University of Iowa

Underrepresented Minority Faculty Recruitment and Retention Pilot Program


TO:                  Deans, Directors, and DEOs

FROM:             Lena Hill
                          Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Associate to the President

                          Kevin Kregel
                          Associate Provost for Faculty and Interim Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the University College

                          Gary Barta
                          Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair 

DATE:              May 25, 2018 

SUBJECT:         Underrepresented Minority Faculty Recruitment and Retention Pilot Program

The Office of the Provost, Chief Diversity Office, and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics invite proposals to support the recruitment and retention of outstanding tenure-track underrepresented minority (URM) faculty.  URM faculty are defined as American Indian or Alaskan Native, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino.  As we implement our strategic plan, this program will help us build a faculty community that more closely reflects our nation’s changing demographics and thereby sustains our position as a leading 21st century research university.

Program Design

Deans, Directors, or Departmental Executive Officers should send proposals to the Associate Provost for Faculty and the Chief Diversity Officer.  Funds will be awarded to departments through one of two processes:

  •  Collegiate or departmental leaders can apply for recruitment funds as soon as a tenure-track URM faculty finalist has been identified.  Applications can be submitted up to the time a formal offer is made to a new tenure-track faculty member.  Recruitment funds cannot be used for faculty members who have already signed contracts. 
  • Collegiate or departmental leaders can apply for faculty success retention funds at any time during a URM faculty member’s tenure. 

Application Evaluation

Applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:

 Statement of how the faculty member will contribute to or has contributed to the research, teaching, and service needs of the unit

  • Current faculty diversity of the unit
  • Unit commitment to fostering and maintaining a supportive environment for URM faculty members.  How has the unit worked to develop an inclusive atmosphere?
  • Confirmation that the faculty member identifies as a member of a URM group


The initial pilot program will last for three years (with an option to renew for an additional three years).  A total of $200,000 per year will be available for this program, with $150,000 provided by the Division of Athletics and $50,000 provided by the Office of the Provost.  Allocations to individual faculty members will be made up to a maximum of $50,000.  Funds will generally be awarded on a one-time basis, but applicants can request funding for two years (and in rare cases, up to three years) as long as the total does not exceed $50,000.  In disciplines that do not require extensive research funds, requests for smaller amounts—such as a single $5,000 or $10,000 award—may have a better chance of being funded.   

Use of Funds

These funds are designated to support both recruitment and retention, and they may be used in the following ways: 

  • Supplemental support for research supplies, equipment and/or travel funds
  • Summer salary coverage or funds to offset research salary
  • Programmatic efforts within the department that would support diversity efforts (e.g. seminar series, outside speakers, etc.)
  • Programmatic developments that support the new faculty member’s research (e.g. conference, symposia, etc.)
  • Other forms detailed by the department upon application for supplemental funds


These funds will be allocated on a competitive basis following the submission of a request to the Office of the Provost and Chief Diversity Office, 111 Jessup Hall (JH), Iowa City, IA 52242,  The request will describe how the funds will be used by the faculty member or department to support the new faculty member or enhance the departmental climate through diversity programming.  At the end of each academic year, the collegiate or departmental leader must complete a report explaining how the funds have been used.  Based on these reports, the Office of the Provost, Chief Diversity Office, and Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will produce annual reports tracking the success of the program.