Faculty Inclusive Excellence Fund

The Faculty Inclusive Excellence Fund (FIEF) is an initiative of the Office of the Provost and the Division of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (IDE). FIEF’s primary purpose is to provide incentive funding for colleges and departments to actively recruit, support and retain a diverse pool of tenured and tenure-track faculty.  If you have any questions about the program contact Senior Vice Provost Matt Martens.

While all applications for FIEF funding will be considered, tenured and tenure-track faculty have the highest priority. Faculty in professional programs with similar responsibilities as tenured or tenure-track faculty will also be prioritized.

Funding Proposal Process

FIEF proposals may be submitted on a rolling basis; however, the FIEF Committee conducts a monthly review of applications during the academic year. Proposals will not be reviewed during university breaks or holidays.

The FIEF Committee will respond to proposals for FIEF funding on the basis of strategic efforts to increase faculty diversity. The academic unit may justify a funding request based on:

  • an established comparison-driven disparity between expected and   actual numbers of women or minority faculty (e.g., an affirmative action goal) and/or
  • an established mission-driven diversity priority (e.g., related to curriculum, advising, etc.)

Mission-driven priorities flow from the academic unit’s strategic plan or Inclusive Excellence plan and will ideally be documented in other areas such as the faculty meeting minutes or annual reports. Alternatively, a department or division should explain the measures they have taken to make their teaching, research, service, and economic development mission more inclusive, and how the skills and abilities of the candidate would further their inclusion and diversity goals.

The unit must obtain approval to hire from the provost/provost-designee prior to making the request for FIEF funding. Additionally, the unit must comply with all the university’s recruitment and hiring procedures. This is particularly important when abridged hiring processes are used. If a unit identifies more than one potential hire from a single job posting, the unit may make multiple FIEF requests provided the provost/provost designee approves the multiple hiring lines.

Funds are only transferred when the faculty member has resumed their employment (i.e. after their start date). Additionally, the funds disbursed in the first year are actual expenses only, meaning if a faculty member starts after Sept. 1, the disbursed funds will be prorated.

Changes in Appointments and FIEF Funds: As a general rule, a FIEF grant is attached to a person. As is usually stated in the commitment email, the grant is only for so long as the person is employed in the department in that particular capacity (tenure stream, clinical, etc.). While there is no guarantee, funds may be allowed to follow the faculty member should they transfer departments or go from NTT to tenure track, or vice versa. In such a case, a new FIEF proposal would need to be submitted. Should the faculty member move out of their faculty role and into a primarily administrative position, funding will be terminated for the expected term of the administrative appointment, allowing the University to reinvest the funds in our stated mission of increasing the diversity of the faculty.

Funding Types

The following funding types are designed to address specific best practices in faculty recruitment and retention. Funding categories 1-5 are mutually exclusive and may not be combined into a single offer. Category 8 is a stand-alone provision and cannot be combined with any other category. Please note that salary awards do not automatically include benefits.

In line with the university’s expectation that FIEF will attract and retain tenured or tenure-track faculty, categories 1-3 may only be used for tenured or tenure-track positions.

  1. Salary Support. Provides no more than 50% of the starting salary (up to $50,000) for three years.
  2. Established Scholar. Provides funding when a department has been successful in recruiting highly qualified established scholars from groups representative of current campus-level priorities (e.g. Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, STEM women) into applicant pools. In general, at a minimum, these scholars should have achieved the rank of associate professor at a comparable institution and may be hired with tenure or significant credit toward tenure. Additionally, this category may be used for eminent scholars who are nationally or internationally renowned for their significant contributions to their field.

Funding in this category can be disbursed in two ways:

  1. Transitional salary support: FIEF will provide up to 100% of the starting salary (up to $100,000) for the first three years of employment.
  2. Salary support: FIEF will provide up to 50% of the starting salary (no more than $50,000) after transitional salary support has ended for three years.
  3. Salary Adjustment. Provides funding when a department seeks to increase the salary of a new or incumbent faculty member. Amounts of funding will vary but will not exceed the existing salary/original offer by more than 10% or $10,000 (whichever is lower). The funding in this category is awarded for a defined duration up to three years. Salary adjustments will only be awarded once per faculty member and can only be used under the following circumstances:
  • The salary offer to an applicant is insufficient to complete the recruitment process and the department has not been awarded funding under other FIEF categories.
  • An existing faculty member has received an offer from another institution that exceeds the resources available in the department to provide a successful counter-offer.
  • An existing faculty member has articulated their intention to pursue other employment or informed the department that other institutions have attempted to recruit them, and the department cannot retain the faculty member without a salary increase.
  • An existing faculty member has demonstrated through a formal process of review that there is a salary inequity in comparison to other faculty of similar (or lower) rank and/or record of accomplishment. Funding in this category is provided on a bridging basis only and will step-down by 20% each year for three years (in three equal steps).
  1. Discretionary Bridge Funding. Provides a department funding to:
  • make a hire that has the potential to result in a future tenure-track hire,
  • increase the quality of an offer or counter-offer, or
  • leverage funding to support broad-based diversity hiring goals

Variable amounts will be provided for up to three years. Funding will be awarded once per faculty member as a means to leverage unique opportunities to accomplish diversity-related hiring goals. This level of funding may require a match in funding (sequential or simultaneous) from the college or department.

  1. Benefits. An award of salary does not automatically include benefits. Funding to cover the associated cost of benefits may be granted with other forms of salary support but only to the extent that the maximum amount of salary funding ($50,000 or $100,000, as the case may be) has not been awarded.
  2. Summer Salary.This form of support may be granted when a department is in need of funding to increase the quality of an offer or counter-offer. One month of summer salary will be provided for up to two years, or two months’ salary may be provided in one year (with match). A month’s salary may not exceed 1/9 of the base nine-month salary. A grant of summer salary requires a match in funding (sequential or simultaneous) from the college or department.
  3. Research (Creative Achievement) Expense.This form of support may be granted when a department is in need of funding to increase the quality of an offer or counter-offer. Research expense may include various elements of a start-up package, including equipment, software, and other research/creative-related costs. It may not include salary. Variable amounts up to $7,500 per year will be provided for one or two years (not cumulative to $15,000 in a single year). A research expense award requires a match in funding(sequential or simultaneous) from the college or department.

“Sequential match funding” refers to cases in which the department or college matches funding in subsequent fiscal years. “Simultaneous match funding” refers to cases in which the amount provided by FIEF is matched during the same fiscal year.

  1. Hiring Incentive.Subject to the terms of policy HR-104, FIEF funds may be used as an up-front payment to a new faculty member when the university is competing for highly qualified candidates. As per the policy, approval by the Chancellor or designee is required, and requests may be submitted for sums of up to 1/2 the faculty member’s annual salary, payable in one or more installments. Payment will be conditioned on an agreement with the employee to forego or refund monies should the employee not remain at MU for an agreed-upon term (two to four years). The funding request should explain both the need for a hiring incentive and the amount being requested.

Content of Proposals

Proposals must be submitted via below form. The form will guide you in providing the following information:

  • Name of the department/division and department/division chair name and contact information (or other designee)
  • Confirmation of provost/provost designee approval to hire
  • Name and Curriculum Vita for the candidate
  • Position title, tenure-track status and rank
  • Brief statement of how the candidate was recruited, including whether new means of identifying potential applicants were utilized in the search phase
  • Expected salary (once hired, the unit will need to forward a copy of the final letter of offer)
  • Dollar amounts and sources of all other funding
  • Links to documents specifying the unit’s diversity priorities; and a brief paragraph about how the candidate fits the mission and priorities of the college/department with respect to inclusion, diversity and equity.
  • Type and amount of funding requested and a rationale that connects the diversity needs of the department/division/college to the requested funding type and amount. If research funding is requested under section 7, itemize the specific costs to be covered (e.g. computer and software)
  • Brief paragraph concerning specific efforts planned and/or in place to retain this individual once hired (including but not limited to mentoring). Provide details, including the names of designated mentors. Chairs are encouraged to meet with the Associate Provost for Faculty Success, Candace Kuby, to discuss ideas for how to support incoming faculty. This can be done before or after submitting a proposal.

Submit proposal here