In some of her first remarks in 2020 as Dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, Sonja Watson, Ph.D., said one of her top priorities as Dean would be to increase diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts at TCU’s oldest college.
In 2021, AddRan announced the first cluster of its DEI cluster hiring initiative. The goal of the hiring initiative is to build a cohort of teacher-scholars across disciplines and areas of specialization interested in teaching and conducting research on race, ethnicity and social justice.
With the hiring initiative, Dean Watson hopes to increase faculty diversity, something she says will benefit all students. “Increasing the diversity of our faculty benefits not only students of color but all students and prepares them for an increasingly diverse and globalized world,” said Watson. “Moreover, when we hear different perspectives, we build better communities and become more informed citizens of the world,” she concluded.
“Increasing the diversity of our faculty benefits not only students of color but all students and prepares them for an increasingly diverse and globalized world.”
Sonja Watson, Ph.D., Dean, AddRan College of Liberal Arts
Areas of specific interest for the hiring initiative cover subjects such as African and African Diaspora studies, Transformative Justice, Gender and Sexuality Studies and more. Faculty members hired under the initiative will be provided with opportunities and resources to participate in mentoring and peer-support circles, research & writing workshops and other ongoing professional development.
“A faculty cluster hire is an important aspect of AddRan College's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion because it promises to help realize the missions of the College and University,” said Dawn Elliott, Ph.D., associate professor of economics and AddRan College Diversity Advocate. “For AddRan and TCU, the evidence supporting this strategy is exciting: cluster hiring promotes greater research and collaboration, and private and public institutions have also used it to successfully promote diversity,” Elliott continued.
Carol Thompson, Ph.D., Chair of the sociology and anthropology department and professor, praised Dean Watson’s commitment to the DEI cluster hire model.
“Research has shown that the most successful cluster hiring programs involve and empower departments in the hiring process and provide support and professional growth opportunities for the new hires,” said Thompson. “Dean Watson’s hiring framework does this. She has created a flexible framework for hiring that will increase faculty diversity, facilitate interdisciplinary partnerships across departments and colleges, and strengthen our academic programs and reputation,” she added.
Thompson said her department looked forward to multiple benefits of having some of the first faculty members hired under the initiative.
“With this cluster initiative, Sociology and Anthropology sees exciting opportunities to fill and develop much needed disciplinary areas while bolstering our long-standing focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, DEI and social justice,” Thompson said, adding the department predicted it would be able to “…[provide] courses and curricular enhancements that add to the new DEI essential competency in the [TCU] core curriculum.”
The current open positions in the first cluster of the initiative include the following positions:
- Endowed Chair in History (Neville G. Penrose Chair of Latin American Studies)
- Assistant Professor of Political Science (American Politics)
- Assistant Professor of Religion (Christianities in the US)
- Assistant Professor of Religion (Native American and Indigenous Spiritual Traditions)
- Assistant Professor of Sociology
- Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Future DEI cluster hire initiative positions will be posted as they are approved. All employment opportunities at TCU can be found at jobs.tcu.edu.