The UD ADVANCE Institute operates with the broad goal of diversifying and strengthening UD’s faculty. Originally funded by a five-year $3.3 million National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant, the Institute will be supported by the Office of the Provost once the grant ends in 2020. UD ADVANCE’s research-driven program aims to support University administrators as change agents, to improve transparency in policies and procedures, and to provide resources and mentoring to advance faculty underrepresented in their fields through the ranks and into leadership positions.

UD ADVANCE hosts events throughout the academic year, most of which are open to the UD community. Examples include themed network lunches for faculty, annual panels on the promotion and tenure process, workshops on best practices for faculty recruitment and on formal faculty mentoring, and external speakers and workshops. Recent speakers include Dr. Robert Sellers, Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion at the University of Michigan, and Dr. Marybeth Gasman, founding director of the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania. UD ADVANCE also awards mini-grants on a proposal basis to women faculty pursuing leadership or professional-development opportunities.

The UD ADVANCE team is preparing for a busy fall of faculty search committee workshops, which are presented with the support of a team of UD Faculty Fellows. Members of faculty search committees will receive an email invitation to sign up for a workshop. Also in the fall we will be hosting networking events, including a lunchtime conversation in November regarding professional coaching for faculty. This conversation will be facilitated by mechanical engineering professor and associate dean of engineering, Jill Higginson (see the UD ADVANCE website for details and to sign up).

Coming this spring, we will host our annual P&T panels, in collaboration with the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. Also this spring, we are pleased to again offer a leadership retreat for mid-career women faculty at UD in partnership with the Lerner College Women’s Leadership Initiative. This program is designed to support faculty in advancing their careers and will prepare participants for a broad range of academic leadership positions, including leadership roles in professional organizations, promotion to full professor, engagement with new movement or initiatives, and administrative roles at UD. Applications will be solicited via email later this fall for the spring 2020 cohort.

UD ADVANCE is excited to become a Faculty Commons partner. Please stop by our office in 102B Pearson Hall or check out our website,

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