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University Mission Hires

In February 2020, the Office of the Provost launched a pilot program designed to hire and retain underrepresented faculty at West Virginia University. The University Mission Hires, developed by the Diversity Hire Task Force, will provide up to $150,000 in additional funding to support new faculty hires in AY 2021-2022, with the goal of making this a sustained and long-term program.

Departments may request up to $75,000 of salary (not including fringes) for a faculty line within their unit, with a minimum of four lines supported across the University. Approved proposals will be funded for up to three years. 


Priority review will be given to proposals submitted by October 15, 2021, for an August 2022 start date. 


Please refer to the following conditions before submitting a proposal.

  • This funding does not apply to current/active searches and is not available to the WVU Health Sciences Center, Potomac State College or WVU Tech. However, funding may be extended to one or more of these units after the conclusion of this initial pilot program.
  • In keeping with the University’s goals of diversity aligned with the teaching, research and service missions, the positions are open to all levels of the professorate; due to the R1 mission of the university, preference will be given to tenured or tenure-track positions at the assistant and associate professor rank.  
  • Units may hire a faculty member for a salary above $75,000, but the unit will be responsible for paying the remainder of the salary that exceeds this maximum value. Units will be responsible for subsuming the full salary of each hire beyond the initial three years of support from the Provost’s Office.
  • Funds from this program cannot be used to cover start-up costs nor spousal hiring. However, the Provost’s Office will support these efforts through the normal processes.
  • Hires made through this program will enable a waiver of posting, allowing for immediate, strategic recruitment with specific underutilized candidates in mind.
  • Candidates must be US citizens, permanent residents, or be otherwise eligible to work in the US. 

Proposal Requirements

The following items will be required when submitting a proposal for consideration.

Cover Letter

A one-page cover letter from the department chair or director that includes the following:

  • A statement of need for the position (i.e. how the hire will contribute to the unit’s mission)
  • An assessment of how the potential hire aligns with strategic University priorities (e.g., initiatives that help to grow enrollment, increase student retention, increase research funding and/or productivity, grow national reputation)
  • A description of how this hire will improve the racial/ethnic diversity of the department and field

Curriculum Vitae

Complete CV of the potential hire

Mentoring and Inclusion Plan

A one-page, bulleted mentoring and inclusion plan that outlines the processes that will be used to help the new faculty member succeed long-term at WVU. This plan should include activities/support at the unit, college and University levels.

Dean's Statement

Dean’s statement, which should include the following:

  • A commitment to fund the faculty member above the allotted $75,000 annual salary for the first three years, if applicable
  • A commitment to fund the line in total beyond the first three years of support
  • The funding source(s) to be used to do so

Recruitment Process

Below are the identified steps of the recruitment process:

  1. Identify potential and interested candidate(s).
  2. Secure candidate(s) CV and letter of interest.
  3. Department search committee reviews and recommends candidate(s) CV to department.
  4. Department reviews and recommends candidate(s) to chair/director.
  5. Chair/director recommends and submits proposal cover letter described above candidate(s) to dean.
  6. If acceptable, submit the complete proposal package (required items listed above) to Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Culture Melissa Latimer.
  7. If approved for interview, a campus visit will be scheduled with department and dean.

Task Force Members

Members of the Diversity Hire Task Force include Tracey Beckley, Damien Clement, Greg Dunaway, Mark Gavin, Keith Jackson, Paul Kreider, Melissa Latimer, Diana Martinelli, Chris Staples, and Jack Watson.


Please direct questions to Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Culture Melissa Latimer (