Recruit & Retain Diverse Faculty through Cluster Hiring and Mutual Mentorship

Last updated August 6, 2021

Course Length

1h 18m

Last Updated

August 6, 2021

Recruit & Retain Diverse Faculty through Cluster Hiring and Mutual Mentorship

Last updated August 6, 2021

Learn how cluster hiring and mutual mentoring lead to recruitment, retention, and success of more diverse faculty.


Many institutions have expressed a commitment to addressing social inequity in its multiple forms as part of their strategic plans. One way this commitment is being implemented at many colleges and universities is through efforts to recruit and retain a more diverse faculty. Cluster hiring is one powerful strategy that can help with these efforts. But institutional transformation is a long-term commitment, and a cluster-hiring initiative must be supported to be successful and sustainable. This training will unpack how cluster hiring is a point of entry to recruiting and retaining a more diverse faculty and how mutual mentorship is a path to sustainable institutional and individual success.

Join us online to learn how Dr. Elizabeth Chilton, Provost and Executive Vice President for the Washington State University system, led three successful faculty cluster-hiring initiatives and supported them with a mutual mentorship model. Her leadership set the stage for a long-term impact on faculty diversity and retention, along with the broader climate and culture of the unit and, ultimately, the institution.

Who should attend?

This program is designed to benefit academic leaders serving at the departmental, College, and institutional levels alike. If you’re a Chair, Associate Dean, Dean, Diversity Officer, or Provost who is (a) leading initiatives to diversify your faculty, and (b) interested in learning more about cluster hiring as means to achieve that goal, this training is for you.


September 28, 2021
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Eastern

How cluster hiring can transform your institution

In this section, you’ll learn how you can transform your institution via the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty. Learn why and how cluster hiring is a vehicle for transformation at the unit, college, and institutional levels. In learning what purposes cluster hiring serves and what conditions or circumstances need to be present, you will start to do the work of understanding hiring initiatives within your own institutional context. Case studies will be presented for initiating cluster hires at the departmental, college, and institutional levels.



Implementing cluster hiring
In this second section, we’ll identify common challenges around cluster hiring related to recruiting and retaining diverse faculty and offer strategies to help overcome them. You will learn:

  • How you can finance a faculty cluster-hiring initiative
  • How you can best communicate about and gain buy-in for a faculty cluster-hiring initiative across your academic departments and faculty
  • How you can craft the job posting so as to elicit a diverse pool of candidates
  • Why it’s critical to get retention efforts—and explicit mentoring programs—going before cluster hires arrive



Sustaining diversity efforts via a mutual mentoring model for both arriving cluster hires and existing faculty
The sustainability and support of diverse faculty are essential to this work. Implementing a mutual mentoring or network-based mentoring model is one way you can ensure that your cohort of new hires feel supported and are intentionally set up for success after arrival. In this section, you’ll learn about the guiding principles of a mutual-mentoring model and how it has been implemented in different contexts and institutions.