Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.860.1 - 6.860.5
Retention of Female Faculty Members
Susan Murray, Mariesa Crow, Suzanna Rose
University of Missouri-Rolla / University of Missouri-Rolla / Florida International University
Engineering programs have struggled for years to recruit female undergraduate and graduate students (1). A similar challenge at most universities is recruiting female faculty members from the limited pool of candidates in various fields, particularly engineering and related disciplines. Many universities are becoming aware of an additional issue, the retention of these female faculty members. A recent study on the status of women faculty in science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology brought national attention to the challenges facing female faculty (2).
In recent years a number of faculty members at the University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR) have become concerned about the status of women faculty at the university. The university made and continues to make significant efforts to recruit females to join the faculty. However, it was noticed that about half of the women hired did not stay at the university. A concerned group of female faculty united to evaluate the retention of female faculty, explore the campus climate for female faculty, and to attempt to improve the campus climate. This paper presents the results to date of this project.
The University of Missouri-Rolla is a small, Midwestern university with a strong emphasis in engineering. Nearly 85 percent of the student body majors in engineering or a closely related field. The enrollment of the school is approximately 5,000 students with over 75 percent male. The average ACT score for entering freshmen is very high at nearly 28. As of 1999, the university had a total of 299 tenured and tenure-track faculty members with 26 (8.7 %) female (3). Rolla is a small rural community in central Missouri, one hundred miles from St. Louis. Local employment opportunities outside of the university for professionals are limited.
Statistics Concerning Female Faculty at UMR
An analysis was performed of the university’s recruitment of female faculty since 1985. UMR has hired 32 women in tenured or tenure-track positions during this 15-year period. The women are in a wide variety of academic disciplines with the vast majority being new PhDs beginning their career in academia. The many, approximately two thirds,
Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education
Rose, S., & Crow, M., & Murray, S. (2001, June), Retention Of Female Faculty Members Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/9745
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