Providing pathways for development, promotion and everything in between.

Volume 3 | Issue 9

May 2020

Outgoing Director of ADVANCE at UMD Speaks About the Program, Transition to New Leadership

Photo courtesy of

KerryAnn O’Meara, the outgoing director of the ADVANCE Initiative at the University of Maryland, shared some highlights about her work creating change in the university’s community.

“The thing I am proudest of during the last ten years,” O’Meara stated, “is how ADVANCE fostered strategic relationships between faculty from different colleges to work together. There are so many faculty who met each other during one of our networks, and those relationships have sustained them from assistant professor to full, through ‘firsts’ in their college, such as first PTK promotions, first women chairs of academic departments and deans.”

The University of Maryland ADVANCE program, as noted on their website, “began in 2010 as a five-year, NSF-funded [National Science Foundation] campus-wide project promoting institutional transformation with respect to the retention and advancement of women faculty. We quickly expanded to consider ways to improve work environments for all faculty, including under-represented minority faculty and professional track faculty.”

After five years of being on campus, “the program was given a 5 year ‘lease’ with support from all academic units on campus who make an annual contribution to its budget. Now, after ten years and a track record of success, the program is becoming further institutionalized with a new director and staff moving to the Office of Faculty Affairs. This transition will allow new synergies between ADVANCE work to support women and faculty of minoritized identities and efforts to retain and support all faculty,” said O’Meara.

Dr. O’Meara has been with the program since its creation.

“I have been involved in ADVANCE from its very beginning—first as a developer of the initial NSF grant and Co-PI [with Avis Cohen, professor emerita of biology, and Darryll Pines, professor and dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering and future president of the university] and Co-Director [with Elisabeth Beise, professor and associate provost for Academic Planning and Programs], and then Director, continuously providing leadership for the program over the last decade,” she said.

ADVANCE’s mission and vision is to “create transparency so all faculty have information and understand what they need to do to succeed, enrich professional networks so all faculty have support from colleagues, increase retention so more faculty feel UMD is the best place to build a career, increase awareness of and reduce implicit bias and its negative effects on faculty careers and improve work environments and climate so they are equitable and provide faculty challenge and support,” as stated on their website.

“We accomplish these goals by creating strategic relationships between faculty on campus where we identify work environment challenges and tackle them together to become a more inclusive university,” O’Meara said.

Some specific initiatives ADVANCE provides are faculty peer networks, leadership development programs for academic administrators, senior women faculty members--ADVANCE Professors-- who are assigned in each of the 12 academic colleges to mentor others and work with their dean’s office to support equitable and inclusive workplace climates and more.

O’Meara said that, “There have been many successes. For example, our ADVANCE program was central to efforts to achieve parental leave on campus. We have seen improvements in the percent of women faculty and retention. We provided interdisciplinary seed grants with women co-PIs that resulted in an over 8 to 1 return on investment to the university, and we were among the first to conduct work environment surveys for our faculty broken down by relevant subgroups.”

“In the end, the ADVANCE program is about creating generative spaces which transgress traditional evaluative cultures and allow faculty to be themselves, see themselves in others, find allies, find resilience and gain agency to succeed,” she said.

While thinking about her time as director of ADVANCE, O’Meara said, “Leading ADVANCE has been one of the best professional roles of my life and in reflecting on these 10 years I am humbled by all that I was able to give and receive. It is wonderful work to invest in inclusive, equitable environments—to invest in each other and build webs of support. I look forward to hearing how ADVANCE can be reimagined for the next generation of challenges faculty experience. I cannot think of a more important time for ADVANCE to be here for us than now.”

Since the University of Maryland is closed due to the coronavirus, what’s next for the ADVANCE program is still in the works. The Office of Faculty Affairs is in the process of selecting a new director.

On campus, the ADVANCE office can be found at 1402 Marie Mount Hall.

Article by Jaime Williams

Awards | Recognition | Leadership Development

Christopher Jarzynski Elected to National Academy of Sciences, Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship, Simons Fellowship

Christopher Jarzynski, a Distinguished University Professor of chemistry and biochemistry with joint appointments in the Department of Physics and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST), joins an elite group of 2,403 scientists around the country recognized for their influential research and elected by their peers. Article and photo courtesy of Maryland Today. Read more.

Policy & Administration

COVID-19 Tenure Delay

The University community recognizes that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created unanticipated circumstances that may be seriously interrupting faculty progress toward professional and scholarly achievement. This problem is of great concern to us all but is especially troubling for faculty working toward promotion with tenure. The Board of Regents and the University of Maryland System have authorized us to offer a one-year extension of the pre-tenure probationary period to all eligible tenure-track faculty who request it, due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their ability to work. Learn more.

ADVANCE Director Search Announcement

The Office of the Provost is pleased to announce an internal search for a new Director of ADVANCE. More information regarding this opportunity is available here. Please submit nominations and/or expressions of interest to

Special Note

Newsletter Summer Hiatus

School's out and so are we! During the months of June-August, the Faculty Affairs newsletter virtual presses will be on summer break. New issues will resume in September 2020. Past issues are available on our website. If you have content ideas, please let us know.

COVID-19 & Support Resources

OFA has provided links to various resources and information below and on our website to help you navigate faculty life and work during this time:

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity Resources

Teaching & Learning Transformation Center

Teaching During Covid-19 Survey

The Teaching and Learning Transformation Center (TLTC) at The University of Maryland invites you to participate in a study about your experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to understand higher education instructors’ experiences responding to a sudden transition to remote teaching during a crisis unlike one we've ever experienced before. We plan to use these results to better support instructors and students during the ongoing public health emergency. To learn more or participate in the survey, please click here.

The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. If the researchers write a report or article about this research project, your identity will be protected to the maximum extent possible. If you have any questions you can directly contact TLTC’s research group at

The deadline to complete this survey is May 15, 2020. The survey can be accessed at the following URL:

Please note, your employment or relationship at the University of Maryland, College Park will not be affected by your participation or non-participation in this study.

Thank you for your partnership in this study. If you have questions or want to learn more please contact Dr. Alice Donlan at

Design Sprint Learning Community

Are you teaching an online or blended course in the summer or fall? Join us for this Design Sprint, Learning Community and we’ll help you:

  • Create an invitational syllabus
  • Design an engaging ELMS site
  • Align assignments to your course goals
  • Increase feedback and simplify communication with your students
  • Develop multimedia for effective learning

If you sign up for this 4-week instructional design sprint, we’ll guide you through your course creation by inviting you to:

  • Four interactive online sessions (90 mins each)
  • Two hours of free instructional design services for your specific course
June12:00-1:30 pmThursdays: June 11, 18, 25, July 2Register for June in Eventbrite
July9:00-10:30 amWednesdays: July 8, 15, 22, 29Register for July in Eventbrite
August9:00-10:30 amMon / Wed: August 3, 5, 12, 19Register for August in Eventbrite

Office of Undergraduate Studies

Please note these resources and bring them to the attention of Undergraduate Students.

Keep Learning

This is a new resource that was created for undergraduate students as a companion to the Keep Teaching site that was created for faculty. The site provides information for students that is particularly relevant to remote learning and for Spring 2020 grading options.

See Sections:

  • Technology: resources for learning remotely (eg ELMS, Zoom, Google, Adobe)
  • Accommodations: accessibility and disability resources and information
  • Support: Resources for academic success (eg tutoring, academic integrity) and for personal well being (eg campus pantry, counseling)
  • Learning Tips: Suggestions for students to be successful in the online learning environment
  • Spring 2020 Grading: Information about pass fail grading policy for spring 2020 along with detailed FAQs that are updated as new questions arise.

Course Related Policies

This resource, first developed in 2016 according to the University Of Maryland Policy on the Conduct of Undergraduate Courses and Student Grievance Procedure, has been revised with new information and new sections. The new sections (Acceptable Use of Technology, Student Privacy, Civility and Respect, Safety in the Academic Setting) were added to highlight policies that have become of concern since the campus move to remote learning. According to campus policy this site is to be referenced in all undergraduate course syllabi to alert students to campus policies. Upon request of the SGA the site now also highlights resources (eg those related to mental and physical health, and tutoring). The Course Related Policy page is hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Studies and is accessible via the KeepLearning Site in Support section, on the TLTC site, and has recently been added to the main menu in ELMS (see link item "Course policies" that also links to resource for course related policies for graduate students).

Faculty Development

New Faculty Resources

As you begin to welcome new colleagues to campus this summer, be sure to direct them to our New Faculty Start Up Resources and Orientation information. This will provide useful details in advance of New Faculty Orientation in August.

Chair Workshop with Georgina Dodge, VP of Diversity and Inclusion

On April 27, chairs and administrators discussed how the online environment has amplified certain issues related to diversity and inclusion, and the new and ongoing challenges learning and working from home presents. Information and ideas were exchanged to address these emerging issues and to find solutions.

Tips & Resources

BSOS Video Presentation: Professor Chronis-Tuscano / BBI Offer 'Parenting through a Pandemic'

In her talk, Andrea Chronis-Tuscano offered concrete strategies for managing anxiety and stress of both parents and children. In the question and answer portion of the event, she provided numerous approaches for parents dealing with such difficult issues as how to adapt to new routines, what attitudes to adopt toward screen time, and how best to cope with the loss of end-of-the-year milestone celebrations like graduation. Watch now.

The Importance of Saying Goodbye to Your Students in Times of Uncertainty

Due to COVID-19...many of us did not get to say goodbye or formally celebrate our time together as part of our larger departments and university communities. Saying goodbye and intentionally planning the end of your semester is essential. Goodbyes, celebrating accomplishments, and having closure supports good teaching practice and trauma informed pedagogy. Read more from Faculty Focus.

The Key - Inside Higher Ed Podcast: Helping Students Avoid Problems with the 'Asterisk Semester'

Many colleges moved to pass/fail grading amid the pandemic. While that change was designed to help students, it can cause disruptions as community college students transfer to four-year institutions, or as students seek admission to graduate or medical school. Listen now.

Programs & Events

Summer 2020*Academic Administrators Orientation and Refresher
Summer 2020*New Faculty Orientation

*Dates to be announced

Visit our website for a listing of all upcoming events.

 to attend a NCFDD writing challenge, webinar or core curriculum workshop.Become a member of NCFDD

Volume 3 | Issue 9