Fall 2021 Race and Racism Cluster Request for Proposals

Introduction

The Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement is pleased to issue this Request for Proposals for the Provost’s Initiative to Support Race and Racism Scholarship at Columbia University.  This program is designed to support the University’s goals with respect to diversity and our climate of inclusion, by advancing the recruitment of outstanding tenured/tenure-track faculty members engaged in race and racism scholarship. 

We encourage applications from the full breadth of academic fields represented at Columbia. Our goal is to support hires who will build excellence in race and racism scholarship generally, not only by their own work, but as a catalyst for work across the institution.  In particular, we seek exceptional scholars who can be instrumental in the creation/enhancement of cross-disciplinary and cross-School collaborations.

Two-Stage Selection Process

The selection of faculty engaged in race and racism scholarship will be a two-stage process.  In the first stage, applying units will express their vision for the innovative work that will be undertaken by a future recruit.  The proposed work will ideally infuse the applying unit with a new line of research, scholarship, and curricular opportunities.  Schools with an existing, robust group of faculty engaged in race and racism scholarship may apply to recruit outstanding scholars to significantly enhance existing efforts.  

Characteristics such as innovation, impact, and contribution to School/University diversity goals will weigh heavily in the selection process.  Feel free to apply singly or in collaboration with other units, laying out how funding responsibilities would be shared.  We are especially interested in collaborations and partnerships across Schools, Departments, and other units of the University.   

All faculty hired with funding from the race and Racism Cluster Hire Initiative must be recruited through the standard search mechanism.  Therefore, applying units will not be asked to identify specific faculty recruits in their proposals.  You are, however, welcome to name individuals who are exemplars of the type of faculty member you hope to recruit.     

In the second stage, the Schools recommended for funding will move forward with recruiting faculty to engage in the proposed work.  All recruitment must occur via the university’s standard search mechanism.  The Office of the Provost will work closely with Schools during the recruitment process.  Final funding approval will be dependent upon the successful recruitment of a faculty member who meets/ exceeds the qualifications outlined in the proposal.

Given the limited number of slots, Schools are strongly encouraged to develop a process for determining which proposals will be prioritized and put forward.   Departments planning to apply should coordinate closely with their Deans.  Funding requests must be submitted with the support and sign-off by the School’s Dean.  Those submitted without support and sign-off by the Dean will not be accepted.  

Eligibility

The Office of the Provost will consider providing support for full-time, tenured and tenure-track positions for outstanding faculty engaged in race and racism scholarship.  Schools are encouraged to apply for support for exceptional individuals who will contribute significantly to the academic, curricular, and diversity goals of the School.  Schools may apply, individually or in collaboration, for a single faculty hire or for a cluster of hires.  Applications will only be considered from Schools that are in good standing with respect to diversity plan submissions/reporting.   

If your primary appointment is at CUIMC, please direct your inquiries to Mandy Lin at [email protected].

Scope of Commitments and Budget

Office of the Provost: The maximum terms of support are outlined below:

  • Three years of support
    • After three years, 100% of the costs will be borne by the School/Department.
  • Either $150K per year ($450K total) OR 50% of the total budget, whichever is lower.    

Schools and Departments are responsible for covering the remainder of costs not provided by the Office of the Provost. The School/departmental commitment must equal or exceed the support requested, and ultimately received, from the Office of the Provost.

Note: Funds from the Office of the Provost cannot be used for capital expenditures.

Funding Application Requirements

The Office of the Provost will only consider providing support for candidates being recruited as full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members.  Applications must include the following components:

  • Completed cover page (uploaded via the online submission form) 
  • Proposal (up to 5 pages) from the Dean (and Department Chair, if applicable) that includes the following sections.  Please denote each section with a separate header. 
    • Target area of race and racism scholarship, including how the proposed work will complement and enhance existing work at the university
    • Potential of the proposed work to contribute to the diversity goals of the Department/School
    • Process by which the candidate will be selected, including the anticipated qualifications of your ideal faculty candidate, particularly in the target area of race and racism scholarship.  Please specify whether you will be seeking a faculty member at the tenured or tenure-track level
    • Mentoring and support efforts the hiring unit will undertake to support the professional career development of the faculty member hired via this initiative.  If you are proposing to recruit a senior candidate, provide a statement of the steps that will be taken to facilitate a successful transition into the hiring unit
  • Statement of overall progress that the School has made in achieving its diversity goals and how this application will advance the School’s diversity plans
  • Budget projection and narrative (template available on the online submission form).  We recognize that the proposed budget is based on your estimate of what it will cost to recruit a candidate.  The actual budget, and the actual Provost’s award, will be based on the accepted offer letter.  

Submission Instructions and Deadline

The entire application must be submitted via the online submission form, in the order of the application requirements noted above. 

If you need to share the application-in-progress with others in your academic unit, please follow these steps:

  1. Open the application
  2. Click “Save” at the bottom of the page
  3. Select “Get shareable link”
  4. Paste and email the link to yourself and the corresponding colleague(s)

Submissions were due on October 21, 2021 (notifications will occur by early December)

Review Process and Selection Criteria

A committee of senior faculty members will review the applications and will make recommendations to the Provost.  Each of the application elements will be assessed on strength of presentation and feasibility.  The School’s progress and commitment towards achieving its diversity objectives will also be an important element in the review process.  Favorable consideration will be given to interdisciplinary proposals that successfully incorporate two or more Schools.  

Contacts

Dennis A. Mitchell, DDS, MPH
Executive Vice President for University Life
Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement
[email protected] 
212-854-7161

Iessa J. Sutton, MA
Assistant Provost for Faculty Diversity & Inclusion
[email protected] 
212-851-2709

Kristen Barnes, MA
Associate Director for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion
[email protected] 
212-854-0336

If you have any questions during the submission process, please contact our office at [email protected].

More information regarding the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement's faculty recruitment programs may be found on our website.