Bloomington, Indiana—Indiana University is committed to prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion across its campuses. A program created two years ago by IU President Pamela Whitten is a key part of this work.
Launched in the fall of 2021, the Presidential Diversity Hiring Initiative is a first-of-its-kind, $30 million seven-year investment that was developed for the sole purpose of helping IU diversify the number of tenure-track faculty members from traditionally underrepresented groups in higher education.
In the first two years of the effort, 97 individuals have been hired: 48 in year one and 49 in year two. And though more than the initially allocated $30 million was allotted to hire these 97 individuals, the university is excited to continue this bold initiative going forward.
Many new hires are recruited from a cross-section of higher education institutions, including the University of Maryland, Auburn University, the University of Notre Dame, California State University-Stanislaus and the University of Central Florida. And they represent a cross-section of academic disciplines.
They also are world-renowned researchers, creators of new chemicals and chemical processes, historians of ancient philosophies, award-winning poets and writers and more.
“IU is focused on creating learning environments on its campuses that represent the diverse populations of students we serve,” says James Wimbush, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion and Johnson Chair for Diversity and Leadership at Indiana University. “The Presidential Diversity Hiring Initiative is a critical part of this work—and to letting students know that any one of our campuses is a campus that welcomes them and is a place where they can thrive, learn and grow.”
The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion manages the Presidential Diversity Hiring Initiative. It is one of several programs that IU has recently introduced to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. Other efforts include investments in professional training and support, new diversity hiring programs, more strategic recruitment and collaborations with the community.
This initiative will build on its momentum to enhance faculty diversity, says Wimbush. “This is an ambitious and important project-—and one that is making IU a truly better place for faculty, students, and others,” he notes.
Note: Procedures for requesting funds can be made directly by department chairs and deans working with chancellors to Wimbush. He is also happy to meet and answer questions with individuals responsible for those leading faculty searches.