Proposed Program and Partnerships
The program has nine elements. Some of these are adaptations of methods that have proven their effectiveness elsewhere, whereas others are developed for the unique situation of an urban research university. An important component of our program is the partnership that we have formed with the University of Michigan. Our partnership will help us transform our institutions through leveraging reciprocal learning.
Infusing Institutional Climate Change: Three areas will contribute to infusing institutional climate change:
- Resource Team: A team of men and women in the sciences and engineering will serve as resources for departments and other units seeking to improve their representation of women and minorities.
- Theater Group: The second domain of collaboration is using University of Michigan resources to sensitize Wayne State faculty and administration on women’s issues. The University of Michigan’s ADVANCE Project, funded by the NSF to enhance the institutional climate for the hiring and retention of women faculty in the sciences and engineering, is implementing an innovative, interactive program through its Center for Research on Teaching and Learning (CRLT). In this program, CRLT Players put on sketches for campus leaders on such topics as mentoring, faculty hiring, and the tenure decision process to sensitize faculty to the unique problems that might be faced by women faculty in hiring, evaluation, and tenure processes. A creative aspect of this program is that the sketches are interactive; that is, they encourage audience participation and dialogue with the actors who stay in character during these dialogues. Further, a facilitator who is an expert in women’s issues guides the discussion that follows each sketch and provides research-based advice about the topic the sketch is addressing. We feel that this is a very creative approach to sensitization of faculty and administrative personnel to women’s issues, and propose to employ these Players in developing our own faculty and administrators through at least three sketches.
- Joint Urban Presence: Our collaboration with the University of Michigan will involve a fourth initiative aimed at institutional transformation. For example, we propose to collaborate with the U of M in building a Joint Urban Presence. As a leading Carnegie I Research University in an urban setting, WSU is deeply rooted in the Detroit metropolitan area and its multi-ethnic suburbs. As faculty teaching in this urban setting, we are embedded in the Detroit community, whether in the arts, commerce, the delivery of health care and engineering services, or legal affairs. Serving students of this community, we are experienced in the recruitment, enrichment, and retention of students representing a wide diversity of ethnic and educational backgrounds. Realizing the richness present in such a pool of resources, the University of Michigan founded a Detroit Center at Orchestra Hall in 2005 to provide a physical home for its programs and expand its involvement more deeply within the Detroit community. Given this natural match between WSU’s competencies and experience in urban education and U of M’s mission to expand its involvement in Detroit’s metropolitan environment, we propose to create a joint presence in Detroit and help develop U of M’s faculty and administrative personnel in the delivery of educational programs in an urban setting. We hope to accomplish this in at least three ways. First, we propose to help the UM recruit women students for graduate/doctoral programs from our ethnically diverse student pool, especially in the sciences and engineering, such as those in our McNair Program. Second, we propose to create a Faculty Development Workshop offered to U of M faculty and other personnel to sensitize them to the special needs of urban women students, and help them further develop and nurture under-prepared graduate students (who are products of such environments) to become more competent in the pursuit and completion of graduate study. Finally, we propose to develop a Handbook of Faculty Development in an Urban Setting to document our current knowledge and joint experiences in this area. In addition to these initiatives, we propose the following initiatives for departmental and career development initiatives.
Departmental Transformation: We will offer incentive grants for self-study and departmental improvement, tentatively in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, with the possibility of adding a third department. When these are awarded, each department will work closely with the Resource Team (#1 above) to evaluate its climate and implement specific methods to become more supportive of women’s career development.
Women’s Career Development Initiatives: offer opportunities for women academic scientists and engineers to learn more about women’s experiences in academic careers, strategies for resolving dilemmas, and develop connections with other women and with scientists and engineers in their fields.
The Annual Women’s and Minorities Career Symposium: This event will offer presentations about the experiences of women in academic sciences and engineering. This showcase event will be an annual banquet for WSU and University of Michigan women science and engineering faculty that provides a forum to discuss dilemmas make contacts, and exchange research interests and ideas. Each banquet will include participation by a senior-level officer of the university (dean, vice president, or university president).
Career Network Meetings: This will be a set of open meetings for WSU and UM women faculty for program participants to develop connections both on campus and with similarly situated colleagues at other campuses.
The Web Resource for Career Advancement: This will be a web site with both open (to the public) and closed (password protected) areas for sharing research interests, accomplishments, career challenges, and opportunities.
Career Development Grants: These will be small grants to WSU women faculty, ranging from $500 to $2,000 (total of $46,000 in three years), for assistance with critical career steps: meetings with funding agencies, attendance at conferences, childcare at conferences, or bringing in speakers/colleagues of special interest.
Wider Horizons: Within southeastern Michigan, other universities and colleges offering graduate and undergraduate programs and institutions bachelor’s degrees employ women scientists and engineers in academic careers. Anecdotal information suggests that the status of women and minorities in these institutions is similar to that at Wayne State. To widen the career horizons not only of women at the two partnering institutions but also throughout the region, we will extend an invitation to our Career Network meetings and Career Symposium to faculty from area institutions.
Escalating Diverse Faculty in Science and Engineering - May 21, 2010
Escalate Annual Workshop - April 9, 2010
Unlimited Horizons - November 18, 2009
"Real Opportunities" Exploring Science & Engineering Careers-May 2009
Escalate Annual Recognition Workshop -April 2009
Tenure & Promotion Conversation -February 2009
CRLT Players -"Faculty Advising Faculty" -November 2008
Excellence In Diversity Workshop -January 2008
CRLT Players -"The Faculty Meeting" -November 2007
Escalate Annual Workshop -October 2007
Mentoring Workshop -February 2007
Escalate Annual Workshop -December 2006
CRLT Players -"The Fence" -April 2006