Project: Research project

Project Details


ASU ADVANCE ASU ADVANCE Project Summary The charter of Arizona State University (ASU) states that the institution is measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed. This charter is built from a public values-based institutional design, which employs design thinking at all levels of the institution to enact policies and practices that forward goals in the public interest. The ASU ADVANCE project seeks to extend the ambition of the ASU charter to faculty through a public-values institutional design by ensuring that equity and inclusion are considered in every decision that affects faculty. The goal is to increase the diversity of the professoriate in STEM fields at all levels of the university, including in faculty ranks and in varied leadership positions. We propose three initiatives to effect this institutional transformation: Initiative 1: Ensure that faculty and administrator procedures on recruiting, promotion, evaluation, and retention explicitly address how to improve equity and diversity in an interdisciplinary structure. Initiative 2: Provide appropriate and accessible professional development and mentoring opportunities for STEM women and members of under-represented groups across the entirety of the academic life course. Initiative 3: Design, implement, and evaluate digital administrative systems to monitor equity-related processes, and empower administrators to intervene to ensure equitable opportunities and outcomes. Each initiative aims to consider how intersectional dynamics affect and are affected by the explicitly interdisciplinary environment of ASU. An academic life course professorship is a long-term relationship with an institution and we aim to have support from the beginning of the career, into the middle, and through to the end. By intersectional, we mean the ways in which faculty experiences are shaped by gender, race, ethnicity, foreign-born status, sexual orientation, disability, rank, and discipline, and how those experiences influence opportunities for career advancement and leadership opportunities. By interdisciplinary, we mean the ways in which ASU encourages and structures interdisciplinary scientific work, including the STEM fields, at the individual, project, and unit levels. Our social science research plan uses a mixed-methods approach to interrogate how intersectionality and interdisciplinarity work together to structure the academic life course. Intellectual Merit Interdisciplinary research provides opportunities for academics at the same time that academic institutions continue to foster barriers to full participation in academic life by members of many groups. ASU is a strategic research site uniquely well-suited to study how diverse faculty experience and navigate an explicitly interdisciplinary research environment across the academic life course. ASU ADVANCE will enable the analysis of how known bases of difference in the academic life coursegender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, foreign-born status, disability, rank, and disciplineinteract with the interdisciplinary context to create opportunities and barriers to academic career advancement. Broader Impacts ASU is a national and international leader in higher education, and is considered by many to be a model of how to provide high-quality accessible higher education to an increasingly diverse United States. Excellence and inclusion are seen as complementary at ASU, which is an idea worthy of export to other institutions of higher education. The ADVANCE initiative will create training and mentoring tools that are digitally enhanced, an approach recognized to reach a diverse range of people, including those living with disabilities; furthermore, it will develop and employ digitally-based administrative monitoring tools to assess equity in faculty decision making. Our dissemination strategy includes convening a regional group of institutions to share best practices related to establishing and maintaining diverse faculty in Hispanic-Serving Institutions.
Effective start/end date8/1/188/31/23


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $2,999,743.00


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