Icon for: Travis York


Association of Public & Land-grant Universities
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Alexander Rudolph

    Alexander Rudolph

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2018 | 04:54 p.m.

    This is a wonderful project! There is not doubt that there needs to be a lot more attention paid to how members of underrepresented groups gain faculty jobs and navigate their way to tenure and leadership positions within universities. What are the next steps of your programs?

    The Cal-Bridge program in California is a partnership of University of California and California State University campuses to promote underrepresented students achieve PhDs in physics and astronomy, and eventually the rest of STEM. Our program hopes to create the pipeline of PhDs that will feed into your work, and we would very much like to explore how we might work together to that end. Please check out our video and contact us if you are interested: http://stemforall2018.videohall.com/p/1277.

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    Pati Ruiz
  • Icon for: Kimberly Griffin

    Kimberly Griffin

    May 14, 2018 | 09:02 a.m.

    Thank you so much for your note!  My name is Kimberly Griffin, and I'm a member of the project team!  Our next steps are to work with institutions and offer our institutional assessment tool more widely, as well as offer a guidebook that can help campuses jump start institutional action around promoting faculty diversity and inclusion in STEM.  We are also going to critically assess the data we collect through the STEM-OP to determine whether there are particularly successful programs that we can scale at a regional or national level.  You can learn more about our next steps at www.aplu.org/includes .  Thanks for sharing about your project as well - Travis York has been doing some incredible work on our project and is the person to contact about potential collaboration. 

  • Icon for: Christopher Atchison

    Christopher Atchison

    Associate Professor
    May 14, 2018 | 01:04 p.m.

    Travis, outstanding effort on a HUGE scale!  I love that your project team has tapped into such a large, supportive network to raise awareness and to begin determining ways of addressing underrepresentation in the academy.  The biggest challenge is probably getting everyone talking the same language and working towards the same goal.  What other programs have you used for inspiration and related guidance?  What barriers have you found so far that we all need to overcome to broaden diversity in the higher levels of the professoriate?  

  • Icon for: Kimberly Griffin

    Kimberly Griffin

    May 14, 2018 | 05:50 p.m.

    Hi Christopher - thank you for your questions!  I am a member of the project team, and it's been so inspiring to work on this project and try to make progress and address these challenges on a national scale.  Getting everyone on the same page with language has certainly been a challenge - we've realized that we are going to have to provide glossaries with some of our tools just to make sure everyone is clear!  Some of the barriers are consistent with what we know from the literature on increasing faculty diversity - it can be difficult to change multiple levels of institutions, getting buy in and investment from senior leaders, deans, department chairs and faculty (which is where so much of this work will be done).  It also can be tough to break people out of old narratives about why faculty diversity is so stagnant, particularly those that frame faculty from underrepresented backgrounds as somehow deficient or not as talented as their peers.  We've been really inspired by the work of our organizational partners on this project, like the McKnight Foundation, SREB, CIRTL, and the University of California System Office, who have been making great progress and innovating around issues of faculty diversity.  The ADVANCE program also has so many great lessons to offer!

  • Icon for: Christopher Atchison

    Christopher Atchison

    Associate Professor
    May 16, 2018 | 09:31 a.m.

    Thank you for responding, Kimberly.  This work will have such an amazing impact on current students/future academics from diverse backgrounds as well.  Access and inclusion seems to be a major issue in many higher education STEM disciplines... perhaps because of such an ingrained traditionalist perspective?  Not to mention we constantly fight to get physical access on the forefront... especially from the older institutions.  Moreso, the intersectionality of disability with another underrepresented identities and creates nothing but an uphill battle for talented current and future faculty.  Keep up the great work!

  • Icon for: Sarah Wille

    Sarah Wille

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 14, 2018 | 01:52 p.m.

    Thanks for taking on such important work! Your development and testing of tools and practices for recruiting, hiring, retaining and supporting faculty is so critical - where are you in the development process? Can you share a few of your learnings to date, that may be helpful for others in higher ed?

  • Icon for: Kimberly Griffin

    Kimberly Griffin

    May 14, 2018 | 06:37 p.m.

    Thanks for your question!  We are still testing our instruments for the institutional self-assessment; we've gone through multiple rounds of feedback and revision, and we're now at a pilot of the tools.  The STEM-OP is live and can be accessed at https://www.cvent.com/surveys/Welcome.aspx?s=df... We've learned a lot about collective impact for sure - it is a tough process, but really does lead us to generating solutions and ideas that we'd never think of alone.  So I think that one of the main things we've learned is to bring multiple stakeholders to the table as we try to address issues related to faculty diversity.  We've also learned the importance of collaboration - within and across colleges, within systems, and with external organizations.  It's such a big, multidimensional problem - we'll need multidimensional strategies to address it.  More to come!

  • Icon for: Pati Ruiz

    Pati Ruiz

    Dean of Studies
    May 15, 2018 | 06:56 p.m.

     Kimberly - Thank you for sharing all of this information and for doing such important work. I really like your focus on collaboration and wonder how you foster community among your participants - if at all. Also, you mention needing to define terms - is is something that can be done face to face instead, so that someone can answer those questions as they come up?

    Also, It might be an issue on my end, but the link you shared returned an error for me.


  • Icon for: Kimberly Griffin

    Kimberly Griffin

    May 15, 2018 | 09:20 p.m.

    Hi Pati -

    Thanks for the great question.  I am sure that we'd be happy to define terms in person, as necessary.  But given that our project is a national initiative and we want to be sure to give out consistent information, we think that having some core definitions in writing is really important.  But we do hope to create multiple opportunities for institutional teams to engage with each other and with us to ask questions, get support, and generate new ideas.

    The link is so odd!  It isn't working for me now, either.  Another way to get to it is through the APLU Includes website (http://www.aplu.org/projects-and-initiatives/st...) and click on "Our Projects" in the menu on the left.  The link to the STEM-OP is in the text in the center of the page.

  • Icon for: Gretal Leibnitz

    Gretal Leibnitz

    TECAID PI & Project Director
    May 16, 2018 | 04:11 p.m.

     Hi Kimberly!

    So great to meet you at the APLU SUMMIT recently and learn more about the incredible work in which you and Alan Mabe have been engaged re: the STEM-OP--Survey to Expand and Maximize Opportunities in the Professoriate.  As you know, the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) has engaged in a project entitled, "Transforming Engineering Culture to Advance Inclusion and Diversity" (TECAID) (i.e., http://videohall.com/p/1295) and I am wondering if you think the survey could be used at a department level, with some modifications?  If so, what modifications would you suggest?

  • Icon for: Kimberly Griffin

    Kimberly Griffin

    May 16, 2018 | 07:27 p.m.

    Hi Gretal!  I really liked your video - such a great project.  Yes, I do think that the tool could be adapted for departments.  It was developed for institutional teams to engage in, but we tried to develop questions that reflect work and initiatives as the institutional, college, and departmental levels.  I think that if an institution wanted to use the tool just to focus on questions for their department, they would be focusing on departmental commitments, culture, and climate, rather than at the institutional level.  They are distinct, but certainly related.

  • Icon for: Rebecca Batchelor

    Rebecca Batchelor

    SOARS Program Director
    May 18, 2018 | 08:09 a.m.

    Thank you for the work you're doing - this is a really important project and it is great to see it being implemented at such a large scale. I run the SOARS program (http://stemforall2018.videohall.com/presentatio...) based at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and we are also committed to supporting diverse students in becoming the next leaders in our field (whether in academia or elsewhere in STEM). I think your project targets one of the most important parts of this challenge - that the culture of a department and an inclusiveness of an institution can have a huge impact on retention for both students and faculty. I really appreciate that you are tackling it at such a huge scale, and would love to see all of our universities and colleges being a great space for all of our scientists. What do you see as the biggest challenge to working with so many different institutions?


  • Kacy Redd

    May 18, 2018 | 01:17 p.m.

    We all want information that is just the right information, at just the right time, and tailored for our specific needs and context. We also want to learn what works and doesn't work from trusted colleagues and from peer organizations. It can be challenging to find this balance between co-learning among institutions for common challenges (that may be somewhat generic) but also providing just the right information, at just the right time, for a specific institutional context. It takes expert facilitation and co-creation with the institutions to get the balance right.

  • Icon for: Aliyah Elijah

    Aliyah Elijah

    Graduate Student
    May 21, 2018 | 10:48 a.m.

    This is AMAZING! I think it's very important to combat the low percentage of minorities in STEM fields! I am a minority trying to enter STEM field and it's programs such as this one that gives us opportunities to do so! Thank you guys so much! 

  • Icon for: Travis York

    Travis York

    Lead Presenter
    Director of Student Success, Research, & Policy
    May 21, 2018 | 11:00 a.m.

    Hello Aliyah,   Thank you for checking out our video and project!  We're so excited to hear about your passion and interest in STEM - and I hope you'll consider a career in academia ... As we say in our  video, it's hard to be what you cannot see.  As such, we believe it is essential to make our STEM faculty adopting inclusive teaching, advising, and research mentoring practices as well as becoming more diverse themselves! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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