022

Program Description

The Office of the Provost will continue the Strategic Opportunity Hiring Program in FY 21-22 to help grow the West Lafayette faculty in ways that increase representation from diverse intellectual traditions, educational institutions, life experiences and backgrounds.  These include but are not limited to gender, race, ethnicity and culture.  The goal is to recruit and retain the best-qualified candidates who contribute to Purdue’s excellence through their own diversity, life experience, or through the scholarship of diversity in their discipline.  The diversity qualifier for each candidate should be addressed in the request.

The Office of the Provost will provide matching support for faculty salaries, fringe benefits, and start-up requests for strategic opportunity hires in units that have met the following requirements:

  1. Demonstrated academic program needs;
  2. Support for the hire from the department or school as evidenced by an affirmative majority vote from the full faculty (or search committee as appropriate) for an assistant professor and from the Primary Committee (or search committee as appropriate) for associate and full professors;
  3. Evidence of an established mentoring program for new faculty that includes a plan for success, consistent and constructive guidance, and performance evaluation;
  4. Evidence of preparation for a successful search process including faculty attendance at hiring workshops, implementation of best hiring practices, sensitivity toward dual career assistance and work-life balance, and demonstrated leadership that promotes an inclusive environment. 

Support from the Office of the Provost will come in the form of limited-term allocations that require matching funds. This sustainable, long-term initiative will support the hiring of four faculty per year campus-wide on an ongoing basis.

Financial Resources

The Strategic Opportunity Hiring Program will provide up to four years of partial salary and fringe benefit support: typically 75% in year 1, 50% in years 2 and 3, and 25% in year 4.  In addition, 50% of requested start-up funds up to $100,000 will be available for each hire. Start-up needs in excess of this amount can be requested through the Provost’s annual Faculty Start-up solicitation. Start-up allocations will be cash-flowed over the five years of spending period at 40% for year 1, 20% each for years 2 and 3 and 10% each for years 4 and 5.

If a faculty member hired through this initiative terminates during the four-year funding period, the hiring unit will return any salaries allocated and unused for the position following termination.  In addition, if the termination occurs prior to the full use of the start-up funds, the department will return to the Office of the Provost the proportionate share of the balance that was applied to the original allocation.

Review and Approval Process

Requests for funding support through this program should be submitted to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Office of the Provost at the following email address: The email Subject line should read “Strategic Opportunity Hiring Program.”

If the Vice Provost approves the strategic opportunity hire appointment, the school/college target tenure track or clinical/professional faculty FTE will be increased temporarily, for the period of the Provost’s support (i.e. 4 years).  By the end of the temporary FTE increase, the school/college will absorb the strategic opportunity hire appointment into its approved target FTE.  At the request of the Dean and based on relevant factors, the Provost can consider a permanent increase to the school/colleges target tenure track or clinical/professional faculty FTE to accommodate the strategic opportunity position.

Proposals will be considered at any time while funds are available.


An assessment process has been implemented to help understand the impact of the Strategic Opportunity Hiring Program.  A report will be prepared annually by the Office of the Provost which will provide the status of each faculty member hired under the Strategic Opportunity Hiring Program since its inception in FY10-11.  The report will include appointment date, initial faculty type and rank, current rank and appointment status (active, not extended, or terminated) and the diversity qualifier for this program. 

Issued August 2021


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