Cluster Initiative to Increase Diversity and the Interdisciplinary Culture at UIC
As one of the nation’s most diverse institutions of higher learning, UIC has a compelling academic and administrative interest in achieving diversity in all aspects of the campus. The Cluster Initiative to Increase Diversity and the Interdisciplinary Culture at UIC, launched in 2011 by former UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares, is designed to cultivate diverse academic leadership and enhance the educational experience of our students and the work of our faculty by broadening the array of backgrounds, ideas, and disciplines represented on campus.
Seven panel-evaluated clusters, each with its own unique cross-disciplinary and thematically unified five-year hiring plan, have been created by current UIC faculty to bring dynamic new scholars to campus. These thoughtful plans align with UIC’s efforts to support and enrich our students’ lives and its vision for the future as a leading urban research university.
About the Cluster Hire Initiative
In a September 2011 campus message, former UIC Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares announced the initial request for proposals to launch the Cluster Initiative to Increase Diversity and the Interdisciplinary Culture at UIC.
During the program’s first proposal phase, 21 cluster plans were reviewed by a panel of 14 faculty members representing a cross-section of campus units.
In May 2012, the chancellor announced that funding was approved the six areas of study through this initiative: Diaspora Studies, Global Urban Immigration, Integrative Neuroscience, Middle East and Muslim Societies, The Racialized Body, and Social Justice and Human Rights.
A seventh cluster, Health Promotion for Racially and Ethnically Diverse Older Adults, was selected for funding in July 2013 following a second phase of panel-reviewed proposals, which included six cluster bids.
In 2016, the Cluster Initiative moved to the Provost’s Office. In May 2019, Provost Susan Poser and Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Diversity Amalia Pallares convened a full-day Cluster Initiative retreat with the goals of reviewing the history of the cluster hires, creating a plan to successfully complete remaining hires, and mapping the intellectual vision for the clusters moving forward.
UIC has a compelling academic and administrative interest in achieving diversity in all aspects of the campus. The Cluster Initiative to Increase Diversity and Interdisciplinary Culture at UIC seeks to:
- Cultivate diverse leadership in our academic programs and units
- Enhance the educational experience of our students and foster the scholarly, creative, and research activities of our faculty by broadening the array of backgrounds, ideas, and disciplines represented among our faculty
- Create a community of scholars that enable the mentoring of junior faculty who will advance the university’s diversity initiatives, thereby improving retention
- Create a community of scholars that foster common research interests in an acknowledged area of disciplinary or interdisciplinary research related to our mission and vision
- Prepare our students for global leadership