On Thursday, September 24, Urban Universities for HEALTH participated in a webinar hosted by the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), entitled “Using Faculty “Cluster Hiring” to Increase Diversity, Enhance Collaboration and Improve Climate.” Faculty cluster hiring is an emerging strategy in which faculty are hired into multiple units or colleges to form collaborative, interdisciplinary “clusters.” Many universities have begun using this practice to hire a diverse group of faculty who are more likely to persist, thrive, and engage with their peers across campus. Earlier this year, a study conducted by Urban Universities for HEALTH found that faculty cluster hiring can be an effective strategy for improving diversity, interdisciplinary collaboration, and institutional climate, depending on how it is implemented.
The webinar featured three speakers: Dr. Saul Weiner, Vice Provost of Planning and Programs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jody Hironaka-Juteau, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at California State University, Fresno, and Julia Michaels, Learning Collaborative Coordinator for Urban Universities for HEALTH. As VPPP, Dr. Weiner coordinates campus accreditation, strategic planning, and is the direct report for a variety of campus level units. He serves as co-chair of the provost’s cluster hire implementation advisory committee (CIAC). Dr. Hironaka-Juteau chairs the Fresno State President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity and is recognized for her expertise and experience in the areas of diversity and inclusion training and collaboration.
During the webinar, attendees heard key findings from the broader UU-HEALTH study and were provided with specific examples from the cluster hiring programs at UIC and Fresno State. The presenters also explored promising practices and additional resources that may be helpful to institutions seeking to adopt this practice on their own.
Although the live webinar was limited to HERC members, a recording of the webinar is available free of charge to the public: