Provost Aondover Tarhule announced Illinois State University is launching the Faculty Diversity Enhancement Program (FDEP) to support the recruitment, retention, and success of faculty members who promote equity, diversity, and inclusion.   

The program will be a $4.5 million collaborative effort supported through university general revenue funds, funds from the Office of the Provost, and matching funds from departments, schools, and colleges. New faculty recruitment will take place during the first five years of the seven-year program, which will include components for mentoring and additional support.   

“FDEP is aimed at recruiting and retaining outstanding new faculty to enhance the diversity efforts in fields in which populations have been, and remain, underrepresented,” said Tarhule, who announced the program at the Academic Senate meeting on March 2. “The program will help ensure the University community includes faculty who promote equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) through their research, teaching, service, and mentoring.”  

Faculty who are a part of this program will advance teaching, scholarly, and creative productivity in one or more of the following areas: driving social change; understanding and addressing the factors contributing to disparities in disciplines; diversifying disciplinary fields; identifying effective interventions to overcome inequities; and informing changes in programs, policies, and practices to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in disciplinary fields.  

“This new program is one means to promote Illinois State’s core value of diversity and inclusion,” said University President Terri Goss Kinzy. “FDEP will assist the University in enriching the student experience by hiring faculty members whose knowledge and understanding represent the diversity of our state and nation.” 

Faculty members in FDEP will be eligible to receive a maximum of $20,000 per year for a total of three years through the initiative.  

“FDEP will complement, rather than replace, traditional department and school sources of faculty funding and support,” said Tarhule, who added more details will be shared as the program is implemented.