From the Provost’s Desk: Black Academic Excellence Cohort Hire at the U of A

The Black academic excellence cohort hire will bring up to eleven outstanding Black scholars spanning a range of academic disciplines to the U of A.

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This week, I am pleased to share that the University of Alberta has launched a Black academic excellence cohort hire. Through this important initiative we will hire up to eleven tenure-track Black scholars into eleven different faculties, spanning a range of academic disciplines. The cohort hire will help to make an immediate and substantive contribution to advancing Black academic excellence at the U of A. 

We know that recruiting and retaining a diverse complement of outstanding scholars is essential to addressing the cumulative impacts of historic and systemic discrimination that have stood in the way of inclusive excellence at post-secondary institutions. To this end, cohort hiring has emerged as a wise practice in post-secondary contexts, and I am proud that the university is taking this important step. I am also grateful for those people who are key to making it happen, including the Black Faculty Collective, participating faculties and deans, and all those engaged in moving the cohort hire forward. On behalf of the entire university: thank you for your initiative and dedication.

The Black academic excellence cohort hire closely aligns with our institutional Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity (EDI) Strategic Plan, in which we have collectively committed to diversifying our faculty complement, enriching the academic community at the U of A, and building a more inclusive environment for all members of this community. It also supports our commitment to the Scarborough Charter on Anti-Black Racism and Black Inclusion in Canadian Higher Education, which President Flanagan signed on behalf of the U of A last month

We will look forward to welcoming these new scholars to the U of A soon, with a targeted start date of July 1, 2022. From my conversations with the participating faculties, I know that the cohort members will be joining departments and faculties committed to inclusivity and academic excellence, as well as a growing community of Black faculty members across the university.  

For more information on this initiative and the specific positions available, please visit the institutional posting. I invite you to circulate this posting widely within your own professional networks as we collectively advance Black academic excellence at the U of A.

Steven Dew
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)