Brown unveils visiting professors program as part of diversity and inclusion efforts

The campus-wide Provost’s Visiting Professors program will offer short-term appointments at Brown to exceptional faculty from historically underrepresented groups.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In the wake of a comprehensive diversity and inclusion action plan released in February, Brown University has established a campus-wide initiative to bring clusters of exceptional faculty from historically underrepresented groups (HUGs) to campus for periods ranging from six to 24 months.

Brown Provost Richard M. Locke shared details on the Provost’s Visiting Professors program in an announcement on May 18. Together with other efforts on campus, he noted, the Provost’s Visiting Professors will contribute to an expanding, vibrant and diverse community of scholars across the academic disciplines.

“This program will help Brown build a critical mass of diverse faculty and scholars,” Locke said. “It will also reinforce the University’s commitment to cultivating an open and rigorous academic community and potentially serve as a powerful recruitment tool.”

Through Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University, Brown articulated its commitment to achieving its mission at greater levels of excellence by creating a more diverse and inclusive academic community. The Provost’s Visiting Professors program will serve as one element of a coordinated pipeline of programs spanning pre-college, undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and faculty levels designed to achieve this. Visiting professors will contribute to the community through their scholarship, as well as through some teaching and programming aligned with their research.

Christopher Rose, professor of engineering and associate dean of the faculty for special initiatives, will direct the program and work with a committee composed of senior faculty from across the disciplines to solicit nominations and applications, select visiting professors and provide overall program governance. Rose said the process will be highly competitive and that Brown will attract accomplished scholars who are making distinctive contributions to their fields.

“What makes this program so attractive is that visiting scholars will not only become part of the Brown community for a time, but also participate in a coordinated effort to increase the numbers of HUG scholars and students at Brown,” Rose said.

Nominations will be solicited broadly — including from the campus community and directly from scholars interested in applying — and plans call for up to four new visitors per year with appointments lasting between six and 24 months, consistent with sabbatical and leave policies at most universities. Each visiting professor will be hosted by a tenured member of the Brown faculty and supported in their continued scholarship and teaching while on campus. In addition, they will be broadly introduced to the Brown community through general-audience lectures.

Suggestions for potential candidates should be shared with Rose by email at [email protected].