June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Women in Engineering
15.910.1 - 15.910.12
NDSU Advance FORWARD: Challenges and Recommendations to Enhancing Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement of Faculty Abstract
The NDSU Advance FORWARD project, funded by the National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation program in 2008, seeks to develop and implement a comprehensive research-driven strategy to increase participation of women in all science and engineering faculty and academic administrative positions. Advance FORWARD (Focus on Resources for Women’s Advancement, Recruitment/Retention, and Development) builds on the earlier work of North Dakota State University’s self-initiated FORWARD committee, a group of faculty and administrators who came together in 2002 out of a shared concern about the slow advancement of women faculty in science and engineering departments. Specifically, Advance FORWARD strives to improve the climate across campus, enhance faculty recruitment efforts, increase faculty retention and advancement, and open leadership opportunities. In this paper we discuss various challenges that we have encountered while implementing our programs and offer recommendations so that other institutions interested in developing similar programs can avoid the same pitfalls. In order to provide a context for our recommendations, we provide background on our institution, describe key initiatives that have been implemented to date, and summarize baseline data.
Since its inception in 2001, 37 institutions across the country have received a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformational Award. The goal of the NSF ADVANCE program is to increase participation of women in academic science and engineering careers. The North Dakota State University Advance FORWARD (Focus on Resources for Women’s Advancement, Recruitment/Retention, and Development) project, funded by NSF in 2008, seeks to develop and implement a comprehensive research-driven strategy to increase participation of women in all faculty and academic administrative positions. As NSF funding is limited to science and engineering, the institution provides funds for faculty not in science and engineering disciplines.
Universities often maintain processes that unfairly disadvantage women and minorities, which is contrary to “principles of social equity rooted both in democratic ideology”1 and contrary to the ideal that scientific careers “be open to talent.”2 Over the last thirty years, research on the nature of organizations3,4,5 provides convincing evidence that assumptions about the neutrality of organizational structures and dynamics have obscured mechanisms that systematically limit women. Organizations are, in fact, gendered to the extent that they pattern “advantage and disadvantage, exploitation and control, action and emotion, meaning and identity,” in terms of distinctions between “male and female, masculine and feminine.”6 Acknowledgement of such gender-based organizational patterns is essential to understanding the historical and persistent ways women have been disadvantaged in university departments. 7-12 In addition, institutional patterns are further complicated by the intersection of gender and race, which, acting in consort, doubly jeopardize the advancement for women of color in the sciences.13 Therefore, it is critical
Bilen-Green, C., & Birmingham, E., & Burnett, A., & Green, R. (2010, June), Ndsu Advance Forward: Enhancing Recruitment, Retention, And Advancement Of Women Faculty In Engineering At North Dakota State University Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16575
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