Brooks College Cluster Hire


In support of Grand Valley State University’s abiding commitment to values of inclusiveness and community coupled with President Mantella’s Charge for Racial Equity and Inclusion, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies is conducting a cluster hire that will include six (6) new hires of assistant professors in interdisciplinary fields focused in areas of greatest need across our programs. Numbers of positions indicated below are tied to unit of primary appointment/responsibility. The expectation is that all hires will serve multiple programs. 

Open positions include:

Successful candidates will have teaching and scholarly expertise that spans needs/priorities in multiple programs and/or units, increase curricular coverage of areas related to diversity and inclusion, and contribute to college and university goals with respect to access, equity, and an inclusive campus climate. All candidates will be asked to address DEI in teaching, scholarship, and service as part of their application with the search committee following up with related questions as part of the interview process. Appointments may be joined with other Brooks units, but primary appointment must serve program(s) indicated above.

Candidates selected through this diversity cluster hires will be given additional start-up funds to support their work in diversity and inclusion with additional funds designated to support a collaborative effort among these cluster hires in support of DEI pedagogy and inclusive campus climate. Once hired, candidates will collaborate with their deans, unit heads and others to develop a plan for utilizing these funds.

Search Structure

To support collaboration across programs/units within the College, the search committee will be comprised of unit heads from each of the above-named programs/units and the Honor’s College. The committee will be chaired by the interim associate dean with an inclusion advocate identified from within Brooks College but outside of these programs. Members will include:           

Committee Chair: Melanie Shell-Weiss, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of IRIS

Inclusion Advocate: Griff Griffin, Director of General Education and Professor of Biology 


  • Krista Benson, Assistant Chair and Assistant Professor of IRIS
  • Coeli Fitzpatrick, Chair, Honors College and Professor of Philosophy in Honors
  • Laurence José, Director of Digital Studies and Associate Professor of Writing and Digital Studies
  • Jack Mangala, Chair of Area and Global Studies and Professor of Political Science and AGS
  • Kelly Parker, Interim Director of Environmental & Sustainability Studies (ENSS) and Professor of ENSS and Philosophy
  • Justin Pettibone, Assistant Chair and Senior Affiliate Faculty of IRIS
  • Ayana Weekley, Interim Chair of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and Associate Professor of WGSS

Members of all engaged units will be expected to participate in events during on-campus visits by finalists and provide written feedback that will be considered when making final offers.

Preparation & External Communications

The search committee must balance communication with impacted units and stakeholders while also maintaining the confidentiality of the search process. Messaging must also be consistent across units and stakeholders. To support these goals, communications about the search process will proceed as follows:

  • All inquiries about the search, whether from candidates, prospective candidates, colleagues, or others must be directed to the search chair (Melanie Shell-Weiss). Committee members should not answer questions about the search, including about timeline or stage in the search process, beyond what has been publicly posted via the job posting.
  • Any concerns regarding the search process or integrity issues related to the search should be directed to the inclusion advocate (Griff Griffin).
  • Communication to Units and College Stake-holders:
    • Prior to the campus visits, communication with units and college stakeholders will be conducted exclusively by the search chair and inclusion advocate. This will include:
      • A Brooks College Town Hall to explain the cluster hire and provide an overview of the search process scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 28.
      • Written summary update(s) to be shared with impacted programs/units after the application close date and prior to scheduling of campus visits.
    • Participating units will be provided with the short list of finalists for campus interviews to help determine structure and questions for the on-campus interviews. That feedback will be given to the search committee with final scheduling and determination of questions made by the search committee. The committee should also identify on-campus stakeholders external to the academic units who should be included as part of the on-campus interviews.
    • Surveys will be collected from participants in the campus visits. That information will be summarized/compiled by Dean’s Office staff and shared with the search committee as part of the final selection process.


To support the overarching aims of this cluster hire, these faculty positions will be advertised via a single posting indicating the openings across fields/programs. Applicants will apply via a single portal on the HR website. Determination about primary unit into which candidates are appointed will be made by recommendation by the search committee in consultation with the appointing officer (Dean Mark Schaub) and relevant unit head (if not already represented on the search committee). 

All applicants will be required to submit the following materials:

  • Cover letter
  • Vita
  • Statement of teaching philosophy
  • Writing sample indicative of area of scholarship
  • Statement of demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion in teaching, scholarship and/or service describing past experience, contributions to diversity and inclusion efforts, the impact on students, faculty, staff, and/or their field, and a description of how they will demonstrate a commitment in these areas in teaching, research, and/or service in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and/or at Grand Valley State University. (To be uploaded under “Other.”)
  • In their cover letter, applicants should address the feasibility of conducting a research program within the context of a primarily teaching-oriented undergraduate programs

Letters of recommendation would be requested only of finalists and/or semi-finalists. These positions will be advertised broadly, drawing upon GVSU’s Inclusive Hiring and Recruitment Toolkit as well as across publications and venues identified by the partnering units/programs.

The final job posting will include the university’s Proactive Inclusion & Equity Statements as well a contextual statement describing the overarching goals of the Brooks College Cluster Hire.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The faculty and staff of the Brooks College are deeply committed to not only advancing equity, inclusion and diversity, but in leading Grand Valley State University in these values. We begin by recognizing that we as a university and as a college are not comfortable with our current DEI situation, and that there continues to be important—even urgent—work to be done across several areas. We collectively and individually will make efforts at:

Supporting and recruiting a diverse range of students

Already, the BCOIS has the largest percentage of students of color of the seven colleges of GVSU. BCOIS also has a far higher percentage of adult/non-traditional students than the other six colleges. To us, that means we have an additional responsibility to ensure that students of color, adult learners, and other students carrying marginalized identities, are supported to remain students in our courses and programs. For some students, that means measures that acknowledge the challenges they face, be they childcare needs, housing or food insecurity, systemic racism, or flexibility in applying previously earned credits to their GVSU transcripts.

Supporting and recruiting a diverse range of faculty/staff

Many BCOIS faculty and staff carry multiple identities that may indicate marginalization. Our mentoring programs and processes must acknowledge and support colleagues across their whole selves, as personal and professional success and wellbeing are intertwined. The 2021-22 “cluster” hiring process and plan is one effort that we are investing in for future success in welcoming, and supporting, a cohort of new colleagues who will share in our DEI efforts. Their success is an intrinsic value for us, collectively and individually. If they are not successful, none of us are.

A vibrant, inclusive, and accessible curriculum

Our courses and programs are being continually improved to ensure that current DEI understandings are reflected in syllabi, program requirements, and electives. We will continue to deliver our courses in modalities, and at times, that work best for our diverse range of students. We will continue to find ways to reduce the cost of participation—particularly in required texts; our work in developing online educational resources (OERs) and low-cost course readers is one way we can support equity in student success. Finding avenues for affordable (and ideally fairly compensated) internships, practica, and other high-impact educational opportunities continues to be an important goal.

Ongoing DEI-related professional development

In 2021, BCOIS offered (in partnership with the Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center) dedicated cohorts of EdX sessions as part of the Inclusive Excellence series. That series, as well as a range of other resources, prepares faculty in designing and maintaining equitable and inclusive learning spaces, both online and in person, as well as assignments and assessments that support success by all students. We will continue to provide learning opportunities for faculty, staff, and students that advance individual and collective DEI understandings and actions.

Faculty & Staff Affinity Groups

The Division of Inclusion and Equity, with support from the Human Resources Office, is proud to empower our employee affinity groups. These groups host meaningful events, engage in mentoring, and foster community among our underrepresented and diverse faculty, staff, and student populations.

West Michigan

One Day In Grand Rapids | Pure Michigan with Jason Hall

Michigan's Best Day hits the streets of downtown Grand Rapids




October 28, 2021

Brooks College Town Hall

December 6, 2021

Application deadline

August 2022

New positions start

Page last modified January 26, 2022