identify theory-driven, evidence-based interventions for maximizing talent by increasing diversity.
Reede noted a number of challenges for data acquisition and analysis. Do we have the data and can we access it? Regarding confidentiality, in addition to the difficulty of ensuring confidentiality for individuals, she described how institutions also are concerned about their reputations, as pressure builds for greater transparency. Are the data accurate? What are the agreed-upon metrics? Do we have the requisite methodologies and tools in place? And can we go beyond the numbers to understand the context? Reede urged the use of more complex models and mixed methods, and emphasized the need to bring complexity to this discussion and broaden its scope—in essence, career epidemiology.
JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY
Loretta Moore, professor of computer science and interim associate dean of the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology at Jackson State University, and the principal investigator for the NSF-funded ADVANCE program at the university, spoke about Jackson State’s experiences and successes with the ADVANCE program, begun in 2010 and focused specifically on women of color at a minority-serving institution.
The ADVANCE program’s objectives are to advance the careers of all women faculty in STEM disciplines and in the social and behavioral sciences at Jackson State University; to foster and sustain a climate and culture of inclusion in the university overall and at the departmental level for all faculty, regardless of gender, race, and other target characteristics; and to communicate with the larger academic community about the challenges of women in general and women of color at historically black colleges and universities in particular. They are addressing the needs of women of color by adopting and adapting interventions that have been used successfully to support white women and by developing new strategies according to input received from their faculty.
Jackson State University’s ADVANCE program has several components:
• Summer writing retreats
• Visibility through international group travel to educational institutions
• Leadership sabbaticals (e.g., senior women faculty in STEM disciplines spend a semester in the office of the president or provost)
• A bias education initiative
• Social science studies including a “Culture and Climate” study
• Policy review, adoption, and modification
To communicate with the larger academic community about their work, they also have rigorous evaluation and dissemination components.
Moore described three of their initiatives in detail. The Summer Writing Retreat was modeled after a program at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. The goal is to allow faculty to focus on their roles as scholars as a way of supporting their advancement through the academic ranks. The Jackson State Summer Writing Retreat hosts the faculty participants at an off-campus retreat center for two week-long sessions. The curriculum involves long days of writing, sharing of writing, and discussions about scholarship and the writing process. Participants are required to complete and submit a scholarly article by the end of the summer.