Faculty Diversity Composition Initiative

Op1.02-9 Faculty Diversity Composition Initiative

Missouri State University Faculty Diversity Composition Initiative is a structured program allowing for Forgivable Loans and Loan Reimbursement Programs, as identified below, for individuals who meet the criteria outlined in this policy and either 1) do not currently possess a terminal degree such that they would not normally qualify for faculty positions available at the University, or 2) possess a terminal degree, but are interested in pursuing an additional degree that is available and beneficial for the purposes of University accreditation or other University endeavors.

Forgivable loan program

In exchange for an Participant’s written commitment for employment at Missouri State University, the University will advance a loan to an Participant up to $15,000 per year for a maximum of 5 years in order to cover the cost of expenses obtaining a terminal degree as identified by this policy. After successful completion of the terminal degree, the Participant returns to work at Missouri State. The loan would be forgiven in stages as the Participant completes the agreed term of work as indicated by the agreement between the Participant and the University.

Guidelines and selection

An academic Department will identify and nominate a Participant to participate in the FDCI program (Participant). Every Participant must satisfy the guidelines identified in this policy including, but not limited to:

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity initiatives;
  • High scholastic achievement;
  • A commitment to be a part of the MSU faculty;
  • Satisfactory completion of an applicable non-terminal degree, or other academic credential; and
  • Acceptance of University Agreement(s) related to FDCI program.

The Participant must submit all material requested by the University for consideration in the program, including:

  • At least one letter of recommendation from an MSU faculty member
  • Official transcript
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • An essay (2 pages minimum) which includes:
    • The individual’s connection and commitment to MSU and stated intention to serve on the faculty;
    • A description of their interest in participating in the FDCI;
    • Short-term and long-term professional career goals;
    • Academic (Doctorate or other graduate or professional degree) goals or plan of study; and
    • Personal qualities, research and/or technical skill that may enhance their faculty experience.

A committee selected by the President, consisting of representations from the following groups will review Participant application materials and make recommendations to the President:

  • Provost’s Office
  • Faculty representative
  • Division for Diversity and Inclusion
  • MSU Foundation
  • Sponsoring Dean’s representative
  • Office of General Counsel (serving as an ex officio member)

The selection of the Participant, the amount of University’s fund committed, and the selection of either the Forgivable Loan Program or Loan Reimbursement Program shall be made by the President.

Loan reimbursement program

In exchange for an Participant’s written commitment to work at Missouri State University, the University promises to provide employment to the successful Participant and supplemental pay up to $15,000 per year for a maximum of 5 years to cover the cost of expenses obtaining a terminal degree. Such supplemental pay shall be reported as taxable income to the Participant. After successful completion of the terminal degree, the Participant returns to work at Missouri State. The supplemental pay would be made annually upon completion of each year of employment. If the Participant does not work for the period of time agreed upon, the University will only pay that portion of the debt for the number of years worked.

Academic progress and timeline for completion

After being selected to the program, the Participant must submit to the office of the Provost a transcript of the previous semester’s work, or following the completion of all required course work, documentation of progress made toward completion of the identified degree. The office of the Provost will periodically review the academic progress of the Participant and will report as necessary on the successful advancement toward identified degree.

Should the Participant fail to make satisfactory progress toward the identified degree, the Participant will be notified and no additional funds will be granted in the case of a forgivable loan and no future payment in the case of a loan reimbursement will be made. If at any time the Participant’s GPA falls below 3.0 or the Participant receives a grade of “C” or below on their transcript on the identified degree coursework, absent exceptional circumstances, the University’s obligation terminates.

Unless otherwise agreed to the contrary, Participants are expected to successfully complete the program within 5 years.

Repayment/non-completion

Each Participant must sign a written commitment to the terms and conditions outlined in the Forgivable Loan Program or Loan Reimbursement Program Agreement in the event of not successfully completing the program (i.e., the Participant must repay the forgivable loan--or a pro rata portion thereof-- in the case of the Forgivable Loan Program, or not be reimbursed for educational expenses--or a pro rata portion thereof--in the Loan Reimbursement Program).