The Underrepresented Minority Recruitment Program (UMRP) encourages departments to hire underrepresented minority faculty in tenure-related faculty appointments by providing supplemental funds to the department following the successful tenure-related appointment of a new colleague from an underrepresented group.
Funds up to $90,000 will be provided to the school or college in support of the hiring department or program and its faculty. The allocations are spread over three years with a maximum of $30,000 in a given year. These funds are to be used for implementing effective and creative start-up and development plans for the recruitment and retention of a unit’s faculty and the development of its programs.
The program is designed to make it easier for departments to compete with other institutions to successfully hire diverse faculty members. The program is not used to make hiring decisions, but rather is designed to increase recruiting flexibility for departments that have already decided to make job offers to top candidates of color.
The funds provided through this program are intended to contribute to the cultivation of a welcoming and positive academic environment both through support for the new hire and through corresponding support for the hiring department and its faculty.
Support should be provided in a manner that is congruent with common start-up negotiation norms in the department. They are designed to reimburse departmental costs associated with providing an appropriate level of support to a new faculty member. The basis for determining the appropriate level of support may include market factors that affect the competitiveness of an offer and should be comparable to other start-ups for similarly qualified candidates (including considerations for market differentials).
In general, funds should be allocated equally so that 50% of the funds directly support the work of the individual faculty member and 50% of the funds support the department’s programmatic needs and constituent faculty. Proposals requesting an exception to the 50/50 funding distribution expectation will be considered upon request on a case-by-case basis.
It is appropriate and common to use these supplemental funds to:
- Provide direct support to the new faculty member as part of a negotiated start-up package (e.g., research and travel funds, summer pay, course buy outs, equipment);
- Provide support to programmatic developments within the department, commonly, but not necessarily exclusively, in the area of the newly recruited colleague (e.g., GE support, conference support);
- Provide appropriate and balanced support to other new colleagues or programmatic needs in the department (e.g., support to other new colleagues at the same rank, support to the department’s efforts to advance its diversity goals more generally).
NOTE: The determination that a candidate falls within an underrepresented group requires that two specific criteria be met:
* Self identification as a member of one of the following federally defined underrepresented protected classes: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino. While a department may not presume of a candidate his or her possible membership in one of the federally defined classes, a newly hired faculty member who has not otherwise done so may self-declare his/her status at any time and, as a result, the department may prepare and submit a plan up to one year after initial appointment.
* Determination of underrepresentation status of tenure-related faculty within the unit through examination of available data. This determination will be completed by the Office of the Provost (OtP) with support by the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity (AAEO) and the Division of Equity and Inclusion (DEI).
A department or unit is eligible to apply for these funds:
- After it has completed a search for a tenure-related appointment in which the preferred hire is a candidate from an underrepresented group.
- At the time the department has entered the stage of negotiating the details of the appointment, including such matters as start-up funds, faculty development investments, associated program investments, and consideration of matters of equity within the academic unit.
- At the time the department is prepared to make an offer to its preferred candidate and has so communicated this intent to its academic dean and received his or her preliminary approval to begin negotiation for appointment with the candidate.
When a candidate is identified who may make the department eligible for this program, the department should:
- Notify OtP of the prospective candidate indicating an intention by the department to request UMRP funds. Please provide the name of the candidate, the search number (if applicable), and the candidate’s vitae. If the prospective candidate is a result of a supplemental hire, provide written documentation of the candidate's self-identification with an ethnic minority group. [OtP will request AAEO data to verify whether or not the candidate identifies as a federally defined underrepresented protected class and whether or not the new hire will address underrepresentation within the department.]
- If the candidate meets all AAEO criteria and addresses underrepresentation goals within the department, the department/unit head should then notify and discuss proposed plans for the use of the UMRP Funds with their academic dean.
- Develop the UMRP application materials including
- a written plan for the use of the UMRP funds NOTE: Plans should be focused on the recruitment, retention, and development of the newly hired colleague with appropriate consideration for larger faculty and departmental needs.
- a detailed budget
- a memo of approval from the dean (if applicable) and,
- a copy of the individual's vita.
- Send a complete application packet electronically to OtP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon receipt of the complete application packet, the OtP representative will consult with the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion to determine eligibility and the merits of the plan to use UMRP funds. Following consultation, OtP will follow up in writing to confirm whether the UMRP application was approved or denied.
Administration of Funds
It is recommended that a separate index in the home department be set up for the UMRP allocation. Up to $30,000 will be transferred to that index each year, for three years. The home department administers the use of these funds.
The approval letter and payroll for the new faculty member will trigger the transfer of the funds to the appropriate index. Should the hire prove unsuccessful, the UMRP arrangement is no longer valid and no funds will be transferred.
Departments must retain records on the use of funds it receives for the UMRP supplement, whether for permanent or visiting faculty. Departments must also submit a final report to OtP by the end of the third year on their use and effectiveness in meeting the goals of the written plan.
For guidance on incorporating UMRP details into the offer letter of a new tenure-track faculty member, see TTF Contingent Offer Letter.
Funds are also available in any given year to support the appointment of visiting faculty using the same criteria used for tenure-related faculty. The appointment period must be for at least one term and the amount of support will be a one-time allocation of up to $10,000 provided to the department or school or college.