2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity

Transitioning from WISE to WISER–Life After an NSF ADVANCE Grant

Presented at Track: Faculty - Technical Session 5

Funded by an NSF ADVANCE Partnerships for Adaptation, Implementation, and Dissemination (PAID) grant between 2011 and 2016, the WISE@OU program at Oakland University (OU) set out to identify and implement strategies that would increase the recruitment, retention, promotion and job satisfaction of women and underrepresented faculty in STEM departments. After conducting a climate survey and several focus group meetings, it quickly became apparent that there were many needs across campus that needed to be addressed, not only within STEM and not only among women and underrepresented faculty. These included a need for more mentoring for both early and mid-career faculty, particularly in the area of research; training for department chairs (who at OU have faculty status rather than administrative rank); and faculty development opportunities. While our activities focused primarily on junior STEM faculty, we organized several campus-wide events and workshops throughout the life of the grant and worked in conjunction with different administrators and offices such as the OU Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to raise awareness of the needs that we identified. These activities raised the profile of WISE@OU across campus and enabled us to work with the Provost’s office on developing a sustainability plan for the program. WISE@OU transitioned into the Oakland University Research Office in Fall 2016 and is now known as the WISER (Women in Science, Engineering, and Research) program. In this paper we describe three aspects of the program since the transition that aim to support and improve the work environment for faculty across the institution: a) Work to support chairs in areas such as mentoring, recruitment, work-life balance, service distribution, and handling bias; b) Research support for junior faculty through the PI Academy; and c) a group mentoring program for faculty in the School of Engineering and Computer Science. Lessons learned and challenges will also be discussed.

Keywords: Faculty, Professional, Engineering

  1. Miss Leanne DeVreugd Oakland University [biography]
  2. Prof. Laila Guessous Oakland University [biography]
  3. Dr. Julie Walters Oakland University [biography]
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