As the campus boosts its number of faculty members to accommodate a growth in student enrollment, UCLA is aiming to becoming the nation’s premier university for advancing the work of faculty from underrepresented groups.
To that end, the Faculty Forward Initiative, announced April 5 in a message to the Bruin community, will focus on the recruitment and retention of faculty committed to scholarship, research, mentorship and education related to those who have traditionally been underrepresented in academia.
In tandem with initiatives like Rising to the Challenge and Native American and Pacific Islander Bruins Rising and UCLA’s efforts to become a Hispanic-Serving Institution, the Faculty Forward Initiative will strengthen the campus’s intellectual landscape, attract individuals with more varied backgrounds and expertise, and reinforce equity, diversity and inclusive excellence.
This new commitment builds on UCLA’s ongoing efforts to attract accomplished and diverse new faculty members. Since the 2019–20 academic year, 25% of ladder-rank faculty hires have been from historically underrepresented ethnic groups, and in recent years, more than half of new faculty have been women.
“There is ample evidence that having a diverse faculty expands the types of inquiry our scholars pursue, that students benefit from having educators and role models who look like them, and that in a global economy employers want university graduates who are skilled at working with people from different backgrounds,” Chancellor Gene Block and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Darnell Hunt wrote in their message.