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Institutional Transformation Guided by a Multi-frame Organizational Analysis Approach

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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

26.976.1 - 26.976.17



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Paper Authors


Margaret B. Bailey P.E. Rochester Institute of Technology (COE)

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Professor Margaret Bailey, Ph.D., P.E. is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering within the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology. Dr. Bailey teaches courses and conducts research related to Thermodynamics, engineering and public policy, engineering education, and gender in engineering and science. She is the co-author on an engineering textbook, Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics, which is used worldwide in over 250 institutions. Dr. Bailey is the Principal Investigator (PI) for the RIT NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant. The goal of this large-scale ($3.4M), multi-year university-level organizational transformation effort is to increase the representation and advancement of women STEM faculty. At the university level, she serves as Senior Faculty Associate to the Provost for ADVANCE and co-chairs the President’s Commission on Women.

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Carol Marchetti Rochester Institute of Technology (COS)

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Dr. Carol Marchetti is an Associate Professor of Statistics at Rochester Institute of Technology, where she teaches introductory and advanced undergraduate statistics courses and conducts research in statistics education, deaf education, and online learning. She is a co-PI on RIT's NSF ADVANCE IT project, Connect@RIT, and leads grant activities in the Human Resources strategic approach area.

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Sharon Patricia Mason Rochester Institute of Technology

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Professor Sharon Mason is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology at RIT where she has served on the faculty since 1997. Sharon has been involved in computing security education at RIT since its inception. She is the PI of for the Department of Defense (DoD) Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP) awards to RIT. These scholarships enable students to study and do research in graduate programs in security, forensics and information assurance. To date, scholarships to RIT students total more than $800,000.

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Maureen S. Valentine PE Rochester Institute of Technology (CAST)

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Maureen Valentine, P.E., has been a faculty member at RIT for more than 21 years and held the position of Department Chair for the Department of Civil Engineering Technology, Environmental Management, and Safety from 2000 to 2007. She is currently the Associate Dean of the College of Applied Science
and Technology and co-PI on the AdvanceRIT initiative. Her scholarly activities recently have focused on women in technology programs and
the female faculty who teach them.

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Elizabeth Dell Rochester Institute of Technology (CAST)

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Professor Dell is an associate professor in the Manufacturing & Mechanical Engineering Technology department at RIT. She serves as the Faculty Associate to the Provost for Women Faculty and is co_PI for RIT's NSF ADVANCE project. Her research interests include: characterization of biodegradable plastics and environmental consideration in materials selection for production design, the impact of technology paired with active learning pedagogies on student learning, and effective strategies for increasing gender diversity in STEM disciplines.

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Institutional Transformation Guided by a Multi-Frame Organizational Analysis ApproachThe goal of an ongoing institutional transformation project (NSF ADVANCE #xxxxxxx) at alarge private university is to increase the representation and advancement of women STEMfaculty, widely represented across ethnic, social, and cultural backgrounds, by removing barriersto resources that support career success and by creating new interventions and resources. Anadditional emphasis adapts interventions to address the needs of key sub-populations includingwomen of color and deaf and hard-of-hearing women faculty. The project: 1) refines andstrengthens targeted institutional structures; 2) improves the quality of women faculty’s worklife; 3) aligns institutional, administrative, and informal systems of power and resources tosupport and sustain progress towards the project goal; 4) enhances the working environment andsupport career advancement for women faculty; and 5) establishes a sustainable, inclusive,accessible network that supports career goals for all of university faculty.In preparation for creating an appropriate transformational strategy, researchers conducted amulti-year self-study (NSF ADVANCE #xxxxxxx) to identify career advancement barriers forcurrent women faculty at the university in order to establish how well the university addressesissues that have been found to be important in their recruitment, retention, and advancement. Thestudy addressed several questions regarding the representation, career advancement, and resourceallocation for faculty. Results of a faculty climate survey conducted in conjunction withobjective data review and benchmarking, led to the identification of barriers in the areas of careernavigation, climate, and flexibility in work/life management balance which have been previouslyreported [1-4]. In addition an assessment was conducted as to the success of existing universitystructures at addressing these barriers. This assessment led to the creation of a detailedinstitutional transformation strategy which adopted a multi-frame organizational analysisapproach from Bolman and Deal to improve understanding of organizational issues within theuniversity [5]. This approach integrates several aspects of organizational theory, includingstructural, human resources, political, and symbolic perspectives, and suggests the use of each asa “frame” or “lens” for viewing the organization and the strategic approaches created to changethe organization [6]. Use of the approach improves understanding of the organization; ensuresinterventions positively impact the university at the structural, human resource, political, andsymbolic levels; and supports sustainability of key grant activities beyond the length of the grant.The organizational analysis approach also aids in project administration and evaluation. Thispaper presents the transformational strategy underway and the organizational framework adoptedand refined to aid in the project’s execution and evaluation.1 “RIT_EFFORT_Career_Life_Survey.pdf” NSF ADVANCE RIT (2009, October). Accessed Oct. 18, 2014 from Bailey, M., Baum, S., Mason, S., Mozrall, J. Valentine, M., DeBartolo, E., LaLonde, S., Marchetti, C., & Williams, G. (2011, August). Establishing the Foundation for Future Organizational Reform and Transformation: Status of Women Faculty at RIT Regarding Recruitment, Representation, and Advancement (Final Project Report for NSF # 0811076, ADVANCE Institutional Transformation – CATALYST). Accessed Oct. 18, 2014 from Bailey, M., Marchetti, C., DeBartolo, E., Mason, S., Baum, S., Mozrall, J., & Williams, G. (2011). Establishing the Foundation for Future Organizational Reform and Transformation at a Large Private University to Expand the Representation of Women Faculty, Proc. 2011 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC, June.4 Marchetti, C., M. Bailey, S. Mason, S. Baum, and M. Valentine. [2012] Perceived levels of faculty value, influence, and satisfaction by gender, rank, ethnicity, college, and department at a large private university. 2012 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, San Antonio, TX. 10-13 June 2012. n.p. Web.5 Bolman, L. & Deal, T. (1991). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.6 Austin, A., Laursen, S., Hunter, A., & Soto, M. (2011, April). Organizational Change Strategies to Support the Success of Women Scholars in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Fields: Categories, Variations, and Issues. Proc. Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Bailey, M. B., & Marchetti, C., & Mason, S. P., & Valentine, M. S., & Dell, E. (2015, June), Institutional Transformation Guided by a Multi-frame Organizational Analysis Approach Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24313

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