New ADVANCE @ UNM office : UNM Newsroom

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What began as an effort to increase the representation and advancement of female faculty in science and engineering departments campus-wide through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) has blossomed into a lasting change that has contributed to the success of women and faculty from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM-related fields and beyond at the University of New Mexico.

The goal of the original NSF ADVANCE program was to increase the representation and advancement of female faculty in science and engineering academic careers, thereby contributing to the development of a more diverse science and engineering workforce. .

“ADVANCE at UNM is a critically important project, initially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), that aims to foster the success and advancement of female faculty and faculty from underrepresented backgrounds in the STEM at UNM,” said Barbara Rodriguez, Senior Vice Provost, Academic Affairs. “The goal was to expand the implementation of evidence-based systemic change strategies that promote equity for female faculty and faculty from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM.”

Now, the University of New Mexico Provost’s Office has announced plans to continue the highly successful [email protected] program. ADVANCE @ UNM has been transformative in its existence. Due to the positive impact of the program, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs James Holloway has agreed to continue the work of this program to support faculty success.

“Over the past few years, female faculty and faculty from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM at UNM have come to rely on the support of the ADVANCE team,” Rodriguez said. “Provost Holloway and I are thrilled to support ADVANCE at UNM, and we believe it reinforces the University’s commitment to the vision, mission, and goals outlined in UNM 2040 – Opportunity Defined.”

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Professor Heather Canavan, center, teaching students.

The ADVANCE team, led by director Julia Fulghum, including co-principal investigators, staff, students, and the social science research team, came together with colleagues across campus to broadly support faculty, with a focus on female professors of STEM. The leadership team focused their work on creating a more inclusive and supportive institutional climate, increasing the participation of women and minority STEM faculty in leadership positions, improving satisfaction and perceptions the process of tenure and promotion among women and BIPOC STEM professors, increasing the number of women and BIPOC professors at all levels in STEM departments, and increasing national and international recognition of scholarships by all women and BIPOC STEM teachers at UNM.

“We are all delighted that the provost and his team recognize the importance of our work and provide the support that allows us to continue to help faculty on campus,” said Fulghum, who was reappointed director of ADVANCE for five years. years. “Although we are focusing on the obstacles faced by female STEM professors in their career progression, at this stage most members of the university community need additional support (faculty, staff and students). Pursuing ADVANCE means we can support and advocate for faculty diversity in all fields and continue the investigative and nurturing work necessary to make compelling suggestions to academic leadership.

The NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Program was designed to make universities more equitable and inclusive for female STEM faculty, including social science faculty. At UNM, one of her most important roles has been providing confidential advice on policies and processes and career development in one-on-one meetings with faculty, presidents, deans, and other leaders. academics.

“ADVANCE at UNM offered a wide range of workshops, most of which were open to all faculty,” said Fulghum, who is also associate dean for faculty development, College of Arts & Sciences. “We offer ongoing workshops on all aspects of the promotion and tenure process, professional development support, including sessions focused on associate professors, and through great collaboration with the Office of Research Development at the faculty, we run ongoing research success workshops. »

“The collaborative foundation we have built has allowed ADVANCE to effectively advocate for faculty during the (still ongoing) pandemic. For example, we published several reports on the impact of the pandemic on the lives of professors and contributed to the institutional response to the pandemic.

Over the past five years, ADVANCE has participated in hundreds of meetings each year, included more than 700 posts on its website, published 166 videos, and supported more than 50 women through its annual Women in STEM awards. Additionally, ADVANCE’s communications team highlighted faculty work, kept the content-rich website updated, and maintained its YouTube channel. The 2020 Multimedia Communications Undergraduate Internship Program has been cited by the National Science Foundation as a national model for employing students and showcasing the work of minority women and STEM faculty.

“ADVANCE at UNM will continue to provide confidential counseling, workshops, and advocate for policy and process changes to support all faculty while highlighting issues of particular importance to female STEM faculty,” said said Fulghum. “New initiatives will include expanding our collaboration with OVPR, particularly the Faculty Research Development Office and the WeR1 Investing in Faculty Success initiatives. »


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