By: Alex Long
ADVANCE is a project at UMD that supports the equitable hiring, promotion, salary, and retention of faculty. ADVANCE began in 2010 to support the career development of women in academia and was originally sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), but is now housed in the Office of Faculty Affairs. Since then, it has adopted a more inclusive understanding of who needs support in order to make faculty more successful in their teaching, research, and administrative roles. To accomplish that goal, each year ADVANCE offers a variety of programming often targeted at specific groups of faculty to provide specialized support, information, and community building.
Conversations during ADVANCE meetings this year have addressed how COVID has affected research, teaching, and workloads. These meetings allow for the opportunity to share experiences and information. Principal Agent and ADVANCE Professor for the University of Maryland Extension, Shannon Dill, who is the Agriculture Extension Educator for Talbot County, says that ADVANCE meetings have been very supportive and “a space where I can have some very open conversations beyond just your tangible journal articles or research or teaching engagements, to talk about the workplace environment, the opportunities, the differences that women may face as a faculty member.” Peer networks run by ADVANCE are a crucial way of supporting faculty. Currently, ADVANCE is running three peer networks—ADVANCING Together Workshops, ADVANCING Professional Track Faculty, and ADVANCING Faculty Diversity—that are specialized to support different groups of faculty. The networks meet once a month and are usually limited to 20-25 people, which gives faculty members the opportunity to meet and form a community with others who may be facing similar challenges in other departments or colleges. In addition to enabling community building, the peer networks are also informative. All of the peer networks are run by facilitators and often have guest speakers on relevant topics, such as how to use social media effectively to promote your research. Another key way that ADVANCE is able to support faculty members is through the ADVANCE professors, who are experienced faculty members who act as someone to seek support and ADVANCE resources from. Each college has an ADVANCE professor as a source of information and point of contact, which allows ADVANCE to support faculty members. They also meet monthly to strategize about how to help individual faculty members and advocate regarding policy.
This year, ADVANCE has added Clinical Professor Colleen Worthington, Director of Clinical Education in Speech-Language Pathology in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, as the first ADVANCE Professor for professional track (PTK) faculty. This addition is the next phase as part of a broader effort to address needs specific to PTK faculty members, who are a very diverse group engaged in teaching, research, and service. Other development opportunities for PTK faculty members, as well as tenured and tenure-track (TTK) faculty members, include workshops offered by the Teaching and Learning Transformation Center, Faculty Forums, Promotion Workshops, and Productivity Groups sponsored by the Office of Faculty Affairs, and the Division of Research’s help with seeking funding for projects and grant proposal writing. PTK faculty members are also encouraged to get in touch with Heidi Bulich, Associate Director for Faculty Initiatives in the Office of Faculty Affairs for more information about PTK matters. Dr. Worthington hopes to create an awareness around how University policies impact PTK faculty members as well as “rankism” and microaggressions that undermine community in departments. As the first ADVANCE professor serving PTK faculty members, Professor Worthington says she wants to better understand what her colleagues need. She would like them to see her as a resource: “Even if I can't figure out the issue for you,” she emphasized, “I probably know who to talk to or where to go to get the issue figured out.” Since PTK faculty members work in so many different areas, she is thinking about programming that could be specialized for different groups, such as research faculty, clinical faculty, and instructional faculty (although some have appointments that combine these functions). This might take the form of group discussions of a relevant article or podcast. Dr. Worthington’s most important goal, in her view, is to help create more infrastructure on campus that supports stability, engagement, and flourishing for PTK careers.
Another exciting change in its second year is ADVANCE’s participation in the Aspire Alliance Institutional Change Initiative, a project to ensure that faculty from underrepresented groups thrive on campus. Director of ADVANCE and professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, Linda Steiner relayed that last year was spent assessing the current situation at UMD and getting a hiring project in motion. Now, she said, “The project we are working on is retention. We are working on coming up with what we are calling ‘audacious’ goals around retention, then we will work to get them implemented.” Next year will involve evaluating the actions that have been taken and determining how effective they have been. Professor Steiner wants to highlight that this year ADVANCE is running some one-off events that may be sustained, depending on faculty interest. One event will be on Thursday, December 2nd at noon over Zoom with the goal of providing information to faculty who may want to launch startups or are interested in becoming entrepreneurs. The event will have 3 entrepreneurs as speakers, one of whom is Dr. Rita Colwell, who served as the 11th Director of the NSF and is a distinguished professor at UMD and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, as well as CEO of CosmosID, Inc. Along with the goal of providing information, an additional goal of the event is to gauge faculty interest in developing a year-long session that would provide more support to the campus community about how to develop entrepreneurial ideas. More information about this event and other ADVANCE programs can be found at advance.umd.edu.
Faculty Success - November 2021
Each year, all tenured and tenure-track (TTK) faculty members must complete an annual report of their research, teaching, and service activities so that the University may meet its state- and University System of Maryland-mandated reporting requirements. While all Professional Track faculty (PTK) have the ability to report their activities, colleges and schools will determine which PTK faculty members are expected to complete an annual report. Starting with this reporting cycle, Librarian faculty will also report their annual activities.
The 2021 reporting cycle will open on January 18, 2022 and conclude March 11, 2022. Chairs, directors and deans will have until March 31, 2022 to complete their reviews and approve faculty-submitted annual reports.
Faculty Success (formerly Digital Measures) is the system through which the University gathers faculty activities. Reporting is a two-step process: 1) Entering your 2021 activities (e.g., publications, presentations, awards or honors received, committees on which you have served); and 2) Submitting your annual report to your unit head for review and approval.
You don’t have to wait until January 18, 2022 to begin entering your 2021 activities. Faculty Success is available to the faculty all year round. By entering your activities throughout the year, you can document your activities as you go and avoid any last minute rush to complete your annual report. To support you, we have online guides and videos on our Faculty Success portal. We are also offering training via Zoom, this month as well as during the reporting cycle. The schedule and signup are on the Training page. Lastly, we have a bulk data import service for potentially faster data entry or for updates in bulk to existing activity information.