Despite significant increases in the proportion of women pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) doctoral degrees, women are significantly underrepresented as faculty, particularly in upper ranks, and in academic administrative positions, in almost all STEM fields… The NSF ADVANCE program is designed to foster gender equity through a focus on the identification and elimination of organizational barriers that impede the full participation and advancement of all women faculty in academic institutions.
SU as an “atypical” ADVANCE recipient
Seattle University is a comprehensive, mission-driven, liberal arts university founded in the Jesuit tradition of education of the whole person and for the purpose of social justice leadership. We are committed to emphasizing diversity as a matter of institutional policy and as an integral component of educational excellence. Primarily undergraduate institutions like SU face the interesting challenge of mentoring faculty not only in the craft of teaching, but in its value. Institutional service and leadership are other prominent components of comprehensive, mission-driven universities. Paradoxically, however, these activities are often less recognized as part of the formal faculty development and evaluation process. Our guiding orientation in this project is that, in the absence of clearly articulated standards that fully reflect the activities that constitute comprehensive education excellence (teaching, service-leadership, and community-based scholarship), faculty and evaluating committees prioritize research achievements in ways that may have the effect of devaluing teaching, community engagement, and service-leadership.