Lehigh University was one of seven 2010 recipients of an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Grant. Lehigh’s proposal “Building Community Beyond Academic Departments” focused on harnessing the strengths of interdisciplinarity to enhance recruitment, retention, and the advancement of women faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields at Lehigh.
Today, The ADVANCE Center for Women STEM Faculty is sustained within the Office of the Provost supporting the Deputy Provost for Faculty Affairs.
At Lehigh University, STEM includes the NSF funded disciplines of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, Sociology/Anthropology, Business Information Systems, Economics, the disciplines within the College of Engineering, those areas within the College of Health, as well as other scholars of interrelated, interdiscilpinary fields. Lehigh ADVANCE evaluated Lehigh's climate and policies, conducted social science research, and made recommendations for best practices to transform the University over five years. It is our belief that it is not enough to equip women to thrive in the system; rather it is imperitive to help change the system to be inclusive so all faculty can thrive. Thus, we continue to offer and partner to support individuals in leadership, decision making, and other change-agent roles.
The Lehigh ADVANCE Center for Women STEM Faculty supports inclusion and equity to enhance the climate for and success of women in STEM fields through best practices for recruitment, retention and community.
The overarching goals of the grant were to:
- transform Lehigh through improved recruitment, retention, career satisfaction and leadership development of early- to mid-career women faculty in STEM.
- contribute to the national dialogue and social science scholarship by examining if interdisciplinary organization can create a critical mass and more equitable work environment for women STEM faculty if facilitated by vigorous search strategies, proactive evaluation policies, and mentoring and networking programs geared to interdisciplinary research and teaching.
The funded 2010 full proposal is available for download.
Original Lehigh ADVANCE Brochure