Since the first round of ADVANCE grants were awarded in 2001, ADVANCE institutions have developed, instituted and disseminated research-based “best practices” to recruit, retain, and advance women faculty members. These best practices are carried out by administrators and peers through institutional practices, policies and procedures. One of the primary goals of the institutional transformation process is to tailor known best practices to the specific institution, incorporate them into established processes, and disseminate information about the new processes through training programs.
Training will be critical in improving policies and procedures that directly impact faculty satisfaction and retention on our campus. With support from the Provost, new or enhanced training modules will be developed and facilitated by the ADVANCE Rising Tide Center based on best-practices employed by other ADVANCE institutions. Leadership and administrative support for change initiatives has been found to be a vital determinant in implementing and sustaining positive change. With support from our campus administrators and their leadership, ADVANCE training and professional development initiatives are having a positive impact.
Targeted Training for Varied Stakeholders
The Rising Tide Director will help expand the current voluntary training for department chairs and other academic leaders. The enhanced training will incorporate newly developed materials including a handbook providing instructions and forms required in the administration of relevant policies. Deans have committed to requiring faculty leaders to participate, with accountability through the evaluative process.
In collaboration with the project’s principal investigator the Rising Tide Center has developed and launched a training module for peer committees, the departmental entities that conduct annual evaluations and promotion and tenure proceedings, to encompass the above issues and ensure peer committees employ best practices.
Search committee training will be expanded to further assist faculty in conducting fair, diversity-oriented searches.
ADVANCE offers training to mentors, who will provide advice to new faculty and associate-level professors seeking advancement.
The ADVANCE Peer Trainer
The ADVANCE Faculty Peer Trainer will assist in delivering requested professional development and training to key STEM-SBS departments, and will receive annual education in the best practices to carry out that effort. In particular, assistance for departments with no women or with a token level of women will be highlighted. Additionally, our Peer Trainer has launched a professionalism in the classroom initiative being piloted in the School of Forest Resources and the School of Engineering Technology. This effort is intended to support female faculty who may be intimidated by male dominated classrooms and environments.
Developing Faculty Leadership
In addition to developing and facilitating training on campus for faculty and administrators, ADVANCE offers additional opportunities for women seeking to progress into academic leadership positions. Our grants program supports applications from faculty candidates who wish to attend intensive off-campus events sponsored by organizations such as the Simmons School of Management and HERS Institute. Funding leadership development for our women faculty is another method of supporting faculty success and satisfaction.
View a list of selected Leadership Development Opportunties that may be supported with ADVANCE Professional Development Grant funding here.
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