Progress to Date



       During the first year of the grant, the focus was on Objectives 1, 2, and 3. Accomplishments included the establishment of the ADVANCE Auburn Center;  initial work on developing the “small wins” cost/benefit model to be used by educational institutions as they work toward the goal of increasing the  representation of women faculty in the STEM disciplines; and hosting the first “small wins” workshop for institutions with ADVANCE grants, with the goal of having the participants identify, classify, and determine costs, effectiveness, and benefits of the various institutional transformation approaches used at their institutions.   Initial steps were taken to assess the status of SEM women faculty and the climate within the STEM disciplines at Auburn University, by gathering current information on such indicators as number and percentage of female faculty, across rank, in the Colleges of Engineering, Liberal Arts, and Sciences and Mathematics.   A climate survey was developed and approved by the Institutional Review Board and administered in the fall of 2007.


        The focus in Year Two was on the goals included in Objectives 2 and 3 with three major research activities. First, an assessment of 29 institutions receiving NSF ADVANCE IT awards was conducted for the purpose of identifying “small wins” best practices, obtaining information on the costs and benefits associated with these best practices, and obtaining information on the impact of these practices. Second, a climate survey was developed and distributed to all Auburn University faculty using an on-line, internet approach in late fall, 2007;  the purpose of the  survey was to gather information about perceptions of male and female faculty about departmental and university climate, mentoring practices, and work-life balance. Third, data were collected on the historical and current status of female and male faculty in the SEM disciplines, using the twelve NSF Indicators.  
Other grant activities focused on “small wins” initiatives at Auburn University, including child care needs, mentoring, work-life issues, and establishing collaborative relationships across the university.  These are areas that have been identified by other ADVANCE institutions as important for addressing recruitment and retention of women faculty in the STEM disciplines.  The Faculty Director of the WISE Institute was appointed, which has facilitated mentoring for women faculty in the STEM disciplines.


       The focus of Year Three has been on the goals included in Objectives 2, 3, and 4.  For Objective 2, which focuses on developing a “small wins” cost-benefit model, two activities related to the “Small Wins” cost-benefit model were completed, including a survey of other ADVANCE institutions, and the presentation of the initial “Small Wins” Cost-Benefit Model at the second workshop. Three research activities have focused specifically on Objective 3, which is to determine the status of women faculty and climate within SEM disciplines; these activities included:   (1) in-depth interviews with female and male faculty and administrators; (2) completion of  the Climate Survey Report;  and (3) collection of data on the historical and current status of female and male faculty in the STEM disciplines.  For Objective 4, there were two major emphases related to selecting and implementing “small wins” at Auburn University.  First, based on information from the Small Wins survey of other ADVANCE institutions, and results from the AU Faculty Climate Survey, several “Small wins” initiatives were selected and implemented at Auburn University. These included progress toward addressing on-campus child care needs, implementing the Women’s Leadership Series, providing mentoring programs for women faculty, and addressing dual-career and work-life issues.  

Last Updated: 11/1/2012