Faculty Opportunity Hire Program

8115.1 General

Wright State University's mission is to transform the lives of the communities and students we serve.  A critical strategy for achieving this goal and providing an enriched intellectual environment is creating a vibrant multicultural mileu on campus that challenges and supports students, faculty and staff as they develop the skills necessary to successfully negotiate the complexity that characterizes the diverse society we share.  To this end the university is proactive in its efforts to achieve inclusive excellence by increasing underrepresented faculty and staff on campus.  This opportunity hire policy is one tool in those efforts.

8115.2 Eligibility

This policy primarily applies to tenure track faculty positions at any rank.  However, it can be used to support the creation of a non-tenure eligible position such as instructor or lecturer under extraordinary circumstances.  The position for which the opportunity hire is sought must reside in a department in which there is an underrepresentation of people of color and/or a particular gender when compared to the nationally available pool of potential applicants within the discipline.  The Office of Equity and Inclusion can assist departments in making this determination.  In accordance with the definition of underrepresented in this context, the proposed opportunity hire must be a permanent resident or citizen of the U.S.

Ideally, opportunity hire funding is best used in situations in which departments/units do not have a funded line available but have identified a highly qualified individual that adds a critical dimension of diversity to the department.  However, they also must anticipate being able to provide the majority of funding for the position within 3 years. It is intended for recruitment purposes and can occur at any time, even if a search is not underway, and does not apply to faculty currently employed at Wright State University.

8115.3 Procedures

  1. A department/unit discusses the merits of hiring a particular underrepresented candidate in terms of their potential contributions to the department, qualifications and how they fit into the unit's plans for growth or change.  A determination is made that there is strong support from the department faculty for the candidate.
  2. With the approval of their Dean, the appropriate hiring authority for the department interested in pursuing an opportunity hire must submit a proposal to the Director of Equity and Inclusion.  The proposal should include a description of how the potential hire belongs to a group that is underrepresented in the department/unit, ways in which this hire will advance the university's strategic plan as well as strategic goals and needs within the department, and a plan for covering the expenses related to hiring this additional position on a permanent basis.  The proposal should also include a letter outlining the departmental support for the hire and the vitae/resume of the candidate.  The director will review the documents and forward a recommendation to the Provost regarding the hire.  The Provost provides the final approval in this process.

If the position to be filled is new, the process of filling it begins with the creation of a job description that clearly defines the duties and responsibilities of the position as well as the skills and abilities needed to fulfill the responsibilities.  This should be done using the University's Position Description Form.

8115.4 Salary Support

The funds supporting the Faculty Opportunity Hire Program will provide seventy-five percent (75%) of the salary for the first year of employment for each position filled as part of the program.  Fifty percent (50%) of the salary will be provided the second year. In year three of this individual's employment and beyond, twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) will be transferred to the department's base budget for as long as the underrepresented faculty remains at Wright State University.  If the Individual supported by the fund leaves the university (or becomes less than full-time) any future funding committed to the employment of the individual will revert back to the Faculty Opportunity Hire pool.

Funding associated with the Faculty Opportunity Hire Program will be provided from the Strategic Hiring and Investment pool, subject to availability and in accordance with the respective procedures and guidelines. Funds will be processed through the Director of Equity and Inclusion office.  Funds will be transferred to the director's budget at the time an Opportunity Hire program faculty is hired and annually to fund all existing Faculty Opportunity Hire Program employees.

This program will be reviewed annually to assess its impact on diversifying Wright State University's faculty as well as fiscal implications.