When I first came to the University as Provost nearly a year ago, I set diversity and inclusion as key priorities for our work ahead.
It’s clear that demographics in Pittsburgh and in the United States as a whole are shifting—and it’s equally clear that it is critically important that the University of Pittsburgh community and our educational offerings reflect those changes.
I am pleased to announce a significant new initiative that will assist us as we move that agenda forward.
Over the course of the next three to five years, I have committed to supporting a Latinx cluster-hiring initiative so that Pitt can significantly increase the number of faculty focused on Latinx issues throughout the various departments and schools of the University.
As Pitt continues to recruit students from regions of the country where the percentage of the Latinx-identifying college-age population is significantly higher than our own, attracting and retaining them requires a greater commitment to Latinx issues and topics.
This initiative, which will be implemented by Ariel Armony, Vice Provost for Global Affairs, seeks to attract top candidates with demonstrated Latinx expertise in research, teaching, and community engagement with diverse populations. The plan calls for recruiting faculty who will become leaders in their respective academic disciplines. I believe that our existing talented faculty and staff, along with newly hired faculty, will build an even stronger community, leading to improved recruitment and retention of a more diverse group of students, faculty, and staff.
During the academic year ahead, we will form a campus-wide committee to engage in benchmarking of relevant cluster hires, seek input from senior leadership, students, faculty, and community organizations, solicit proposals for positions from interested departments, and create a process by which a number of hires are made per year. The first searches will be conducted in the 2020-2021 academic year.
It is my expectation that the Latinx hiring initiative will enable us to deepen the high-quality research and scholarship already present at Pitt and allow us to further educate professionals in ways that reflect evolving landscapes in race, gender, ethnicity, migration, health, and the economy.
I hope that you share my excitement about this important project. Please reach out to Ariel Armony or to me with your ideas and questions.
Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor