(photo courtesy of Purdue University)

Purdue University has announced plans to bolster its faculty with the largest expansion in the school’s history. The university says it will add 40 full-time faculty over the next years as part of its Equity Task Force effort.

The hiring plan is part of its $75 million initiative to diversify the racial makeup of its faculty ranks.
The additional faculty will be among several academic clusters, with the initial phase focusing on hiring 14 faculty in public health.

“A more diverse faculty and student body lifts the research and learning enterprise of our entire university,” said John Gates, Purdue’s vice provost for diversity and inclusion. “We see an intrinsic connection between diversity and excellence.”

Purdue says the 10-member Equity Task Force Implementation Team has been tasked by the Purdue Board of Trustees to elevate the university’s diversity efforts as a leader in attracting Black students and faculty.

Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, who also served as Indiana State Health Commissioner, was recently appointed as Purdue’s first executive director of health equity initiatives. The university says he will play a key role in the public health cluster hire process.

“Building the best, brightest and most diverse team of faculty members and researchers in public health and health equity will have a lasting impact in advancing solutions to this significant challenge in our world – bridging that gap and helping ensure the health and well-being of our local, regional and national communities,” said Adams.

During the initial hiring phase, attention will be placed in public health areas including health policy, equity, communications, nursing, pharmacy and nutrition.

Dr. Adams is the guest on this week’s Business and Beyond Podcast with Gerry Dick. Click here to listen and learn about his life’s journey from a Maryland farmhouse to the White House.