Advance Committee Group Picture
Front row, l-r: Cerise Glenn, Shelly Brown-Jeffy, Julia Mendez Smith, Ayesha Boyce; Back row l-r: Aubrey Turner, Kim Littlefield, Julie Voorhees, Terri Shelton, Aileen Reid, Steve Haines. Not pictured, Dana Dunn.

Spartans ADVANCE is a multi-year NSF funded university initiative that addresses the need for increasing diversity and inclusion on our faculty, especially in STEM departments. Although we recruit equal numbers of male and female Assistant Professors in STEM, we lack equity at Associate Professor and Professor levels. We also have clear patterns in research outputs that show inequity, with male STEM faculty members ahead in proposal submissions, awards, success rate, and grant size. This project will address three areas of need that will require actions to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) at UNCG.

First, we will work towards equity in the numbers of male and female associate professors and full professors across STEM departments at UNCG. We will increase training for P&T and Search Committees around EDI and we will enhance our culture of care by recruiting and supporting mentoring and collaborative research networks.

Second, we will work towards gender equity in the number of external research proposals submitted, the number of external grants awarded, and the grant award size within STEM departments at UNCG; currently these numbers are male biased in STEM departments. Our actions include mentoring, standardizing the review of external research proposals by the institution through Associate Deans of Research and Department Heads/Chairs with an eye to EDI in each proposal and through coordinating proposal preparation through the Office of Research and Engagement.

Third, our team will increase the awareness, standardization, and implementation of policies that promote career-life balance at UNCG, which often impacts equity among our female or ethnic minority faculty. Our actions include developing an ADVANCE website, as well as creating new mechanisms to support STEM PIs who are parents. We will also create a university-wide Spartans ADVANCE Ally Network. Spartan ADVANCE Allies will receive training to help support and sustain our initiatives, advocating for programs and policies that enhance EDI at UNCG and enforce the culture of care that exists on our campus.