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Five Years Later: The Institutionalization And Sustainability Of Advance

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Perceptions of Women's Success in STEM

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.751.1 - 12.751.14



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Paper Authors


Elizabeth Litzler University of Washington

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Elizabeth Litzler is the Director for Research at the University of Washington Center for Workforce Development.

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Catherine Claiborne University of Washington

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Catherine Claiborne is a graduate student at the University of Washington and a research assistant at the UW Center for Workforce Development.

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Suzanne G. Brainard University of Washington

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Suzanne G. Brainard is the Executive Director of the Center for Workforce Development at the University of Washington. She is also an affiliate Professor in Technical Communication and Women Studies.

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

Five Years Later: The Institutionalization and Sustainability of ADVANCE

Abstract Most studies on higher education transformation tend to focus on the factors (e.g. leadership, resources, and “culture”), processes (e.g. initiation, implementation, management) and theories (e.g. teleological, social cognition, cultural) of organizational change1,8,10,14,11,16,21,22,35. Relatively little attention has been paid to how and at what level externally funded initiatives, like the NSF ADVANCE program, are institutionalized and/or sustained within a higher education organization. The concepts of sustainability and institutionalization are interrelated but there are differences. Sustainability of a program can be achieved with external funding and no institutional support. Institutionalization is achieved when the university makes a “permanent” financial commitment (i.e. line item) to a project or some aspect thereof. Ideally, a college or university could and would fully fund and completely institutionalize a project like ADVANCE. However given budget constraints, it is most likely that a combination of sustainability and institutionalization is necessary for ADVANCE and projects like it to continue at the institutional level.

In this preliminary study, the authors draw on conceptual frameworks of institutionalization and institutional theory to analyze issues of sustainability and institutionalization of ADVANCE among the seven of nine colleges and universities examined here that received the NSF grant in 2001. The authors use data from interviews with key persons at each institution to examine the factors and extent of institutionalization of ADVANCE. In addition, the authors explore the implications of externally funded projects for diversity within higher education and make recommendations.


Changing population demographics have had a significant impact on the composition of the United States workforce. In a recent study, Lynn Karoly and Constantijn Panis found that women ages 16 and older increased their workforce participation from 34% in 1950 to 60% in 2002 relative to men whose participation rates were 86% and 74%, respectively19. Labor force participation rates have also increased among racial and ethnic minorities. For example, African-Americans’ labor force participation rate increased from 60% in 1973 to 64% in 2005 while Hispanics’ participation rate increased from 60% to 68% for the same years27. The U.S. Department of Labor reported in 2001 that women and minorities now comprise 60% of the U.S. workforce – a shift consistent with the prediction made by the Hudson Institute in 198718,41.

These population changes and growing concerns about American competitiveness reinvigorated an interest in “diversity,” particularly in science and engineering (S&E). Several studies on the S&E workforce warn of labor shortages caused by the growth in workers of retirement age, skill gaps, immigration restrictions after September 11, 2001, and growing competition abroad from countries that historically supply S&E workers11,12,17,28,. According to the Congressional Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and

Litzler, E., & Claiborne, C., & Brainard, S. G. (2007, June), Five Years Later: The Institutionalization And Sustainability Of Advance Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2137

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