The goal of the Multicultural Faculty Fellowship (MFF) Program is to increase the diversity of the faculty at the University of Rhode Island and advance issues of diversity in research and teaching within academic programs at URI. We are offering a fellowship for up to two years, with the possibility of transitioning to a tenure-track position upon a positive performance review within the first 12 months. If the transition does not occur, we are committed to providing the second year of support in the post-doctoral position. The fellowship will provide post-doctoral candidates, including those who have completed a recognized terminal degree in specific disciplines (e.g., MFA, MLA, etc.), with career development opportunities in academia through mentoring, teaching and research experiences, and some modest travel support. The fellowships are intended to enrich multiculturalism in the University and the educational experience of all students, especially by bringing multicultural perspectives to the curriculum and/or department, college, and university. Through this program, we envision creating pathways for Multicultural Fellows to develop successful academic careers within URI or at other institutions of higher education. The Office of the Provost and the Division of Academic Affairs Diversity Task Force, working collaboratively with the Office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, and Diversity, will administer the program.
Departments will participate in a competitive process for hiring a Multicultural Faculty Fellow. One candidate will be supported for up to two academic years through the Office of the Provost. The decision will be made to transition to a tenure-track position no later than the end of the second semester upon favorable review. During the Multicultural Faculty Fellowship period, the candidate will teach one course per semester in the sponsoring department and will be given an opportunity to pursue his/her scholarly and/or creative interests. The sponsoring department will provide mentoring, developmental opportunities, presentation opportunities, teaching assistance, opportunities to engage in department governance issues, etc. to the candidate throughout the year. The department is expected to also assign mentors from outside the department to support the Fellow. There will be an opportunity for the Fellow to transition into a full-time faculty position in the department, contingent upon favorable reviews of the Fellow’s performance during the fellowship period. The faculty and chair of the department will participate in the review of the Fellow, making their recommendation to the Dean. In turn, the Dean will make a recommendation to the Provost regarding transitioning the Fellow into a full-time tenure-track faculty position.
The Provost will award one Fellowship per year and the Fellowship will be allocated to different departments from year to year. The following criteria will be used to judge proposals (no more than four pages per proposal):
- The department must provide evidence of how the fellowship will enrich multiculturalism in the department/college and enhance the educational experience of students, especially by bringing multicultural perspectives to the curriculum and/or to the department, college, and/or university.
- The department must provide evidence of need for faculty resources based on strategic priorities as outlined in the Academic Affairs Strategic Plan, unit productivity, cost effectiveness, and efforts to promote innovation and quality, with careful consideration of the context of the discipline and mission of each unit.
- The department must submit a recruitment plan for selecting the Fellow.
- The department must submit a detailed and compelling mentoring plan for the Fellow over the course of the year, which should include involvement of mentors from outside the department. Proposals that provide evidence of the department’s demonstrated actions for building and supporting an inclusive climate that values and promotes multiple perspectives within the discipline will be given greater weight. This plan needs to reflect the department’s strategy (or demonstrated actions) for building and supporting an inclusive climate that values and promotes multiple perspectives within the discipline.
- The department must submit a plan for review of the candidate.
- The proposal must be signed by the Dean of the college.
- Finalists will be invited to discuss the proposal with the review committee.
Submission of Proposal
All proposals should be forwarded directly to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs who is co-chair of the Academic Affairs Diversity Task Force with the Provost by Monday, April 24, 2017 (email to email@example.com). The award of the Fellowship will be made by the end of May 2017 so that the department has ample time to conduct a national search and hire a Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year. The review committee will consist of faculty members from the Division of Academic Affairs Diversity Task Force and the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, who will make recommendations to the Provost for final selection.
Application Process for Fellows
Upon award of the Fellowship, the department should conduct a national search for the Fellow consistent with hiring processes for post-doctoral fellows. Dr. Fernando Guzman, Director of Diverse Faculty and Staff Recruitment and Retention, will serve on the search committee. At a minimum, the application materials should include:
- A cover letter that addresses eligibility requirements. The candidate must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. In addition, the candidate must have received the doctorate (or other terminal degree for the discipline) within the last three years. The cover letter should also indicate how the candidate demonstrates a commitment to bringing U.S. racial and ethnic diversity perspectives to the department, college, and/or university.
- Curriculum vitae
- One-page description of scholarly and/or creative interests
- One-page teaching philosophy
- Three letters of recommendation from faculty members familiar with the candidate’s research and teaching qualifications.