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Advance Purdue: Strategies To Make The Difference For New Faculty Success

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

ADVANCE Grants and Institutional Transformation

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.130.1 - 15.130.6



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Paper Authors

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Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer Purdue University

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Barbara Clark Purdue University

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Susan Geier Purdue University

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Christie Sahley Purdue University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

ADVANCE-Purdue: Strategies to make the difference for new faculty success Introduction

The unequal representation of gender and race in the STEM academic workforce has been long noted. In fact, concerted efforts have been made over the past two decades to remove barriers that have prevented women and minorities from full participation as faculty. As a result, the percentage of female PhD holders in full-time STEM academic positions at 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities has increased from 10.6% in 1985 to 25.1% in 2006 1. This increase has been attributed to the increase in the number of females earning science and engineering PhDs. However, progress in faculty representation at research intensive institutions has been painfully slow. A study of the top 100 science and engineering departments (as ranked by NSF) shows that female science and engineering faculty had increased only 3% in the past five years up to a total STEM representation of 17% 2.

In 2001, the National Science Foundation announced the ADVANCE program to address the disparity in faculty representation. The goal of ADVANCE is to “… develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers, thereby contributing to the development of a more diverse science and engineering workforce.” (NSF ADVANCE grant webpage Purdue was awarded an Institutional Transformation ADVANCE grant in October 2008. The overarching goal of ADVANCE-Purdue is to be an advocate for institutional change. To become embedded into the fabric of the institution, policy and/or procedural changes must occur at the institutional level.

At the heart of ADVANCE-Purdue is the Purdue Center for Faculty Success (PCFS) focused on developing programming and implementing activities for the success of all faculty. The activities are designed around the three goals: 1) to increase the number of women of color in STEM faculty positions, 2) to improve the success of all women STEM faculty, and 3) to engage all faculty in transforming Purdue. Current programming includes: ≠ Search Chair Workshops on Faculty Hiring designed to increase awareness of the impact of unconscious bias; ≠ Cultural Center Events for faculty that celebrate the culture and heritage of African American, Latino, and Native American people, particularly those currently employed by or enrolled at Purdue; ≠ a Mentoring Institute for newly hired assistant professors to develop a peer-mentoring network across campus; ≠ Leadership Development opportunities for tenured faculty, with a focus on STEM female faculty; ≠ facilitated discussions regarding Work-Life Balance for STEM female faculty; ≠ President’s Luncheons for newly hired STEM female faculty to offer validation and provide a networking venue; and ≠ Diversity Education Workshops to develop active participants in facilitating the success of women and faculty of color in the all disciplines.

Zurn-Birkhimer, S., & Clark, B., & Geier, S., & Sahley, C. (2010, June), Advance Purdue: Strategies To Make The Difference For New Faculty Success Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16504

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