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University Leaders Announce Details of Faculty Diversity Initiative

November 30, 2015
CONTACT: Dennis O’Shea
Office: 443-997-9912 / Cell: 410-499-7460
Tracey Reeves
Office: 443-997-9903 / Cell: 443-986-4053

Johns Hopkins University Provost Robert C. Lieberman and the deans of the university’s schools sent the following message today to the university’s students, faculty and staff announcing a new Faculty Diversity Initiative at Johns Hopkins.  This is the text of that message:

Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff:In a universitywide email on November 13, President Daniels referenced the creation of a comprehensive Faculty Diversity Initiative at Johns Hopkins. Today, we are delighted to share the details of this effort.The Faculty Diversity Initiative (FDI) is the result of an intensive effort over the past year to review and assess strategies and best practices across Johns Hopkins and among our peers, and to consider new ideas for recruiting, retaining, developing, and promoting a diverse faculty.After an annual deans’ meeting focused on this issue last spring, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy spent months analyzing faculty data trends across the university, consulting with our faculty and faculty groups, reviewing past diversity reports and faculty assessments, benchmarking our progress against peer institutions, and presenting faculty diversity data to leadership across the university, including members of the Board of Trustees.

We then commissioned a team led by Vice Provost Holcomb-McCoy and Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Caroline Laguerre-Brown to develop a comprehensive plan to address several fundamental objectives, in particular: to fuel and sustain our efforts in conducting more expansive and inclusive searches; to create a pipeline of diverse scholars who might become faculty members and academic leaders at Johns Hopkins or peer institutions; and to broaden support and mentoring opportunities, especially for underrepresented and junior members of our faculty. This effort will establish data-tracking and public-reporting mechanisms to measure progress and hold ourselves accountable.

The FDI will support our firm commitment to locate, attract, and retain the best and most talented faculty, representing a broad diversity of backgrounds, thought, and experiences. Each academic division of the university will develop and execute a detailed plan, tailored to its specific academic discipline, to enhance faculty diversity and cultivate an environment that is inclusive of diverse scholars. While the FDI is a university program, we will—in the best tradition of Johns Hopkins—look to the divisions for their innovation and leadership in achieving our aims.

The Faculty Diversity Initiative includes five key components:

Enhanced Faculty Search Practices—Recognizing that maintaining the excellence of our faculty requires casting our nets for academic talent as widely as possible, each division will establish clear protocols for faculty searches that will increase diversity within our applicant pools. These protocols will include a commitment to ensure that candidate pools reflect candidate availability, unconscious bias training for search committee members, trained diversity advocates on search committees, oversight of candidate short lists by divisional leadership, and comprehensive reporting on search practices and activities. The FDI will help to identify proactive opportunities to recruit senior underrepresented faculty to Johns Hopkins, including outreach to professional societies for underrepresented groups.

Target of Opportunity Program (TOP)—Building on the former Mosaic Program, we have established a fund to support the targeted recruitment of exceptional and diverse scholars, above and beyond planned search cycles. Divisions may request funding to support up to one-half of the cost of the faculty appointment, with a cap of $100,000 per year per appointee, for three years. TOP funds may be used to cover salary, fringe benefits, start-up costs, or other costs that would enhance our ability to recruit the appointee.

Visiting Professor/Scholar Funding—Inviting visiting faculty members to our campuses can also broaden and enhance the diversity of our academic community and cultivate collaborative relationships that may lead to mutual interest in future faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins. To that end, we have established a fund to support visiting faculty members and scholars, whether they join our community for one day or one year. Schools and divisions may submit requests for funding to provide full or partial support to visiting faculty members and scholars whose activities support departmental, divisional, or universitywide diversity efforts. Funding amounts will vary, based on the nature of the request.

Provost’s Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program—The Provost’s Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship Program will prepare postdocs for tenure-track faculty positions at JHU or peer institutions, particularly in fields where there are fewer women and/or underrepresented minorities. Awardees will receive competitive two-year postdoctoral fellowships. In addition, the program will include comprehensive career and professional development.

Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Research—The Provost’s Office is creating an award for excellence in diversity and inclusion research. It will grant one award of $50,000 in each of the next five years to a full-time JHU faculty member who is pursuing exceptional research that advances our knowledge and scholarship of any issue related to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

A newly formed Faculty Diversity Data Metrics Committee, comprising faculty and subject-matter experts from across the university, will help improve data collection related to faculty diversity, supporting the Provost’s Office as it analyzes and periodically reports on faculty diversity data to our community.

In support of these efforts, Johns Hopkins has committed more than $25 million in new funding over the next five years. We are grateful to the university’s Diversity Leadership Council, Vice Provost Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer Caroline Laguerre-Brown, and many faculty members across the university for their contributions in developing this initiative.

For further information about the Faculty Diversity Initiative, please visit the Office of the Provost website.


Robert C. Lieberman
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

David W. Andrews
Dean of the School of Education

Fred Bronstein
Dean of the Peabody Institute

Patricia M. Davidson
Dean of the School of Nursing

Bernard T. Ferrari
Dean of the Carey Business School

Michael J. Klag
Dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health

Vali R. Nasr
Dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies

Paul B. Rothman
Frances Watt Baker and Lenox D. Baker Jr. Dean of the School of Medicine

T.E. Schlesinger
Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering

Beverly Wendland
James B. Knapp Dean of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

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