William Paterson University Announces New Pre-Doctoral Fellows Program to Advance Faculty Diversity in Higher Education

William Paterson University is launching a new fellowship program to advance diversity in higher education by supporting doctoral or terminal degree candidates from underrepresented backgrounds as they launch academic careers and complete their dissertations or degree requirements.

Doctoral candidates from across the nation are eligible to apply for a fellowship, which would begin at William Paterson in August 2021, in the fields of management, marketing and sales, educational leadership, psychology, communication disorders, or music.

“As a public university serving a highly diverse student population, we are launching this unique fellowship program to support the development of emerging faculty from underrepresented groups who desire a career at an institution that emphasizes teaching quality and encourages multiple forms of scholarship,” says William Paterson University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Joshua Powers. “Our goal is to assure long-term faculty growth that reflects the diversity of the students we serve on our campus and throughout higher education.”

Academic departments on campus that are hosting fellows commit to mentoring them and to providing them similar levels of research support as they would for tenure-track faculty. The fellows will teach in the department and participate in a cohort experience intended to position them for success in a tenure-track faculty appointment at William Paterson University or other institution of higher education.

“At William Paterson University, we are proud to be federally recognized as both a Hispanic Serving Institution and Minority Serving Institution with a firm to commitment creating and sustaining a campus culture of inclusion,” says William Paterson University Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Talent Management David Jones. “This fellowship program demonstrates our University’s shared goal to build a more diverse teaching faculty by supporting the growth of diverse doctoral students.” 

“National research highlights the value of institutions investing in career success initiatives such as our new program,” adds William Paterson University Associate Provost Kara Rabbitt. “Our pre-doctoral fellows program will provide mentoring and other experiences to support the selected participants as they simultaneously advance their instructional skills and scholarly plans.”

The University will host a webinar and information session about the new fellowship program on Thursday, January 14. The webinar will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. EST and features a keynote address centered on the experiences and recruitment of faculty of color, presented by higher education consultant and Ohio State University professor Lori Patton Davis, PhD. Patton Davis’s research focuses on African Americans in post-secondary education, critical race theory applied to higher education, college student development theory, and the influence of campus environments on student experiences.

An informational session on William Paterson’s new pre-doctoral fellows program will follow, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. EST. It will be co-hosted by Jones and Rabbitt. Register for the free Zoom events here. (Please note that the informational session will be recorded and available on our website after January 15 for those who are unable to attend in real-time.)

Learn more about the pre-doctoral fellows program, watch the information session, and apply at www.wpunj.edu/pre-doctoral.