Faculty Hiring and Investment Program (HIP)

Overview of HIP

HIP, launched in 2014, annually awards funding to support additional faculty hiring that either transcends the traditional boundaries between our colleges, schools, and/or departments or extends their range into critical new areas. By providing this funding, the program helps to ensure that the most-promising and creative faculty come to UC Davis, and that all of the university’s academic programs are able to benefit from multidisciplinary work of high value. In 2016, the Provost awarded funding for a total of 23 FTE in either full or partial fulfillment of the positions requested in that year’s nine top-ranked HIP proposals.

2016 HIP Competition

2016 HIP Proposals Awarded Funding

The second round of the Hiring Investment Program was initially announced to the campus in November 2015.  HIP is a program to provide resources to the schools, colleges and divisions to support additional opportunities for senate faculty hiring that either transcends the boundaries between traditional departments, schools and/or colleges or extends the disciplinary range of a single department, school or college into critical new areas resulting in a transformative augmentation of that unit.

Forty-six proposals requesting a total of 163 FTE were received in February 2016 and were initially reviewed during March and early April by a group of 77 faculty reviewers, faculty representatives from the Academic Senate and a number of Vice Chancellors and Vice Provosts. Each proposal was read and scored by a minimum of three faculty reviewers. Based on the input received from the first round of review, the provost sent forward 23 of the 46 proposals for further review by a 15-member faculty committee, including both some of the faculty who were readers in the first round as well as additional faculty added for their disciplinary expertise. In the second round, the reviewers considered all 23 proposals, which were individually discussed and evaluated at an all-day meeting May 7th.

Based on the totality of input received, the provost has awarded a total of 23 FTE in either full or partial fulfillment of the positions requested in the nine highly ranked HIP proposals. These proposals cover a broad range of topics ranging from brain science, network science, data science and marine science to studies of community-based approaches to health and education disparities and study of the impacts of global migration. Of these FTE, fourteen are allocated for searches to begin in Fall 2016; the remaining nine are scheduled for the following year as requested in the proposals. In addition, and as planned, the provost will be distributing a total of ~$6M in start-up funds to the colleges and schools in support of these new hires. The provost and deans are currently engaged in discussions about office and research space and other resource issues that must be addressed to implement the search plans approved under the HIP process.

It is important to note the excellence and creativity of most of the HIP proposals, which requested far more FTE than could be supported through this process. The faculty who developed these visionary, interdisciplinary and transformative proposals should be applauded for their efforts, and it is hoped that the faculty and leadership of the participating schools and colleges will seize on this opportunity and move forward with some of the ideas presented, using the resources available through growth under the 2020 initiative and the budget model.  In a few cases, the review panel made special note of proposals that, although not selected, had high potential to address key campus priorities. In these cases, the Provost looks forward to further discussions with the proposal authors and appropriate campus leadership to explore future steps that might be taken to address these ideas, either in the context of the next HIP competition in 2016 or through other means.

The proposals submitted to HIP illustrate once again the special strength of our faculty in addressing the important challenges facing our state, nation and the world. The searches supported through HIP, along with the many other searches occurring across the university over the coming years, also represent an unequaled opportunity for UC Davis to achieve its goal of substantially increasing the diversity of the faculty in every dimension, which bodes well for the future of the campus.