For many years the University has made special efforts through incentive funds to recruit and retain ethnic minority faculty. The first systematic effort was the 1992 Five-Year Action Plan for the Recruitment and Retention of African-American Faculty. The reality of a changing urban student population emphasized the necessity for more concerted and far-reaching institutional guidelines. In 1999 the Office of the Provost appointed the Task Force for the Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Faculty. Subsequently, the report of the task force was used to develop the university policy approved by the University Senate in 2000.
Also, the Office for Underrepresented Faculty was established within the Office of the Provost in 1999. The first Senior Faculty Associate for Underrepresented Faculty was appointed in December 1999 by Provost Ron Henry. The appointment was made for a quarter-time position to help develop and implement policy that resulted from the Task Force for the Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Faculty.
Since 1999, the university policy has been developed on recruitment and retention of ethnic minority tenure track faculty and similar policies have been established within College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Education, College of Health and Human Sciences, College of Law, and the School of Policy Studies.