Office of Research, UC Riverside
Steven Brint
Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Policy
Sociology
brint@ucr.edu
(951) 827-2103


Cluster Hiring Initiatives at U.S. Research Universities: An Analysis of Productivity and Variation in Outcomes

AWARD NUMBER
009153-002
FUND NUMBER
33365
STATUS
Active
AWARD TYPE
3-Grant
AWARD EXECUTION DATE
7/21/2017
BEGIN DATE
8/1/2017
END DATE
7/31/2019
AWARD AMOUNT
$248,379

Sponsor Information

SPONSOR AWARD NUMBER
1736146
SPONSOR
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
SPONSOR TYPE
Federal
FUNCTION
Organized Research
PROGRAM NAME

Proposal Information

PROPOSAL NUMBER
17081059
PROPOSAL TYPE
New
ACTIVITY TYPE
Basic Research

PI Information

PI
Brint, Steven G
PI TITLE
Other
PI DEPTARTMENT
Sociology
PI COLLEGE/SCHOOL
Coll of Hum, Arts & Social Sci
CO PIs

Project Information

ABSTRACT

This project investigates the productivity and variation in outcomes of cluster hiring initiatives at U.S. research universities. Cluster hiring is as an approach to hiring multiple faculty members over a short period of time. These faculty members are expected to work in high-impact interdisciplinary areas designated by the university. These new hiring approaches have been justified for their capacity to meet the grand challenges facing the country that require the skills and knowledge bases of scholars from several disciplines. Cluster hiring initiatives are resource-intensive, because they involve not only hiring of multiple faculty members but the allocation of labs, offices, staff support, and instrumentation. In spite of the relatively large investments entailed by cluster hiring programs, the outcomes of these programs have not been systematically investigated. Given the high expectations for these hiring initiatives and the opportunity costs involved in making these relatively large investments, solid, empirically grounded guidance on how to maximize returns on investment in cluster hires, and when not to make investments, should prove to be a valuable contribution to university administrators and to national and state policy makers.

The project focuses on two kinds of comparisons. The first is between faculty members hired through cluster hiring initiatives in the same, or closely related, fields at different universities. The second is between faculty members hired through cluster hiring initiatives and those hired in closely related fields through traditional departmental processes at the same universities. The goal is to use these comparisons to determine the conditions under which cluster hiring yields productive groups and the conditions under which it fails to do so. The project will also make available a data base on cluster hiring initiatives for the use of higher education and educational policy scholars.
(Abstract from NSF)