The new WPI ADVANCE Program is funded by a three-year $1 million National Science Foundation grant that will bolster the university’s ongoing efforts to promote a diverse faculty. This grant will help WPI reassess the current promotion processes to make them more equitable to all faculty. It capitalizes on recent conversations surrounding promotion and changes to promotion policies for tenured faculty. The results of these efforts will contribute to important change across higher education, giving WPI the opportunity to be a leader in faculty development and diversity.
The grant, ADVANCE Adaptation: Advancing toward Equity for STEM Faculty, will facilitate the following activities:
- Work with faculty to clarify promotion criteria and policies for tenured and non-tenure track faculty.
- Conduct discussions surrounding biases and ways to mitigate them in the promotion process.
- Develop a mentoring program for associate faculty members from tenured and non-tenure track faculty.
To learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
2019 WIN Advancement Mini-Grant Recipients
Women's Impact Network (WN) helping female associate professors at WPI with their mid-career planning
Marja Bakermans, Associate Teaching Professor, Undergraduate Studies. Will expand her applied research program to improve life-cycle conservation efforts for species in need, and will better integrate and support undergraduate students into research efforts via projects, courses, and summer training internships. Will host a 4-5 day writing retreat, and attend the ESA (Ecological Society of America) annual conference.
Esther Boucher-Yip, Associate Teaching Professor, Humanities and Arts Department. Will use inclusive teaching methods to address the individual learning styles of all students enrolled in her intercultural communication courses by creating various exercises, simulations, and process facilitation techniques applicable for developing intercultural competency in the classroom. Will attend Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication in Portland, Oregon.
Renata Konrad, Associate Professor, Foisie Business School. Will participate in the Faculty Success Program, through the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity, the program is designed to increase faculty research productivity. Plans to develop writing strategies and time management skills to advance research successes.
Jennifer McWeeny, Associate Professor, Humanities and Arts Department. Will attend one and possibly two (funds permitting) academic conferences on topics pertinent to her book project that will afford significant opportunities to network with specialists in her field who could potentially serve as external reviewers or associates for her promotion candidacy.
Rodica Neamtu, Associate Teaching Professor, Computer Science Department. Will attend the Dagstuhl seminar, which will increase her visibility in the international research community and include her name into a prestigious white paper publication. Additionally, expects that the weeklong interactions and discussions will allow her to expand her reputation beyond that of a valuable researcher, by highlighting her ability to interact and collaborate well with others.
The NSF ADVANCE team and the Morgan Teaching and Learning Center are excited to announce the launch of a mentoring system for all full-time faculty at the Associate rank. By faculty vote in October 2018, we collectively decided that Associate Professors, whether tenured, teaching-track, or research-track, would be encouraged to establish a mentoring team to foster continuing professional development and promotion in academic rank. It may be helpful to think of these three-person mentoring teams as the self-formed, more flexible equivalent of departmental tenure committees. A few notes:
- This message serves as a heads-up to senior faculty, since you may start to receive requests in the coming months from colleagues at the Associate rank who are forming their mentoring teams. Our strong culture of mentoring for early career faculty seems to be a point of pride, so we are hopeful that will spread to supporting each other at mid-career.
- More information and guidance on mentoring teams and programming and resources for Associate Professors and their mentors can be found on our ADVANCE Canvas site. Current resources include a sample of successful promotion packages. A more comprehensive set of guidance is in the works.
- Professional development plans (PDPs) are a powerful tool for professional growth and career advancement and can serve as the focal point for mentorship. We’ve created a PDP template tailored to WPI and our progressive Associate-to-Full promotion policy. We encourage you to check it out on our Canvas site. More than 25 faculty have started using it.
- Mentoring teams that agree to participate in a modest amount of programming and training and provide feedback to the ADVANCE team will receive $1,000 in professional development funds as a token of appreciation. We want to learn a lot from the early adopters to build a system that works effectively for diverse individuals and benefits the institution.
- Please register your mentoring team here to receive information about programming for Associate Professor mentoring teams and to sign up for the "paid pilot."
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1760577. (ADVANCE Adaptation)
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.