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After Criticism, Yale Sets Aside $50 Million Over 5 Years for Faculty Diversity

Yale University announced on Tuesday that it would commit more than $50 million to bolster diversity on its faculty over the next five years.

The money will support the recruitment of more scholars who “would enrich diversity or contribute on another dimension of strategic importance,” according to a written statement by Yale’s president, Peter Salovey, and its provost, Ben Polak.

When deans at Yale want to hire a particular scholar who fits that bill, they will be able to apply for contributions from a faculty-development fund to match the resources provided by their school. The money will also be used to fund as much as half of the salary of 10 visiting professors each year.

Yale faced criticism last month for a lack of racial diversity among its faculty members. According to its campus newspaper, The Yale Daily News, a poster put up on the campus called attention to statistics reflecting a much higher representation of minorities among undergraduate students than among professors. Tamar Gendler, dean of Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said at the time that nearly a third of incoming professors in the 2014-15 academic year were members of minority groups.

The new effort includes work to expand training on implicit bias in faculty searches and in the tenure and promotion process, to improve the pipeline into academe for graduate students with underrepresented backgrounds, and to collect more data on faculty demographics at Yale. The university will also develop a website devoted to faculty diversity.

“An excellent faculty in all of these dimensions is a diverse faculty, and that diversity must reach across the whole of Yale — to every school and to every department,” the statement says.

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