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With $85 million, Yale intensifies its commitment to a premier and diverse faculty

December 10, 2019

Yale will renew and expand a major program for promoting faculty excellence, diversity, and inclusion across campus, President Peter Salovey announced Dec. 10.

In his fall 2019 academic update, Salovey said he has approved a five-year renewal of the existing Faculty Excellence and Diversity Initiative (FEDI), now in the last year of its initial five-year period. The university will increase FEDI’s budget by 70%, from $50 million to $85 million.

In just four years, the Faculty Excellence and Diversity Initiative has enabled us to recruit 84 new ladder faculty members to Yale,” said Salovey. “Due to the success we have seen so far, I am renewing FEDI for another five years with an additional $85 million. We are making an emphatic statement about our commitment to recruiting the most distinguished scholars, who will help diversify Yale, transform their fields, create knowledge to improve the world, and inspire our students to lead and serve all sectors of society.”

The renewed and expanded program will include new elements intended to help recruit senior faculty in all disciplines. By ensuring availability of start-up funds, it will also help recruit science and engineering faculty of all ranks.

Established in November 2015, FEDI provides matching funds from the central university to Yale’s schools for making academic appointments that enrich the excellence and diversity of ladder faculty.

FEDI also supports a cohort of Presidential Visiting Fellows — distinguished visiting scholars and practitioners from around the world who bring to Yale unique perspectives on research, practice, and teaching — as well as the Dean’s Emerging Scholars program. The latter provides funding for outstanding doctoral students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), ultimately expanding the universe of diverse faculty throughout higher education.

In its first four years, FEDI has helped bring 84 ladder faculty to Yale and has supported 40 visiting fellows and scores of GSAS doctoral students. FEDI is open to all Yale schools, and all have participated.

To help recruit outstanding senior faculty, FEDI, upon renewal, will provide school deans with more funding for these positions.

To help recruit science and engineering scholars, the university will add resources to the Science Development Fund, which supports start-up packages that typically provide for things like lab equipment and postdocs. These can be at least as important to prospective hires as salary.

Information about the demographics of Yale’s faculty is available at the Faculty Development & Diversity website.

Submitted by Elisabeth Reitman on December 10, 2019