IDEAL Summary

The goal of this innovative partnership grant is to seed institutional transformation at leading universities in the northern Ohio region by creating an institutional learning community that is empowered to develop and leverage knowledge, skills, resources and networks to transform academic cultures and enhance equity and inclusion at each university. IDEAL adapts and disseminates the successful academic leadership development and institutional transformation methods developed by CWRU during its five-year ADVANCE IT initiative, Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (ACES, which continues at CWRU as ACES+.

NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation (IT) at CWRU

Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (ACES)
Overview and Results

Led by Dr. Lynn Singer (PI), Dr. Diana Bilimoria (Co-PI) and three other co-PI's, CWRU established its 5-year NSF ADVANCE IT Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (ACES) program, (now ACES+) in 2003, to strive toward gender equity through institutional transformation. Major accomplishments achieved through ACES during 2003-2007 include the creation of several new positions: a Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity, an Associate Dean for Faculty Development in the Case School of Engineering, two new endowed chairs for women faculty in S&E with partial funding in place for a third, a Manager of Faculty Diversity and Development, and a new staff position in the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women.

ACES initiatives resulted in the creation of new permanent programs such as an annual Provost's Leadership Retreat and a summer internship (pipeline) program for minority undergraduate women S&E students), as well as the creation or revision of university faculty policies including automatic pre-tenure extension and work release policies. ACES outcomes included increases in the participation of women and new leadership as follows. A woman President of the University and a woman Dean of the School of Medicine were appointed. The number of women serving as S&E department chairs increased from two in 2003-04 to six in 2008-09. The number of women S&E faculty holding endowed chairs increased from 8 in 2003-04 to 15 in 2007-08. While overall tenure stream S&E faculty numbers declined over the 5 year period, tenure stream women faculty in S&E increased from 72 (18%) in 2003-04 to 78 (21%) in 2007-08. The number of women faculty at the professor rank in S&E increased from 22 (11%) to 27 (14%) during the five-year period. Five publications co-authored by Dr. Bilimoria emerged from ACES, and three more are under journal review.
Read the ACES Final Report

Leadership Development for Department Deans, Chairs, and Emerging Leaders:

CWRU adopted an integrated approach to leadership development, involving deans, department chairs and women faculty from S&E disciplines across the University. An early focus group study of the status of women faculty identified department chairs and school/college deans as instrumental agents in faculty development and university change efforts, and as key determinants of the quality of the academic climate and opportunities experienced by women (Bilimoria, Higgins, Stoller & Taylor, 2003). ACES was thus tailored to influence the attitudes and behaviors of chairs and deans while simultaneously empowering women faculty to address their academic progress within disciplinary environments. Using an adapted form of the business management practice of executive coaching, ACES created a critical mass of individuals attuned to the importance of gender equity and empowered to create more inclusive environments (see Bilimoria, Hopkins, O'Neil and Perry, 2007).

PAID Test Project:
Developing a Cohort of Change Leaders in the Case School of Engineering:

During the fall of 2007, in anticipation of applying for an NSF PAID award, ACES implemented a group coaching-based leadership development program, designed to improve the climate for women by advancing collegiality and heightening faculty participation and retention in the Case School of Engineering (CSE). Twelve senior faculty members from each of CSE's seven departments participated in this program where they learned about the factors that limit the advancement of women and other underrepresented groups. The program placed special emphasis on communication patterns and skills, especially those essential to inclusive leadership. Each participant, either individually or as a member of a team, developed recommendations for a change project initiative to advance collegiality within her or his department or in the larger school.

Recommendations presented to the CSE Dean, department chairs, and the ACES PI included suggestions for implementing a formal mentoring program, improving the tracking of research and teaching contributions, enhancing the intellectual community, improving the handling of faculty grievances, and improving communications between administration and faculty. Subsequently, the Dean appointed one of the faculty participants as a new Associate Dean for Faculty Development. Most of the other recommendations were implemented in CSE in subsequent months.

Next Step: Adaptation and Dissemination of ACES for Other Northern Ohio Universities through IDEAL

The three-year, multi-institutional partnership - IDEAL - comprised of five public and one private research-level universities in Northern Ohio will adapt and disseminate several successful mechanisms from CWRU's ADVANCE IT program. The mechanisms include: 1) leadership training of faculty teams from each of the six institutions; 2) the selection, design, coaching, and implementation of transformational change project initiatives at each institution; and 3) two plenary gatherings to include senior university leaders and program participants from each campus to focus on topics of gender equity and inclusion among S&E faculty and to review institutional plans and progress. Read the Summary of the IDEAL grant.

National Science Foundation Grant Number (HRD 0929907)

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number (HRD 0929907). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Diana Bilimoria, Lynn Singer and Amanda Shaffer

Related Documents

Summary of the IDEALGrant

ACES Final Report (PDF)