UC Announces Receipt of $15M Mellon Grant to Support Faculty Diversity

IRVINE (CNS) - The University of California today announced the receipt of a $15 million grant to help establish a program for hiring faculty whose research and teaching emphasize diversity and equity in the humanities and social sciences at the university's six Hispanic-serving institutions, including UC Irvine.

The grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is expected to help facilitate UC's efforts to assist young scholars whose research, teaching and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity within the university system.

In addition to UCI, the UC's federally recognized Hispanic-serving institutions are UC Riverside, UC Merced, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis.

"Mellon's generous gift will support our postdoctoral fellows for careers in academia and offer additional mentorship for tenure-track faculty posts at the University," said UC President Michael V. Drake. "This funding from the foundation bolsters support for those whose earnest work advances diversity, equity and inclusion -- all enduring values and priorities for UC. We are so appreciative."

Mellon's gift will create the PPFP/Mellon Foundation UC-HSI Initiative for Humanities. The initiative will offer promising postdoctoral fellows and early career faculty start-up funding, mentorship and career training in their fields of study, and ensure UC-HSI campuses have the resources to effectively recruit fellows in the supported disciplines.

Originally founded in 1984, PPFP is a nationally prominent model program that offers postdoctoral research fellowships, professional development and faculty mentoring to outstanding scholars in all fields whose research, teaching and service contribute to diversity and equal opportunity at UC.

"Nothing is more important for the long-term vitality of the academy nationwide than the mentorship and recruitment of excellent and diverse faculty," said Michael T. Brown, UC's provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. "We need a professoriate drawn from all walks of life and experiences. With the $15 million provided by the Mellon Foundation, we can continue to build that scholarly community, which truly reflects the demographics of California and our country."

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