Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics

Principal Investigator: William Darity, Jr.
Funding Period: 9/1/2013-8/31/2018
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Award: $337,272

The Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics (DITE), funded by the National Science Foundation,  is a research mentoring workshop that seeks to facilitate successful transition from junior faculty status to tenured associate professor for economists from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (especially blacks, Latinos, and native Americans). The gross underrepresentation of economists from these groups in the ranks of university faculty, particularly in economics departments, creates an imperative for special efforts to ensure that junior faculty from these groups develop the research and teaching profile that will lead to promotion to tenure. DITE is the only program designed specifically to increase the representation of black, Latino and native American economists in tenured faculty positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States via mentoring of junior faculty focused on research and teaching. 

Each year, the award from the National Science Foundation enables DITE to match up to twelve junior scholars with six senior faculty mentors and convene an annual one and one-half day workshop where the junior fellows will receive critical guidance on their research activities as well as professional development advice. After convening, senior faculty members continue to mentor the junior scholars by reviewing papers, offering advice, and writing recommendations for the tenure consideration process.  Eight cohorts of scholars have been mentored through the program thus far. Many of these scholars have been promoted to tenure and even more collaborate on publishing research in economic journals. 

Currently, Darrick Hamilton a professor at The New School, and Omari Swinton, a professor at Howard, serve as associate directors of the program. Both Hamilton and Swinton were mentored through the DITE program and now are tenured at their respective institutions. For those interested in participating in the program, please contact Dr. Salimah El-Amin, salimah.el.amin@duke.edu. ​DITE will provide resources for fellows and their mentors to meet in East Lansing, Michigan, for a two-day conference during the summer of 2017, and convene for a two-day conference at Duke’s economics department during the 2017-2018 academic year, with the possibility of visiting their mentor at the mentor’s campus.

DITE fellows have placed papers in highly regarded economics journals including Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Econometrics, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, Economic Inquiry, Journal of Economic History, Journal of Development Economics, Review of Finance, Review of Economics and Statistic, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Journal of Development Studies, and Applied Economic Letters.

Fellows also have placed papers in top journals in other disciplines, e.g. American Sociological Review (Sociology) and American Journal of Public Health (Epidemiology).

The tenth cohort of the Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics Fellowship Program at their semi-annual retreat in East Lansing, MI on July 30, 2017.