ADVANCE Posters Examine Progress

The UNC Charlotte ADVANCE team presented two posters at the November 2010 ADVANCE Primary Investigators’ Meeting. These posters focused on two of the primary areas of emphasis of the ADVANCE initiative. Posters frequently are used in academia to present research, using graphics and written materials.

The UNC Charlotte ADVANCE team also presented three posters at the November 2009 ADVANCE Primary Investigators’ Meeting.

Abstracts and website links for 2 posters presented at November 2010 National Science Foundation meeting

Diversity Language Inclusion in STEM vs Non-STEM Faculty Recruitment
UNC Charlotte compared baseline and ADVANCE program initiative years’ recruiting data, revealing a gap in the use of diversity language between STEM departments and non-STEM departments. There are significant indications for STEM disciplines regarding recruitment practices. A content analysis review of faculty job advertisements for diversity inclusive language found a negative relationship between the use of diversity language and ads being in STEM fields. Diversity language usage among STEM faculty ads was less than that among other faculty ads.

A noticeable increase in job ad diversity language occurred in all departments in the initial year of ADVANCE diversity recruitment workshops for faculty search committees (2006.) While ADVANCE cannot claim full credit for increased use of diversity language, it is reasonable to expect that the workshops do increase awareness of the importance of inclusive language to recruitment of women and under-represented minority faculty.

Linking Faculty Climate Perceptions to Campus Diversity Strategic Plans

Monitoring the current opinions and experiences of university faculty enables the university to identity our strengths and areas of focus for growth and future direction. In 2009, UNC Charlotte ADVANCE Faculty Affairs Office developed an internal climate survey for consistent measurement of tenure track faculty attitudes toward institutional and departmental climate.

The survey was conducted in March 2010 as a means of providing consistent and comparable benchmark data for diversity assessment within the overall institution’s strategic plans. Overall response rate was 31% for tenure track faculty across the institution’s colleges, with lower response rates for individual colleges. Results indicate that faculty are fairly satisfied in their jobs, plan to remain at the university, and feel that they achieve work/life balance. However, significant differences were found for gender and rank. One novel aspect of this survey effort is the linkage to the university’s and colleges’ diversity measures and initiatives through a scorecard tool.

Abstracts and website links for 3 posters presented at November 2009 National Science Foundation ADVANCE meeting

Associate Professors’ Perceptions of Pathways to Full Professor
The mid-career mentoring initiative at UNC Charlotte is designed to support associate professors and assist them in advancing to the rank of full professor. The initiative has two components – one that serves only female associate professors in the STEM disciplines and one that is open to all associate professors regardless of gender or discipline.

We have relied on faculty input via surveys and focus groups to guide the design and implementation of our programs to ensure that we are providing faculty with what they want and need. With this poster, we report the results of a survey sent to all associate professors (n=283) to assess their perceptions of the processes and expectations surrounding promotion to full professor.

Responses indicated that 70% of faculty do not perceive any incentives in place to encourage promotion; 48% do not feel that criteria for deciding on promotion are clear; 70% have not received guidance from their chairs about what they need to do to earn promotion; and only 11% report having a mentor, although 70% indicated it would be helpful to them in preparing for promotion. Significant gender differences appeared in perceptions about the extent to which promotion decisions are made fairly and not influenced by gender, race or other non-performance factors.

Scorecard of Progress
Evaluation is a critical component of ADVANCE UNC Charlotte, to both assess program impact and to inform the community of best practices. Principal programs are New Faculty Mentoring, Mid-Career Mentoring, Competitive Awards for individuals and units, Leadership UNC Charlotte and Future of the Faculty. We present our overall evaluation logic model, as well as the formative assessment that has informed and strengthened our program initiatives.

A discussion of seven key progress indicators from year 3 of program implementation are presented in this poster. Progress indicators are 1) STEM faculty gender distribution, 2) institutional recruitment outcomes, 3) promotion and tenure, 4) distribution of STEM female leadership, 5) campus climate, 6) institutionalization, and 7) a snapshot of program initiatives. We offer a summative scorecard of these indicators as a demonstration of progress toward goals, lessons learned and our challenge areas. Future contributions are also presented.

Gender Bias Associated with Faculty Versus Administrative Positions in Academia
The decreasing representation of women at increasing levels of rank in academia is well documented; women are particularly underrepresented in the STEM disciplines at all ranks. Implicit associations, which are unconscious associations that occur automatically and quickly due to internalized stereotypes, may help explain women’s under-representation in certain disciplines and at higher ranks in the academic hierarchy.

The purpose of this study was to examine faculty participants’ associations of gender with faculty versus administrative positions in academia using implicit and explicit association paradigms. 132 faculty at a public doctoral/research university completed implicit and explicit association tests.

Women in non-STEM disciplines implicitly associated women with faculty positions more than men whereas other faculty (women in STEM and all men) associated women with administrative positions more than faculty positions. Strategies are needed to address both overt and subtle biases that may limit the advancement of women in the academia.