Underrepresented Minority Recruitment Program

One of the critical aspects of the IDEAL Framework is “developing and implementing equitable strategies for recruiting, retaining and advancing cadre of student, faculty and staff, with a wide variety of backgrounds, talents, perspectives and experiences.”

This work has been integrated into the Diversity Action Plans that all units across campus have written and are implementing. In keeping with these important efforts, departments are encouraged to hire faculty members who advance the University of Oregon’s diversity, equity and inclusion objectives. To assist in this endeavor, Underrepresented Minority Recruitment Program (UMRP) funds may be provided to the departments to support such tenure-related hires and subsequent programming.

Funds up to $90,000 will be provided to the school or college in support of the hiring department or program and its faculty. The allocations are spread over three years with a maximum of $30,000 in a given year. These funds are to be used for implementing effective and creative start-up and development plans for the recruitment and retention of a unit’s faculty and the development of its programs.

The program is designed to make it easier for departments to compete with other institutions to successfully hire tenure-related faculty members that advance our diversity, equity and inclusion objectives. The program is not used to make hiring decisions, but rather is designed to increase recruiting flexibility for departments that have already decided to make job offers to top candidates.

The funds provided through this program are intended to contribute to the cultivation of a welcoming and positive academic environment both through support for the new hire and through corresponding support for the hiring department and its faculty.

Support should be provided in a manner that is congruent with common start-up negotiation norms in the department. They are designed to reimburse departmental costs associated with providing an appropriate level of support to a new faculty member. The basis for determining the appropriate level of support may include market factors that affect the competitiveness of an offer and should be comparable to other start-ups for similarly qualified candidates (including considerations for market differentials).

In general, funds should be allocated equally so that 50 percent of the funds directly support the work of the individual faculty member and 50 percent support the department’s programmatic needs and constituent faculty. Proposals requesting an exception to the 50/50 funding distribution expectation will be considered upon request on a case-by-case basis.

It is appropriate and common to use these supplemental funds to:

  • Provide direct support to the new faculty member as part of a negotiated start-up package (e.g. research and travel funds, summer pay, course buyouts, equipment);
  • Provide support to programmatic developments within the department, commonly, but not necessarily exclusively, in the area of the newly recruited colleague (e.g. GE support, conference support);
  • Provide appropriate and balanced support to other new colleagues or programmatic needs in the department (e.g. support to other new colleagues at the same rank, support to the department’s efforts to advance its diversity, equity, and inclusion goals more generally).

Application Timing

A department or unit is eligible to apply for these funds:

  • After it has completed a search for a tenure-related appointment in which the preferred hire is a candidate from an underrepresented group.
  • At the time the department has entered the stage of negotiating the details of the appointment, including such matters as start-up funds, faculty development investments, associated program investments, and consideration of matters of equity within the academic unit.
  • At the time the department is prepared to make an offer to its preferred candidate and has so communicated this intent to its academic dean and received his or her preliminary approval to begin negotiation for appointment with the candidate.

Application Process

When a candidate is identified who may make the department eligible for this program, the department should:

  1. Notify the Office of the Provost by emailing OtP@uoregon.edu of the prospective candidate, indicating an intention by the department to request UMRP funds. Please provide the name of the candidate, the search number (if applicable), and the candidate’s vitae. (OtP will request AAEO data to verify whether or not the candidate identifies as a federally defined underrepresented protected class and whether or not the new hire will address underrepresentation within the department.)
  2. If the candidate meets all AAEO criteria and addresses underrepresentation goals within the department, the department/unit head should then notify and discuss proposed plans for the use of the UMRP Funds with their academic dean.
  3. Develop the UMRP application materials including
    • a written plan for the use of the UMRP funds. NOTE: Plans should be focused on the recruitment, retention, and development of the newly hired colleague with appropriate consideration for larger faculty and departmental needs.
    • a detailed budget,
    • a memo of approval from the dean (if applicable) and,
    • a copy of the individual's CV.
  4. Send a complete application packet electronically to OtP at OtP@uoregon.edu.

Upon receipt of the complete application packet, the OtP representative will consult with the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion to determine eligibility and the merits of the plan to use UMRP funds. Following consultation, OtP will follow up in writing to confirm whether the UMRP application was approved or denied.

Administration of Funds

It is recommended that a separate index in the home department be set up for the UMRP allocation. Up to $30,000 will be transferred to that index each year, for three years. The home department administers the use of these funds to support the additional research, travel and work of the awarded faculty member, and to promote equity and inclusion in the programmatic developments of the department.

The approval letter and payroll for the new faculty member will trigger the transfer of the funds to the appropriate index. Should the hire prove unsuccessful, the UMRP arrangement is no longer valid and no funds will be transferred.

Departments must retain records on the use of funds it receives for the UMRP supplement. Departments must also submit a final report to OtP by the end of the third year detailing their use of funds and effectiveness in meeting the goals of the written plan.

For guidance on incorporating UMRP details into the offer letter of a new tenure-track faculty member, see TTF Contingent Offer Letter.