Asee peer logo

Developing and Implementing Effective Campus Work–Life Policies: The Story of One NSF ADVANCE Project

Download Paper |


2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division: Retaining and Developing Women Faculty in STEM

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.495.1 - 26.495.12



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Jenna P. Carpenter Louisiana Tech University

visit author page

Dr. Carpenter is Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Wayne and Juanita Spinks Professor of Mathematics in the College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University. She is PI on Tech's NSF ADVANCE grant, 2014-2015 President of WEPAN, a member of the mathematical and statistical societies Joint Committee on Women, and advises a variety of women and girl-serving STEM projects and organizations. She is a past Vice President of ASEE and current Chair of the ASEE Long Range Planning Committee.

visit author page


D. Patrick O'Neal Louisiana Tech University

visit author page

D. Patrick O’Neal is an associate professor in the Biomedical Engineering program which is part of the College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University. Prior to moving to academia in 2005, he served as PI on industrial nanomedicine-based development projects supported by NSF, NIH, and NIST funding. Given a research focus in biomedical optics, he has published peer-reviewed articles in basic and clinical cancer research, nanomedicine, and applied electro-optic instrumentation. Based on experiences instructing courses like Biomedical Engineering Senior Design and his ongoing involvement with the medical device industry, he has developed a strong interest in optimizing gender interactions and productivity in engineering projects and is currently serving as co-PI on a 5-year NSF ADVANCE project.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Developing and Implementing Effective Campus Worklife Policies: The Story of oneNSF ADVANCE ProjectSix years ago, University X’s NSF ADVANCE grant began with three goals: building amore supportive climate, enhancing promotion and leadership, and increasing retention ofwomen faculty in STEM. One of the programs created to help achieve these goals hasfocused on developing and implementing effective worklife policies for the campus, toboth build a more supportive climate and increase retention of women faculty. Thecampus does not have formal worklife policies beyond those that are federally mandated(such as the Family and Medical Leave Act). The worklife policies effort for this project,unlike most of the other eight programs, has required input, buy-in and approval from notonly groups and administrators across campus, but also from top administrators for theuniversity and personnel at the state system level. A number of strategies have been usedin laying the groundwork, with varying levels of success as well as multiple starts andstops. Actual changes in worklife policies have yet to be realized, but there is hope thatat least some of the proposed policies will be approved by the conclusion of this last no-cost extension year. Assessment suggests that a significant portion of faculty (both maleand female) do not feel that the campus currently has an adequate number of worklifepolicies, with less (15%) female faculty versus male (54%) faculty agreeing that existingpolicies are sufficient. Similar percentages (15% for female faculty and 46% for malefaculty) felt that faculty in their department are well-informed about campus worklifepolicies. Interviews suggest that some campus administrators are concerned that the lackof worklife policies may impede their ability to attract and retain new faculty, especiallyfemale faculty. This paper looks at the process of laying the groundwork for such policychange, including efforts to engage and solicit both input and buy-in from a variety ofcampus groups, as well as efforts at the state level to implement worklife policy changes.

Carpenter, J. P., & O'Neal, D. P. (2015, June), Developing and Implementing Effective Campus Work–Life Policies: The Story of One NSF ADVANCE Project Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23834

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015