Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, recently established Connecting the Community of Tufts Scholars (CCTS), a new university-wide faculty hiring initiative. Its aim is to recruit and increase the impact of faculty whose work contributes to Tufts’ pursuit of racial equity in its research, scholarship, and curriculum.
Built into the design of the program is the intention to make strides that extend racial equity beyond Tufts’ campuses. “As we hire these groups in each theme, we are investing in their growth and development and supporting them in their research projects and other endeavors,” said Monroe France, vice provost for institutional inclusive excellence. “Then, when they are teaching in their classrooms and when they take their research into the world, they’ll be looking at their endeavors through a lens of racial equity. That has a broad impact.”
“Building a critical mass of faculty whose work centers race, racism, racial equity, and justice is core to Tufts’ pursuit of inclusive excellence,” added provost and senior vice president Caroline Genco. “CCTS represents a significant investment from university leadership in bringing talented researchers together across disciplines and from diverse backgrounds to support their success through a network that provides mentoring, leadership development, and community.”
A major initiative of the Provost’s Office, CCTS is directed explicitly and exclusively toward Tufts’ educational and research mission, according to Augusta Rohrbach, associate provost for faculty initiatives. “Importantly, the program is designed to both have an impact on the education and research happening at the university today and at the same time to shape the institution going forward.”
The Connecting the Community of Tufts Scholars program will pursue those goals through a series of “cluster” hires. Over the next three to five years, it will hire three clusters of five faculty members each across Tufts schools, for a total of 15 new faculty members. The clusters will be linked to themes that align with the university’s larger goals. The first cluster, to be hired this academic year and to start on campus next fall, will focus on the theme of climate.