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Rutgers pledges another $20 million in diversity hiring funds

Bringing the total diversity funding to more than $40 million

Rutgers University has pledged an additional $20 million in funding to hire a diverse faculty, adding to the significant amount of money it has already allocated toward that goal.

The school’s “$22 million initiative to hire, mentor and retain professors from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds was set to expire in 2021 but will now continue through 2024,” Inside Higher Ed reported this week.

The school had already pledged $22 million toward diverse faculty hiring efforts. Since its launch in 2016, the program “has supported hiring 79 new diverse faculty members across the university and mentoring and retaining faculty from diverse backgrounds,” the school declared on its website.

The millions of dollars allocated toward the effort “provide half the salary support for the first three years of each newly hired faculty member’s service at Rutgers, along with additional funds to support mentoring and retention.”

From the school’s website:

“While faculty within departments and schools ultimately make hiring decisions for individual faculty members, these funds provide the resources our departments need to recruit, hire and retain outstanding faculty from groups who have been traditionally underrepresented in their fields,” [school president Robert] Barchi said. “We want to help ensure that our faculty better reflects the broad diversity of our students and the state of New Jersey.”

As one of the most diverse major public research universities in the nation, Rutgers is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion throughout the university, said Barbara Lee, senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Rutgers University.

“This initiative will help us continue to support efforts to attract more faculty from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds whose expertise and unique experiences will guide our students, provide exceptional health care and discoveries, and advance collaborative innovations that improve lives in our communities and around the world,” Lee said.

The new pledge comes, Inside Higher Ed reports, after “dozens of distinguished professors across the system signed a petition last month criticizing Barchi’s spending priorities. Among other complaints, the professors wrote that Barchi has not sufficiently invested in diversity and inclusion.”

Read Higher Ed‘s report here, and the university’s announcement here.

MORE: University to spend $121 million on diversity efforts

IMAGE: TrustyPics / Flickr.com

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