University Fellows Program

University Fellows Program Mission

UNC Asheville is among the nation’s best public liberal arts and sciences colleges and the only designated liberal arts institution in the University of North Carolina System. We are the founders of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and our students and faculty helped to design, fabricate, and install the largest public art installation ever shown in Times Square, collaborating side by side with a recent McArthur genius award winner. We offer an extraordinary liberal arts education at an incredibly affordable rate (tuition is under $7500 per year for in-state students), all in the beautiful mountain town of Asheville, NC. 

Our excellence is first and foremost a product of a faculty deeply committed to both teaching and scholarship in their discipline. That excellence also demands that our curriculum, co-curricular activities, and entire community welcome, reflect, and celebrate a diversity of perspectives, lived experiences, and identities. Currently, our required core curriculum includes diversity intensive courses and we offer living learning communities specifically designed for students of color. 

But we have prioritized doing more. In fall 2020, we released a Racial Justice Roadmap that will serve as a guide to the work in which we will be engaging to become an even more inclusive campus. That Racial Justice Roadmap includes initiatives that span student affairs, admission and financial aid, and critically important, academic affairs.

In particular, to support the development of a more excellent and diverse professoriate at UNC Asheville, we are launching the University Fellowship for Faculty Diversity (University Fellows) Program.  The program invites pre-doctoral and post-doctoral candidates specifically considering careers at a liberal arts institution which takes equal pride in the excellence of its faculty’s teaching and the quality of its faculty’s scholarship and creative production. UNC Asheville is looking for candidates who are able to help us advance one of our most important strategic objectives–to develop, maintain, and support a faculty whose diversity more closely represents the demographics of the nation and the state of NC, particularly with respect to race, with special attention to domestic underrepresentation of minorities in various disciplines. 

The University Fellows program is designed to attract and mentor early career faculty members who will work with existing faculty to achieve this essential goal. While the fellowship does not guarantee a tenure-track position, the ideal case is that the fellowship does indeed lead to a tenure-track offer.

University Fellows Program Details

Faculty at the University of North Carolina Asheville ordinarily teach 24 credit hours per year. University Fellows will have a lightened teaching load, receive extensive mentorship, and receive support for the development of their pedagogy and disciplinary work. 

In particular, University Fellows should expect to teach as few as three courses in their first year and will receive funds for professional development and research and/or creative production (to be arranged at the time of being awarded the fellowship). Salaries for pre-doctoral fellows before earning their degree will be commensurate with lecturers in the discipline; salaries for fellows who have earned their degree will be commensurate with visiting assistant professors.

By early fall of a University Fellow’s final year, it will be determined whether a tenure track offer will be made to the faculty member. In the event that an offer is not made or the tenure track position is not one that the fellow would like to accept, we will support the fellow in the best ways possible in applying for a tenure track position elsewhere. 

 A few other details about each fellowship (pre-doctoral vs. post-doctoral) are summarized below:

  • Pre-doctoral: 
    • Three year term
    • Course Release:
      • Teach 12 credit hours over the first year (12 credit hours of release over the first year, not all to be taken in one semester). 
      • Four to six credit hours of release over the next two years.
    • Expectation is to complete the terminal degree by the end of year one. There may be opportunities that warrant consideration of completion beyond the first year, but these will be considered on a case by case basis. 
    • Salary increase, subject to budget and System Office constraints, will take place the year subsequent to completion of the degree.
  • Post-doctoral: 
    • Two or Three year term
    • Course Release:
      • Teach 36 credit hours (12 credit hours of release, not all to be taken in one semester) over the first two years of the fellowship.

Current University Fellows Positions

Fellowship positions are available each fall. To see open positions and apply, visit