Following the launch of the ADVANCE program in 2001, ADVANCE institutions have worked to develop and disseminate research-based “best practices” to facilitate the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women faculty. A primary goal of the institutional transformation process is to tailor known best practices to the specific institution, incorporate them into established processes, and disseminate information about the processes through training programs.
Training is critical in improving policies and procedures that directly impact faculty satisfaction and retention on our campus. With support from the Provost and other campus partners, new or enhanced training modules will be developed and shared with the University community. Leadership and administrative support for ADVANCE initiatives is vital for sustaining positive change that is truly transformative. With support from our campus administrators and their leadership, ADVANCE training and professional development initiatives continue to have a positive impact.
Targeted Training for Varied Stakeholders
The Rising Tide Center has expanded voluntary training for department chairs and other academic leaders. Supplementing this enhanced training is a newly developed handbook, available on the Provost’s website, that provides instructions and forms required in the administration of relevant policies. The annual development day for chairs and directors is consistently well-attended and has been identified as an important professional development resource.
In collaboration with the Provost, who also serves as the project’s principal investigator, the Rising Tide Center has developed and launched a training module for peer committees, the departmental entities that conduct annual evaluations and promotion and tenure proceedings, to ensure that peer committees administer promotion and tenure guidelines equitably and employ best practices. A peer committee training video narrated by the Provost is available here.
Search committee training has been enhanced to further assist faculty in conducting fair, diversity-oriented searches. The enhanced training includes compilation of a Faculty Recruitment Handbook, developed in partnership with the offices of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity.
ADVANCE also offers training to mentors, who volunteer to support new faculty and associate-level professors seeking advancement.
The ADVANCE Peer Trainer
The ADVANCE Faculty Peer Trainer assists in delivering requested professional development and training to key STEM-SBS departments highlighting research-based best practices. The focus is on departments with few or no women or with a token representation of women. Additionally, our Peer Trainer launched a professionalism in the classroom initiative which was piloted in the School of Forest Resources and the School of Engineering Technology. This effort is intended to support female faculty who may be intimidated by male dominated classrooms and research environments.
Developing Faculty Leadership
In addition to developing and facilitating training on campus for faculty and administrators, ADVANCE offers opportunities for women seeking to progress into academic leadership positions. Our grants program supports applications from faculty candidates who wish to attend intensive off-campus events sponsored by organizations such as the Simmons School of Management and HERS Institute. Funding leadership development for our women faculty is another method of facilitating faculty success and satisfaction to meet ADVANCE retention goals.
View a list of selected Leadership Development Opportunities that may be supported with ADVANCE Professional Development Grant funding here.
Image Description: dept chair training 2012