Tenured Faculty Diversity Initiative

The Tenured Faculty Diversity Initiative (TFDI) is designed to help enhance diversity and inclusivity at OSU through faculty hires that promote positive changes to the academic climate.

Note: All TDFI funds have been allocated for FY24. Please do not submit applications at this time. These funds are limited and vary from year to year depending on existing commitments and planning. If you would like to discuss your unit’s needs, please contact Rick Settersten, Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs. The development of the university’s next strategic plan provides an opportunity for the Office of Faculty Affairs and Office of the Provost to assess the scope and impact of various strategic hiring initiatives.


Faculty members will be selected for academic excellence and for their ability to positively impact the hiring unit’s (and/or the university’s) organizational culture to be more inclusive of and accommodating to students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. Preference will be given to faculty appointments that meet the requirements to be hired with tenure, although strong candidates who meet all other criteria will be considered for hire at the advanced assistant professor level. The Vice Provost will seek input from the faculty and senior leadership on the merits of the proposal.

Proposal Requirements

  • Unit proposals require college approval, and must be submitted to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.  Applications are accepted year around.
  • Proposal describes a recruitment and selection process specifically tailored to the TFDI program, including the following characteristics:
    • Required position qualifications shall include:
      • has a demonstrated record of working with minority students and faculty;
      • has a demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity and inclusivity.
    • Preferred qualifications shall include:
      • meets OSU requirements to be hired with tenure at the associate or full professor level.
    • Appointees shall be expected to create impact in enhancing the diversity and inclusivity of the institution, and that expectation shall be documented in recruiting materials and in the position description. Possible means to establish impact can include:
      • Address the needs of a student population of increasing racial, ethnic and gender diversity;
      • Positively impact the culture of the institution for people of color, including but not limited to providing support and mentoring to students and faculty of color;
      • Address a need for Difference, Power and Discrimination courses specific to the discipline;
      • Participate in scholarship and teaching that is interdisciplinary and is related to one or more of the three signature areas identified in the OSU strategic plan.
    • Candidates shall be identified through active, targeted searches or through the opportunity hire process;
    • Appropriate departmental and college support for each appointment shall be required before appointment is reviewed and approved;
  • The Provost’s Office will pay up to 75% of salary and OPE for 2 years dependent upon available funds and commitments. The balance of the support will come from college or department support.
  • College or department must identify funds to pay all salary plus OPE after the TFDI two- year commitment ends.
  • College and department will describe a mentoring plan and identify specific available resources to assist appointees in creating the required impacts.
  • College and department will describe an internal method for assessing efforts of both the faculty member and his/her academic unit to support the required impacts.

Proposal Selection

The Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs in consultation with the faculty and senior leadership, will select proposals to be funded based on the strength of the proposals, availability of funds and an analysis of the following factors:

  • Potential for one or more TFDI hires to positively impact the culture of the unit;
  • Potential for one or more TFDI hires to positively impact the culture of the institution;
  • Potential to promote interdisciplinary scholarship in one or more signature areas identified in the OSU strategic plan;
  • Other relevant information furnished by deans, department heads/chairs and faculty.

Uncommitted Funds

Because of variability in awards, the amount of available funds varies from year to year. Therefore, if funds remain after tenured faculty hiring proposals are evaluated each year, the Vice Provost will consider other proposals to create a positive impact on institutional culture for a diverse and inclusive community.

Assessment of TFDI Program

  • Program assessment may include:
    • Climate information from ongoing survey results and/or individual interviews;
    • New course offerings in the Difference, Power and Discrimination program;
    • Faculty/unit interdisciplinary initiatives and their impacts on scholarship and inclusivity;
    • Faculty/unit diversity initiatives and their impacts on scholarship and inclusivity;
    • Other unit assessment measures as described in hiring proposal and in the request for uncommitted funds.
  • Unit leaders will submit a final report for the two years of TFDI funding outlining the work done by the TFDI faculty member to enhance diversity and a culture of inclusivity at OSU.

Guidelines for the Tenured Faculty Diversity Initiative

  1. Attach the position description that will be used in the hiring process. This should address the proposal requirements listed in the TDFI document.
  2. Describe the recruitment and selection process that you will use, including steps you will take to identify strong candidates and screening methods that recognize and accommodate strengths and weaknesses of diverse candidates. Alternatively, if an opportunity hire is being proposed, attach a request for unclassified waiver of search, including the candidate’s CV and a rationale for making an exception to the usual faculty selection process.
  3. Describe a mentoring plan and identify available resources to assist appointees in creating the required impacts and describe an internal method for assessing your efforts.
  4. Include the following statement at the end of the proposal: “The college or department will identify funds to pay all salary plus OPE after the TFDI two-year commitment ends.”
  5. All searches will require the appointment of a Search Advocate whose participation on the search/screening committee should begin before the final position is approved and advertised. If a Search Advocate has participated in development of the unit’s TFDI proposal, please include this information along with the advocates name in the proposal. Include the Department Head and Dean signature on the proposal.
  6. Submit the proposal to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs via email.

Updated 10/19/22