Advancing Faculty Diversity in the Arts & Humanities

A Commitment to Advancing Diversity on Campus

A multi-year recruitment program that is focused on interventions in our searches, hiring strategies, and faculty support for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 academic years. 

What is the Advancing Faculty Diversity in the Arts & Humanities Program?

The Division of Arts & Humanities at UC Berkeley is composed of nineteen academic departments and fourteen research units and centers, the majority of which are world renowned. Our faculty offer over fifty languages, more than any other UC campus; these programs not only teach linguistic structures and speech, but creative and cultural literacy, making our division an important home for the study of global histories, politics, cultures, and experiences. Each semester, we teach dozens of advanced literature and culture courses entirely in languages other than English. A&H also excels in our teaching praxis: A&H faculty have won the most Distinguished Teaching Awards on campus, including three of five Distinguished Teaching Awards in 2023. 

Our Advancing Faculty Diversity in the Arts & Humanities (AFDAH) Recruitment Program is focused on hiring efforts in the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 academic years. This two-year program consists of interventions in our searches, hiring strategies, and faculty support, and introduces robust program evaluation.

AFDAH will be led by Professor Donna V. Jones, an interdisciplinary scholar of literature and race, philosophy, gender, and science studies. Professor Jones has been on the Berkeley faculty for over twenty years, and has been an engaged mentor for early career faculty for over a decade. She will work in close collaboration with Arts & Humanities Dean Sara Guyer, Arts & Humanities Assistant Dean for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, Dr. Alberto Ledesma, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program Manager, Dr. Maria Faini. 

Over the past year, Dr. Ledesma and Dr. Faini developed a new Division-wide pilot program to improve connections to the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PPFP). They have focused on broadening applicant pools, identifying possible candidates for faculty positions, and socializing new recruitment strategies across departments. AFDAH draws upon and expands some of the initial lessons learned from this pilot, in particular. Departments, the Arts & Humanities Dean, EVCP, as well as the Faculty Senate (Budget Committee) all have affirmed their commitment to advancing faculty diversity by supporting new faculty clusters focused on underrepresented areas of study. AFDAH is designed to translate these commitments into transformation and to identify and address the challenges that emerge at all stages of implementation – from the announcement of job descriptions to the preparation of the first merit case and beyond. 

Four Key Focus Areas


Recruitment of new faculty across departments focused in particular on clusters in African/African Diasporic Humanities and Latinx Cultural Expression: 

The Division has prioritized hiring clusters of faculty members in underrepresented fields of study. AFDAH aims to recruit new faculty across departments in clusters focusing on African/African Diasporic Humanities and Latinx Cultural Expression. Hiring in these clusters will help us to address key gaps in areas where we have emerging student demand and an interest in developing larger curricular offerings that decenter dominant discourses.


Mentorship focused on career advancement at Berkeley, with a particular emphasis on milestones specific to the Arts & Humanities and tailored for those working in underrepresented fields: 

Creating a culture of intellectual belonging is vital for the recruitment and retention of faculty in the humanities. This program identifies the core areas where new faculty need support in order to be successful and aligns both mentorship and funding support to them. We propose to develop a program whereby mentors guide new faculty through the career milestones of their first years as members of the ladder faculty. Mentorship and funding will be open to eligible faculty, advancing diversity, who start on campus or are recruited during the grant period.

This is a multiyear commitment with incremental developments that range from public presentation of papers, research and bibliographic support, preparing a book proposal, identifying appropriate presses and series, and networking with academic publishers. For scholars in the humanities, we encourage mentorship that includes the following assumptions and contributions: 1) Scholars working in fields that focus on minority communities, global archives and artifacts, and their attendant methodologies, in particular, will require competent mentorship from scholars in adjacent fields. 2) Departments play a role in mentorship by sponsoring workshops, symposia, or brown-bag lunches that amplify scholarship in underrepresented fields—workshops that put new scholars in dialogue with established scholars are especially encouraged. These gatherings foster interdisciplinary collaboration, but also accommodate the specific disciplinary, cultural, and structural concerns of departments.


Support for research, course design, and service programs aligned with career advancement milestones, with a focus on faculty who are advancing diversity through their research, teaching, and service: 

We intend to support each of the faculty members involved with AFDAH in their first years on campus by providing funding aligned with key career milestones in teaching or research identified through the mentorship program. 

For research or creative projects, faculty may use these funds to launch their research, support the completion of a major project, purchase tools, rent space, hire a developmental editor, convene a manuscript or project review workshop, or hire a research/studio assistant or fulfill other needs related to their major milestone projects. 

We also recognize teaching as an important and demanding component of early career advancement, and these funds also could be used to develop new courses and curricula, which is an important outcome of this hiring initiative.

Finally, we can imagine service, including the convening of conferences or working groups focused on strategies for mentorship, peer-to-peer (or horizontal) mentorship, or advocacy and community building, as other valuable ways these funds can be used. 


Reflection and evaluation, designed to identify and sustain elements of the program that can endure beyond the initial two-year initiative:

Tracking the short and long-term impacts of our AFD proposal is crucial to ensuring that we learn the most effective recruitment, mentorship, and career development practices for growing our division in ways that address the changes of our time. We have developed a robust reflection and evaluation plan for measuring three primary areas of impact we hope to achieve:

1. Influence of AFDAH priorities on recruitment across departments.

2. Greater inclusion of the PPFP program in hiring plans across departments.

3. Broader influence of AFDAH priorities on department hiring plans and processes.

AFDAH seeks to build and support a cohort of early career faculty across the Division of Arts & Humanities at UC Berkeley committed to diversity and inclusion in their research, teaching, and service.
Advancing Faculty Diversity in the Arts & Humanities

Division of Arts & Humanities is Awarded $500,000 for Advancing Faculty Diversity Program

Read the full announcement here.