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Assistance in Recruiting Underrepresented Minority Faculty

The University of Illinois has a goal to increase the number of underrepresented minority tenured/tenure-track faculty members. At Illinois, underrepresented faculty members are defined as Black, Hispanic, and American Indian. The national pool of minority faculty is small, and competition for their services is keen. In order to assist departments in this competitive marketplace, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provosts make available nonrecurring funds that can be used as research awards to enhance an offer of employment, on an as-needed basis.

These awards will be up to $20,000/year for each of the first three years of employment (maximum $60,000), effective for searches for the 2022-23 academic year. The VPAA Office will provide $20,000 the first year, and the universities contribute $20,000 for both year two and year three. These funds would be available at the discretion of the faculty member to support his/her research program, including purchase of equipment, travel, research assistants, or for the faculty member's summer salary. However, they may not be used to increase his/her nine-month salary. The funds do not lapse from year to year and therefore may be expended over many years.

While these additional funds may assist new faculty in establishing their research agendas, the program was established for recruitment purposes. It is not intended to assist faculty members who are currently employed at the University of Illinois. It is assumed that other programs have and will be designed to address various aspects of faculty retention. Thus, requests will be entertained only for faculty members we are actively recruiting to tenure track positions.


  • The first-year funding of the program will come from the Vice President for Academic Affairs; funding for years two and three will be committed either by the department or by the Provost.
  • Department heads should begin thinking about possible use of this program as a list of final candidates for each position is determined. If a department wishes to pursue an underrepresented faculty member, it should request permission to utilize this program through the dean of the college to the Provost. If approved by the Provost, the request will be sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs for final approval.
  • The written request need not be a lengthy one; a brief letter from the department along with a curriculum vita will suffice. If a vita is not available, we will at least want to know the candidate's degree status, place of last employment, and race/ethnic information.
  • Although such requests need to be in writing, it is sometimes necessary to receive verbal authorization, depending on the nature of the negotiations. Whether verbally or in writing, each office (college, Provost, and VPAA) will attempt to expedite the request as quickly as possible. If verbal authorization is given, it is presumed that the written request will follow.
  • As soon as the Vice President acts on the request, the department will be immediately notified by the Provost with simultaneous notification to the dean.
  • In the fall of each academic year, the Provost’s offices will send to the Vice President for Academic Affairs a summary list of the names and departments of the new minority faculty who accepted offers of employment from the University. The Vice President’s office will then transfer to the Provost’s offices the funds awarded under this program.

If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs at (217) 333-3077.