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Promising Organizational Practices for Increasing Faculty Gender Equity: A Case Study

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Institutional Transformations

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.996.1 - 23.996.13



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Paper Authors


Karen J. Horton PE University of Maine

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Karen J. Horton, P.E. is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at the University of Maine, and a licensed professional engineer in the state of Maine. She is a Co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Grant to increase recruitment, retention and advancement of tenure-track women faculty members in STEM fields. Prior to her 1997 appointment to the University she was employed as a mechanical engineer at Bath Iron Works in Maine, as a high school mathematics and electronics teacher for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Germany, and as a mechanical engineer at the Naval Coastal Systems Center in Florida. Horton is an active member of the Engineering Technology Division and the Women in Engineering Division. She also currently serves the Society of Women Engineers as advisor and counselor to the UMaine collegiate section, for which she received the 2010 Outstanding SWE Counselor Award.

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Amy Fried University of Maine

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Amy Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Fried is the ADVANCE-Rising Tide Policy Advocate and oversees the Maine Policy Scholar Program at the University of Maine. She is also the co-leader of the Maine chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network.

Fried’s political science research largely focuses on the history and political uses of public opinion in the United States. Her major works include "Muffled Echoes: Oliver North and the Politics of Public Opinion," (Columbia University Press) and "Pathways to Polling: Crisis, Cooperation, and the Making of Public Opinion Professions," (Routledge).

Fried provides analysis to a wide range of media outlets. She also writes a biweekly column for the Bangor Daily News, where she also blogs (at on politics, public opinion and public policy.

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Mary Madden University of Maine

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Mary Madden, Ph.D., is the Director of the ADVANCE initiative at the University of Maine. She is also a Cooperating Research Professor in the College of Education and Human Development.

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Promising Organizational Practices for Increasing Faculty Gender EquityUniversity X is a land-grant institution with NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation (IT)funding. The Provost serves as Principle Investigator. Some of the goals of the grant includeincreasing the number of female faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics(STEM) disciplines, facilitating the promotion of women associates to full professor, providingsearch committee, department chair and peer committee training, and lowering barriers tosuccess at the departmental level. Prior to submitting the ADVANCE IT proposal, University Xcreated an Advancement Initiatives Council (AIC) with the charge of carrying out a number ofpreviously identified best practices to further these goals. When the ADVANCE project wasfunded, the AIC became the internal advisory committee for the program. AIC membersregularly receive training about best practices, faculty data from institutional studies, andoutcomes of the social science research. Members also directly support institutionalization ofprogram elements in their areas. University X has revised the charge, membership, structure,and activities of the AIC to enhance these roles of dissemination and institutionalization.Academic Deans with relevant departments rotate as chair of the AIC, and AIC members includefaculty drawn from those colleges, and staff members such as the Associate Vice President forHuman Resources, the Director of Equal Opportunity, the Director of the Women’s ResourceCenter, and the Director of the Employee Assistance Program. Based on our experiences and theobservations of the external evaluator, this paper analyzes the benefits of establishing the AICprior to submitting the NSF ADVANCE IT proposal, and the difficulties in transitioning to aneffective advisory committee that can also serve as a change agent. Important aspects ofrelationship building between the Director of the ADVANCE X Center and the deans serving aschairs of the AIC are described. The paper also describes how including key administratorsfacilitates immediate institutionalization of some of the ADVANCE objectives. Thoughts forother institutions, with and without ADVANCE funding, are offered.

Horton, K. J., & Fried, A., & Madden, M. (2013, June), Promising Organizational Practices for Increasing Faculty Gender Equity: A Case Study Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22381

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