Established in 2015 as part of the Faculty Diversity Initiative, the Fannie Gaston-Johansson Faculty of Excellence Program (FGJFEP), formerly known as the Target of Opportunity Program, has been instrumental in increasing faculty diversity over the past six years. Named in honor of Dr. Fannie Gaston-Johansson, the first African-American woman to become a tenured full professor at Johns Hopkins University, the program has had a significant impact, including the recruitment of 35 tenure-track faculty across the University.
Despite the progress towards faculty diversity made over the last 6 years, two key challenges that must be addressed in the next iteration of the program are the lag in diverse faculty recruitment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines and the need to build stronger networks to support faculty advancement and success. As a result, the FGJFEP will use cluster hiring as a strategy to encourage and support interdisciplinary cohorts of faculty with targeted community-building, leadership development, competitive start-up packages, and other strong infrastructure supports.
In order to build strong pathways for diverse scholars to the professorate, FGJFEP will work in concert with programs like the JHU Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative and the Provost Postdoctoral Diversity Fellowship Program whose efforts are to diversify the doctoral student and postdoctoral populations at the University. For instance, it would be ideal if the faculty of the FGJFEP would serve as mentors to these aforementioned scholars and postdoctoral fellows.