North Star Faculty Opportunity Hires Initiative

A man standing in front of classroom.

About the Initiative

In July 2021, the Office of the Provost launched a pilot program designed to catalyze the hiring of faculty members committed to diversity at CWRU. The initiative entertains proposals from the dean of each of the university’s eight schools/college to help hire faculty who both meet a scholarly need, and have a strong commitment to diversifying their departments and programs. This includes new disciplinary fields that cross traditional boundaries, as well as activities that engage directly in community engagement and translation.  

Support Opportunities

The initiative seeks to increase support in the following areas: To attract new faculty, the initiative will invest in new faculty startup support or salary support; and mentorship, community engagement, and other support.  Additionally, as part of recruitment activities, the initiative will support bringing outside scholars to campus to share their research, as well as potential ideas around diversifying the campus community and culture. 

Accessing Support

Deans from each of the eight schools/college must submit a recruitment plan to the Office of the Provost, and receive approval to proceed with the plan. For more information, please contact the dean of the appropriate school or college, or contact the Office of the Provost.

Annual Reports

North Star Faculty Opportunity Hires will produce annual reports to the Provost each May (regardless of start date) detailing their work to diversify their departments and programs. These reports should include work that crosses traditional boundaries, as well as activities that engage directly in community engagement and translation.

To access these dollars for a North Star Faculty position, the Dean’s Office must submit a two-to-three-page plan to the Provost’s Office and receive formal approval. These proposals are accepted on a rolling basis and should be submitted to Box. Submissions to the Provost should include the following:

  • A description of how the hire will contribute to diversifying our campus community. 
  • A description of how the department will provide and facilitate personal and professional mentoring and sponsorship.  
  • A description for why this hire is important to the scholarly direction of the university. 
  • An explanation of community-building opportunities for the recruited scholar, both within the department, across disciplines, and across the institution.
  • A written demonstration of how the Department/Unit/College has been using its existing budget, resources, hiring strategies and programming to promote diversity in its faculty, staff and students as well as its culture, curriculum and climate.

This plan does not need to be part of the regular faculty recruitment timeline, but can be submitted at any point as opportunities arise. A breakdown of how funding will be applied and matched is necessary. A school/college must demonstrate its ability to carry each hire within its budget, particularly after the North Star funding is expended.

Once proposals are reviewed, discussed, and approved, an MOU will be developed to set up CASE accounts for the funding.

Learn About the Hires

 John Bickers Headshot

John Bickers, College of Arts and Sciences

John Bickers researches early American history and is a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. His first book project, “The Miami Nation: A Middle Path for Indigenous Nationhood” is an exploration of the political history of the Miami Tribe through the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Bickers received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Learn more about John Bickers.

Angela Dixon Headshot

Angela Dixon, College of Arts and Sciences

Angela Dixon brings new, innovative and state-of-the-art research that expands and extends the neurobiology and behavior group in the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. She contributes to new courses offered in the recently-established undergraduate neuroscience major and develops research collaborations with faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She has substantial experience in community outreach and teaching and, because of her interest in afrofuturism, is also in conversation with Africana studies and the humanities. Learn more about Angela Dixon.

Atiba Ellis headshot

Atiba Ellis, School of Law

Atiba Ellis joined the School of Law as a tenured professor of law in January 2023. Professor Ellis has taught at Howard University School of Law and West Virginia University School of Law and was most recently a tenured Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School. Professor Ellis has published dozens of law review articles and multiple book chapters on those subjects and has a book project in the works consolidating and expanding upon his research concerning the role of race and disinformation in debates over voter eligibility and voting fraud. Learn more about Atiba Ellis.

Abdel Halloway headshot

Abdel Halloway, College of Arts and Sciences

Abdel Halloway studies the interface of ecology and evolution, particularly biodiversity and the structure of ecological communities, through the use of theory and mathematics. He also studies the links between adaptations and biogeography, fundamental evolutionary dynamics, social dynamics, macroevolution, and others. Halloway will join the Case Western Reserve University community in July 2023.

Johanna Nagy Headshot

Johanna Nagy, College of Arts and Sciences

Johanna Nagy's research interests include cosmology, cosmic microwave background, and instrumentation. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Stanford University and PhD in physics from Case Western Reserve University. Nagy will rejoin the university in the College of Arts and Sciences beginning in July 2023.

Christopher Pulliam Headshot

Christopher Pulliam, Case School of Engineering

Pulliam brings a wealth of medical device industry experience to complement existing strengths in neural engineering and rehabilitation in the Department of Biomedical Engineering in the Case School of Engineering. His career has been spent at the interface between technology development and the early clinical studies to validate these technologies, with a specific emphasis on machine learning algorithms and physiological sensing. His research at Case Western Reserve investigates strategies for improving function after neurological injury and developing novel methods for quantifying recovery. Learn more about Christopher Pulliam.

Brian Taylor Headshot

Brian Taylor, Case School of Engineering

Brian Taylor is a triple-alumnus of the Case School of Engineering, having received his Bachelor’s in 2005, his Master’s in 2009, and his PhD in 2012. Given his knowledge in the fields of quantitative biology and engineering sciences, he is positioned to be a significant contributor in the School of Engineering. His previous work at UNC Chapel Hill used computational and robotic simulations to study how animals use the earth’s magnetic field to navigate. Learn more about Brian Taylor.