3:51 p.m., Sept. 18, 2014--The University of Delaware has been
awarded $3.3 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to
develop a program that will serve as a national model for diversifying
and strengthening the academic workforce.
UD is one of only four universities in 2014 to receive NSF’s
prestigious ADVANCE Institutional Transformation (IT) grant. The
five-year program at UD is research driven and aims to support
University administrators as change agents, to improve transparency in
policies and procedures, and especially to mentor women faculty to
advance through the ranks and into senior leadership positions.
Of particular interest in the NSF-sponsored program is the increased
recruitment, retention and advancement of women faculty and women
faculty of color, with a special focus on women in science, technology,
engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Pamela Cook, Unidel Professor of Mathematical Sciences and associate
dean of faculty in the College of Engineering, will lead the program.
Her co-investigators include Robin Andreasen, project research director
and associate professor of cognitive science and linguistics; Heather
Doty, faculty associate to the provost and assistant professor of
mechanical engineering; and John Sawyer, professor of management and
associate provost for institutional research and effectiveness.
“Receiving this prestigious award from the National Science
Foundation is an exciting opportunity for our campus and critical to
establishing the diverse academic workforce of the future at UD,” said
Cook, who also is a faculty scholar in UD’s Center for the Study of Diversity and was recognized nationally in 2012 as a University Change Agent.
Cook previously chaired the University’s mathematical sciences
department for nine years and the Commission on the Status of Women for
six years. She is a fellow of both the American Association for the
Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Society for Industrial and Applied
Mathematics (SIAM) and is president-elect of SIAM.
“Research indicates that improving the climate for women faculty
improves the climate for all faculty,” Cook said. “Becoming an ADVANCE
institution raises UD’s prominence and will attract potential faculty
The NSF grant supports a research program on race and gender equity
in the academy as well as a variety of faculty-led and faculty-focused
information and awareness programs. Activities will include workshops,
mentoring and networking opportunities for UD faculty, efforts to create
enhanced family-friendly policies, and separate programs for
administrators (department chairs, college deans, vice provosts) to
enhance their awareness of faculty issues.
“The University of Delaware is committed to attracting and retaining a
diverse faculty,” said Provost Domenico Grasso. “The UD ADVANCE program
will contribute new research important to understanding faculty equity
issues and help create a climate that will lead to their thriving
Faculty members from all departments who are interested in planning
or participating in grant-related research and activities are encouraged
to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Article by Tracey Bryant
Photograph by Evan Krape