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University Diversity & Social Transformation Professorship

Faculty at the University of Michigan (U-M) have historically made significant contributions to excellence through their commitments to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

The nomination deadline for this year has passed. Please direct any questions to Ching-Yune Sylvester at

These contributions have been made through excellence in scholarly inquiry related to DEI, inclusive teaching and mentoring, as well as impactful service and engagement that has provided greater access and opportunity. The U-M University Diversity & Social Transformation Professorship (UDSTP) both honors and builds upon the University’s legacy of faculty commitment to and achievement in DEI.

The UDSTP is an honorific designation for senior faculty who have throughout their careers demonstrated a commitment to the University’s ideals of DEI through their scholarship, teaching, and/or service and engagement. Like other U-M professorships such as the Thurnau, Collegiate, and Distinguished University Professorships, the University Diversity & Social Transformation Professorship will be reserved for only the highest level of achievement.

It is envisioned that the UDSTP will be used in two ways: 1) to acknowledge outstanding senior U-M faculty who have been judged to have made significant contributions to DEI at the University of Michigan and/or beyond, and 2) to recruit outstanding senior faculty from other institutions who have been judged to have made significant contributions to DEI at other institution(s) and/or beyond.

In addition to recognizing individual achievement in the area of DEI, the UDSTP is also designed to create a community of faculty who have a set of overlapping scholarly, pedagogical, and engagement interests that will stimulate exciting new collaborations and synergies. This will be achieved by awarding all UDSTP recipients a special Faculty Fellow status at the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID).

The University Diversity and Social Transformation Professorships are sponsored by the Office of the Provost, and jointly administered by the U-M National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) and the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI).

Qualifications and Nominating Process

The UDSTP is open to all senior tenured instructional, clinical, and research faculty (associate or full professors) who are at least 12 years post-completion of their terminal degree. Candidates for UDSTPs must be nominated by the dean of the U-M school or college.

There will be separate selection processes for internal versus external candidates. For both internal and external candidates, nominations will be evaluated by selection committees coordinated by the University of Michigan provost's office, ODEI, and the NCID. The committee will select a set of recommended nominees to forward to the provost’s office, with final decisions made by the provost.

Internal Candidates

Internal candidates must have a formal appointment in one of the schools and colleges on the Ann Arbor campus. These faculty must have outstanding portfolios with strong evidence of demonstrated achievement in promoting the values of DEI within their field and/or their university home(s). For faculty with budgeted appointments in multiple units, a nomination is only needed from one unit, however, a brief statement in support of the nomination from the other budgeted unit is highly recommended.

All complete nominations must be submitted through the NCID online portal by March 1, 2020. Complete nominations for internal candidates consist of: 

  1. A detailed statement of nomination from the Dean detailing the candidate’s qualifications for the UDSTP and the unit’s commitment to provide at least one semester leave for faculty fellow in-residence status at the NCID,
  2. the candidate’s CV
  3. as well as at least 1, and no more than 3, letters of support from other faculty members in support of the nomination.

External Candidates

Given the length of senior faculty recruitment seasons across schools and colleges, a distinct process is in place for the nomination of external candidates. Deans may nominate external candidates through the NCID online portal which will be reviewed on a rolling basis until April 1, 2020. Complete nominations for external candidates consist of:

  1. a detailed statement of nomination from the Dean detailing the candidate’s qualifications for the UDSTP and the unit’s commitment to provide at least one semester leave for NCID Faculty Fellow in-residence status, as well as
  2. the candidate’s CV.

Program Features

Award for Research and Professional Development. Individuals appointed as University Diversity & Social Transformation Professors will hold this appointment for five years (renewable). The provost’s office will award each University Diversity & Social Transformation Professor $20,000 per year for their first five years as a UDST professor. These funds may be used to support a range of activities related to their scholarly and professional work. Awardees are able to renew their UDSTP and their NCID Faculty Fellow status beyond the initial five-year funded period, however the award funds are non-renewable after the first five-year appointment. These renewal appointments will also be for a five-year period.

NCID Faculty Fellow Status. During the five-year UDST professorship appointment, awardees will also be appointed as faculty fellows at NCID during this term. In their roles as NCID faculty fellows, they will interact with other UDST professors, other NCID faculty fellows, postdoctoral scholars, and students via structured (e.g., brown bags, workshops) and unstructured/informal activities designed to foment community and collaboration.

They will also spend at least one semester as a faculty fellow in-residence (see below) at NCID, during which they will have no other teaching and administrative responsibilities at the University. As an NCID faculty fellow in-residence, they will be required to articulate a set of goals related to their own scholarship, teaching, and/or service engagement that they plan to accomplish during that term. They also will have access to NCID’s administrative infrastructure and other center resources to support their activities as NCID faculty fellow in-residence.

Course Release as NCID Faculty Fellow in-residence. To support the candidates’ campus transition, including additional scholarly engagement and leadership related to their roles as UDST professors and NCID faculty fellows, the school/college submitting a nominee is expected to provide a one-half year leave from teaching and administrative duties (equal to 50% of required annual teaching effort) within their first two years of the UDSTP. This contribution should be in addition to any accrued sabbatical leave, administrative leave, and course release provided as a part of the faculty hiring and negotiation process typical to the school/college unit.


Contact Ching-Yune Sylvester at