New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Women in Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy
Diversity, ASEE Diversity Committee, and Engineering Deans Council
Gannon University received an NSF ADVANCE-PAID award in 2011 to fund TRANSFORM, Teaching-Research-Advancement Network to Secure Female Faculty for Organizational Retention and Management. TRANSFORM initiatives aimed to increase the recruitment, retention, advancement, and leadership development of female faculty in STEM disciplines at a Master’s L institution by adapting strategies proven successful at research universities. The grant has been operationalized through three strategies: (1) Dual Career Services aiming to provide employment opportunities to accompanying partners via the creation of a consortium and a website; (2) Research Initiation Awards supporting advancement and tenure needs by providing release time and funds to early-career female STEM faculty; and (3) Leadership Developments increasing education opportunities in the areas of leadership for faculty and administrators.
Strategy 1, Dual Career Services, focused on the recruitment and retention of STEM female faculty through the creation of a Dual Career Services program. Due to the regional profile of the area, a website, careersfor2.com, was established to serve not only the university but also local industry and other institutions as a regional professional job database, helping accompanying partners find suitable employment. To date, 287 jobs from 415 employers were advertised on this site. In 2015, Gannon University joined a regional Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) to sustain offering dual-career couples regional employment opportunities after the end of the grant period.
Strategy 2, the Research Initiation Award, provided six credits of release time from teaching and a stipend for research activities every year for two years for each awardee. The strategy sought to support junior female faculty at a teaching institution which also has a strong scholarship requirement for tenure and promotion. Through the support of the grant, the retention rate and promotion of female faculty in STEM disciplines was increased. By the end of the grant, six awardees will have benefited from the grant. Metrics to measure the impact of this strategy are in place.
Strategy 3, Leadership Development, was to formalize professional development opportunities for faculty on the topic of leadership, previously not available at Gannon University. Using both internal experts and external consultants, workshops were planned for delivery in half-day segments throughout each academic year, culminating in a regional one-day-long seminar at the end of the academic year. Additionally, leadership development for department chairs and programs directors was planned to occur once each semester. Reactions to the workshops were generally positive, attendance has increased over the past four years, and sustained support of the workshops has been allocated by the administration.
Each strategy had its own challenges and successes, providing unique insight into the feasibility of converting a successful technique from a research institution into the structure of a PUI. For each strategy, the paper highlights the rationale for selecting the strategy, the objectives defined for realizing the strategy, the lessons learned from its implementation, and the culmination of the strategy in terms of sustainability and long-term influence upon the culture and climate of the university.
Vitolo, T. M., & Vernaza, K. M., & Lindley, L. D., & Konieczko, E. M., & Tallmadge, W. (2016, June), Making Changes: Application of an NSF-ADVANCE PAID Grant at a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution (PUI) Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25658
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