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Program History

The University of Maryland ADVANCE Program began in 2010 as a five-year, NSF-funded campus-wide project promoting institutional transformation with respect to the retention and advancement of women faculty in STEM. President Darryll Pines, then Dean of the College of Engineering, Provost Mary Ann Rankin, Associate Provost Elizabeth Beise, and Professor KerryAnn O'Meara served as PIs and Co-PIs, with Dr. O'Meara serving as director from 2010-2020. We quickly expanded to consider ways to improve work environments for all faculty, including programs for faculty from racially minoritized groups, professional-track faculty, and the development of equity-minded faculty leaders across identities and ranks.

The ADVANCE Program is now housed within the Office of Faculty Affairs, with support from the Provost’s Office/Faculty Affairs, each academic college, the Division of Research, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Graduate School, and the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

Results from 2010–2020

  • Strategic networking, professional development, and leadership training for over 550 faculty members in ADVANCE core program activities.
  • Increased percentage of women in tenure-track faculty roles.
  • Correlation between participating in ADVANCE peer networks and being retained and advanced.
  • A 5 to 1 return on investment for seed grants.
  • Training on best practices in inclusive hiring for 80 faculty search committees.
  • Allies training for over 175 staff, faculty, and graduate students in 17 academic departments, university units, and other university-wide groups.
  • The creation of demographic, advancement, and service dashboards for tenure and tenure-track faculty.
  • The design and implementation of a faculty work environment survey in 2011, 2013, 2015 and college-level reports and projects. 
  • Enhanced visibility for the contributions of women faculty across campus.
  • Leadership on National Science Foundation-funded action-research project aimed at improving equity in how faculty workload is taken up, assigned, and rewarded (2015-2020 grant).
  • Catalyst for and support of parental leave and work-life policies, as well as guidelines for evaluating interdisciplinary and engaged scholarship in APT guidelines.
  • Recognition by the National Science Foundation as an exemplar ADVANCE program.
  • 20 peer-reviewed articles and numerous reports and editorials published in connection with this work.