By DONOVAN HALL
The Latinx Cluster Hire initiative announced in 2019 is running smoothly, with three new faculty hires and searches for more continuing.
The initiative, spearheaded by the provost’s office, aims to increase the number of faculty focused on issues in the Latinx community.
The first “class” of the Latinx Cluster Hire includes:
Angie Ocampo, assistant professor of political science in the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences
Victor Figuereo, an assistant professor in the School of Social Work
Lisa Ortiz, assistant professor of language, literacy and culture in the School of Education
Ortiz and Figuereo started at Pitt this semester, and Ocampo will begin her appointment in fall 2022.
John Stoner, executive director of academic affairs at the University Center for International Studies, said Pitt plans to keep up the momentum. Three faculty searches are underway for positions at the Katz Graduate School of Business and the departments of communication and sociology in the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences.
Stoner said he expects three new hires will be announced as a part of the initiative no later than spring 2021. They would begin their appointments in fall 2022.
The final three faculty searches are tentatively planned to join the departments of psychology and history in the Dietrich School and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
Stoner said he’s excited for the faculty already hired as part of the initiative and for the future faculty yet to join Pitt.
“I think that this is just the kind of thing we should be doing,” Stoner said.
He added that the Latinx Cluster Hire Initiative and the Race and Social Determinants of Equity and Well-being Cluster Hire and Retention Initiative show that Pitt has made a strong commitment to making sure faculty are studying important issues.
“Pitt has really made a bold statement about what it wants future faculty to study,” Stoner said. “And so I think if you think about the combined commitment of the two cluster hire (initiatives) … that is a huge commitment by the University to invest in the study of certain areas that I certainly, personally, think are critical to our understanding of our society.”
Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-383-9905.
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