Purdue Adding 40 Full-Time Faculty, $75M Diversity Initiative

Purdue Adding 40 Full-Time Faculty, $75M Diversity Initiative

Purdue University is launching one of the largest faculty hiring initiatives in its history as a key part of a $75 million Equity Task Force effort to diversify the racial makeup of its faculty ranks. Over the next five years, 40 full-time faculty will be added through several academic clusters as part of this initiative.

The plan’s initial phase, begun this fall, will focus on hiring 14 faculty in public health, including areas such as policy, equity, communications, nursing, pharmacy and nutrition. The goal is to expand Purdue’s proven public health program, to better respond to the growing industry workforce demands in Indiana and the region, to enhance the university’s research excellence, and to provide greater career opportunities for underrepresented minority faculty.

“Our land-grant mission is deeply rooted in the ideas of access and equity,” said John Gates, vice provost for diversity and inclusion. “Through this comprehensive five-year, $75 million effort, our goal is to further enrich and significantly diversify Purdue’s faculty, staff and student body – to maximize the success of all Boilermakers.

“A more diverse faculty and student body lifts the research and learning enterprise of our entire university. We see an intrinsic connection between diversity and excellence.”

Through the multiyear effort, the 10-member Equity Task Force Implementation Team has been tasked by the Purdue Board of Trustees to elevate the university’s diversity efforts as a leader in attracting Black students and faculty and fostering their success through transformative education and world-changing research.

Peter Hollenbeck, Purdue vice provost for faculty affairs, is leading the team identifying areas for cluster hires of new tenure-track faculty in public health. Additionally, Hollenbeck’s team is collaborating with Purdue’s academic and research community to determine the number and cadence of other cluster hires. Two new hires in African American studies also are planned.

“The demand is high, the need is great and the timing is optimal,” Hollenbeck said. “Launching this many cluster hire searches at once is unprecedented and truly exciting. We’re sending the message that Purdue is looking to establish a large footprint in public health, that we are taking the necessary steps to expand mentoring and community-building initiatives, and enhancing career development opportunities and professional recognition for diverse faculty members.”

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