About the DVS Program

Exposing students, faculty, and staff to new ideas and perspectives, engaging with undergraduate and graduate mentoring circles, linking to the community through talks, exhibits, scholarship and/or creative projects, the Distinguished Visiting Scholars program will contribute to the university’s existing commitments to groundbreaking research, transformative educational experiences and deeply engaged service to its communities.

History of the Program

The Distinguished Visiting Scholars program at UB began in the fall of 2020 under the Center for Diversity Innovation. The founding purpose was to ignite a faculty diversity initiative in which visiting scholars from across the country would spend a year on campus to work on a scholarly and creative process. It was designed for mid-career faculty, authors and creatives from historically marginalized populations to begin a new project incorporating public presentations engagement with community members at UB, other campuses throughout Buffalo, and across Western New York.

The College of Arts and Sciences looks at “distinguished” from the vantage point of elevating the importance of work in diversity, equity and belonging. This means moving beyond status quo metrics of distinction typically based on more individualistic scholarly achievements, privileging those who could be more self-centered and self-involved in advancing their careers. In the context of this program, the “distinguished” in Distinguished Visiting Scholars recognizes scholarly and artistic excellence, but it also acknowledges the often overlooked, invisible labor that candidates engage in to meet the specific needs of underrepresented students and colleagues who are structurally and institutionally marginalized in the university environment. “Distinguished” also recognizes the additional labor involved for those who prioritize community engagement and accountability to diverse and marginalized communities in their work. The designation of distinguished, as we define it takes the invaluable contributions that our candidates make in these areas into account.

Program Structure

One-year, temporary, full-time, residential, salaried position (benefits eligible) as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar hosted by a department within the College of Arts and Sciences. Distinguished Visiting Scholars will be part of a cohort.

Eligibility / Rank

Open Recruitment

Advanced assistant professors, associate or full professors or highly accomplished non-academics whose profile matches the needs of the program and would be qualified to obtain tenure in a UB department. Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States. No sponsorship is available for this position.

Topics of Scholarship

Any area of scholarship and/or creative endeavor. All candidates are encouraged to highlight ways in which their scholarly and/or creative endeavors, teaching, and/or service (including service in their communities) relate to diversity, equity/inequality, and inclusion.


The evaluation of all Scholar applicants will include careful attention to the applicant’s history of mentoring students and record of developing the next generation of scholars, artists and/or practitioners in their field. Scholar applications will include contact information for letters of reference from former students/mentees, as well as a description of their approach, accomplishments, and history of mentoring with particular emphasis on how they have advanced diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Program Requirements

The Distinguished Visiting Scholars program has a number of requirements, in addition to planned work on a specified scholarly and/or creative project.

  • Scholars serve in a full-time, temporary, salaried, benefits eligible position; hence, Scholars are required to be in residence and on campus regularly during the academic year in order to fully engage with students, faculty, and the community. 
  • Scholars will be assigned two mentoring circles (one comprising underrepresented undergraduate students; the other, underrepresented graduate students). Scholars are required to engage with each of their circles as a group at minimum three times per semester. Individual meetings and involvement of students in Scholar projects are strongly encouraged as part of the program. The director can assist in managing student engagement to maximize Scholar impact while affording dedicated time for Scholars’ projects.
  • Scholars will be required to deliver some combination of lectures, performances, master classes, presentations, exhibitions, and/or discussions to share their expertise with students, faculty, and members of the community. These activities will be chosen by Scholars in concert with host departments and the DVS program
  • Scholars will be expected to support their host department in recruitment efforts by providing insights and information on individuals who might be recruited for hire and ideas aimed at enhancing diversity in graduate student and faculty recruitment and inclusion within departments and programs. 
  • Although Scholars will not have assigned teaching during their residency, to spur curricular innovation, Scholars will be expected to share ideas about curricular development with their host department. 
  • While in this program, Scholars may not engage in paid activities (e.g., teaching or consulting) concurrent with their term as a Scholar unless approved in advance by the director. Other roles and responsibilities (e.g., research collaborations) that preclude the Scholar from being present at UB for prolonged periods during Scholar employment are also prohibited.  Scholars are encouraged to use off-weeks in the academic calendar to schedule necessary travel away from Buffalo for scholarly/creative projects so as to maximize availability to other cohort members and students, faculty, staff, and community groups in Buffalo.
  • Scholars will attend department and UB-wide seminars/colloquia and events, and be active and visible members of the UB faculty community. 
  • Attendance at special events held to introduce and involve the Distinguished Visiting Scholars cohort within UB and the community is required.

Residency Requirement

The Distinguished Visiting Scholar program is committed to the concept of a residential visit involving community engagement.

In Residence September through May

During their visit, Scholars must reside in a community which affords Scholars the ability to be in attendance in the Scholar offices at mid-day three to four days a week, at other designated times, and to attend the weekly seminars and other speaker events hosted by the DVS program and/or their host departments at UB and within the local community.

Our expectation is that Scholars will remain in residence in the DVS program from the date upon which all full-time UB faculty are required to be present (a week before the start of classes in the fall) through late May, excluding holiday periods. While Scholars are required to be in residence through late May, they may coordinate with the director to continue using their Scholar office and UB library and IT resources after that date.

Information to assist Scholars in finding housing and schools can be provided. Funds are available to all Scholars who relocate to participate in the program. (Relocation expense guidelines for this program conform to IRS, SUNY, and UB relocation rules.)

Once you submit your candidate application in the UB Jobs system, it will generate emails to the individuals identified as references using the email address that was included. It is suggested that you inform your references to monitor their email for incoming messages with a link to upload their letter.

Because candidates may apply on or shortly before the application deadline, there will be a short period of time for letters to be submitted after the deadline. All candidate files will be evaluated based on the letters that are in the UB Jobs system at the time of evaluation. It is strongly suggested that at least one mentee letter is submitted by the deadline. Applicants without at least one mentoring letter beyond the submission window will not be considered. Applicants should not have their references email their letters to the Program Director because they will not be part of the application package and, therefore, risk not being attached to the candidate file during the evaluation process.

Notifying your intended references well in advance of completing your application submission will ensure that your letters can be uploaded as soon as you submit your application in the UB Jobs system. Application files in the UB Jobs system are monitored for additional letters to be considered for later stages of the evaluation process.